ULI will hold its 2018 Spring Meeting May 1–3 at the Cobo Center in Detroit. A major focus for this year’s gathering will be the reinvention of urban areas into thriving places that are drawing talented workers and businesses and are becoming magnets for investment. The Detroit metropolitan area, which is experiencing an extraordinary renaissance, is a prime example of this urban evolution.
The meeting’s host committee, which is charged with maximizing the visibility of the Detroit metropolitan area real estate market to meeting attendees, is being cochaired by ULI Michigan leaders Eric B. Larson, founder, president, and chief executive officer, Larson Realty Group; Mark LoPatin, president, LoPatin & Company; Robert Schostak, chief executive officer, Schostak Brothers & Company Inc.; and Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president, and chief executive officer, the Taubman Company.
“Transformative development is happening throughout Detroit in what has become a living laboratory that is changing the way we think about the possibilities for our built environment,” Larson said. “The 2018 ULI Spring Meeting presents a unique opportunity to showcase many exciting opportunities to our members in the Americas region and around the globe.”
“We are very excited to bring ULI’s Spring Meeting to Detroit,” LoPatin said. “Everyone heard of the difficulties Detroit faced, resulting in the largest municipal bankruptcy. We are excited to show the transformation and how Detroit is on the road to again becoming the great city it was in the 1950–60s.”
“At the Spring Meeting, our members can look forward to extraordinary networking with abundant sharing of this post- bankruptcy urban rebirth in a setting that showcases Detroit as a dynamic, forward-looking city,” Schostak said.
“We plan to deliver a content-rich experience that highlights Detroit’s culture of innovation and creativity, and the exciting work contributing to the city’s extraordinary revival,” Taubman said.
ULI has a strong history of involvement in Detroit, which has been demonstrated with recognition through its awards programs, engagement with Detroit’s local officials and business community on major land use and urban development issues, and through the leadership of ULI Michigan in the city’s evolution. In 2013, Midtown Detroit was chosen as a winner of ULI’s Global Awards for Excellence, which is widely recognized as one of the land use industry’s most prestigious awards programs. In making the selection, the awards jury noted that Midtown Detroit had emerged as a symbol of a reimagined Detroit complete with new development, a focus on density and walkability, and a growing, diverse population. Also that year, ULI convened an Advisory Services panel of nationally renowned land use and urban development experts to advise the Southwest Detroit Business Association on the economic development potential of a site along the West Vernor commercial corridor, which has since been revitalized with shops and restaurants.
In 2010, the city’s Campus Martius Park was selected as the first winner of ULI’s Urban Open Space Award. The park was chosen because of its success in helping to catalyze the revitalization of downtown—serving as a primary gathering place, a draw for economic development, a beautiful signature square, and a positive image for Detroit locally and internationally.
Also in 2010, Detroit was one of four cities chosen to participate in the Daniel Rose Fellowship, the signature program of the Rose Center for Public Leadership, operated jointly by ULI and the National League of Cities. Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and his team, who served as Rose Fellows, worked with the Rose Center on a strategy to revive Livernois, once a primary commercial thoroughfare, as a thriving destination for retail and dining.