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Feedback: MT readers weigh in with ideas for Detroit's abondoned factories


A lot of interesting responses to last week's Facebook question: "Does anyone have any ideas for Detroit that don't involve turning abandoned factories into art spaces?"

• Affordable lofts, condos, apartments.

• How about some living space for the homeless. Huge warming centers with beds, food, etc. The food could be from Second Harvest and remainders from Eastern Market. Who's in? Gilbert? Ilitch? Duggan?

• I really like that there is a comment suggesting the idea of housing for the homeless, but it all falls apart upon mention of Ilitch, Gilbert, and Duggan. I'm pretty sure that if it were legal, they'd advocate euthanasia as a cure to the homeless issue.

• How about less scab BS period? We have plenty of talent here. Take this Brooklyn 2.0 BS back to the valley.

• If you really want a resurgence, you have to start at the bottom. All great structures have a firm foundation. You can't just pretty up downtown and think you have a great city!

• Baloney. Most Detroit artist glue trash to garbage. Help the citizens first. Creativity will always be there.

• Turn it all into Faygo and Better Made Potato Chip factories.

• Reopen factories, Portland has been doing a lot with local furniture.

• Kitchener, Ontario, once known as "Busy Berlin," lost its manufacturing base in the '80s when the economy tanked. All the old factories and warehouses have drawn a huge high-tech base as new tenants. Reinvent yourselves and repurpose the urban fabric!

• I've got a bitchin' idea: How about turning a factory into a factory? You know, a place that makes some kind of shit, and employs people?

• Use them as the reason to repeal NAFTA. Show the rest of the country just what has happened to this once-productive city.

• Urban farming? Urban fisheries? Solar panel factories? SRO housing? Go-cart tracks? Batting cages and driving ranges? Adult-sized monkey bars and swing set playgrounds with climbing walls and trampolines?

• Explosives test site.

• I say sell 'em. If someone wants to buy them, great! Do whatever they want with 'em. But put the money into neighborhoods, like Oakwood and Schaefer, Brightmoor, Joy Road areas, etc.

• Indoor skate parks.

• There is beautiful art already in those buildings.

• Yes, there is. Artists are using these as workspaces.

• Absolutely, I could show pictures of art you would swear should be in a museum, yet these artistically talented individuals remain anonymous. It's very inspiring to see raw art inspired by imagination instead of the dollar.

• Marijuana grow factories, after it is legal to grow in Michigan.

• How about turning one into a nonprofit mental health agency for the people of the city.

• Turn them into homeless shelters. That's the only job growth here.

• Community recreation and training centers: Union trades, mentoring, computer programming classes, all to serve the community.

• Make them into ultimate laser tag or paintball arenas!

• How about growing food?

• "The plant" in Chicago is a perfect example of what I'd like to see more of, along with indoor (year-round) urban farming. Aquaponic fish and prawn, feeding and being filtered by a wide assortment of veggies! Livestock in combination with biodigestors, creating energy from animal waste.

• I lived in Downtown Detroit for four-and-a-half years. Outside of the science center, there is nothing for kids to do. But I have a great idea how to fix that. All I need is about 500,000 square feet and an angel investor.

• Level the eyesores.

• Art would make it an even worse eyesore. Damned Grand River already has an art district, some nice, some hideous. But it makes the area look bad, just turn the warehouses, vacant buildings, etc., into something worthwhile, like lofts or market-rate apartments. Detroiters always think art is the answer; soon the whole damn city will look like the Heidelberg Project. Damn, I hate that shit. I hope the whole project burns down. And to think people come from all over to see that garbage.

• Maybe turn them into schools, learning facilities, shopping malls, entertainment districts, like, hell, every other major city in the USA. Detroit is so far behind the times, but it's getting better. At least downtown is coming back.

• We could turn them into big box stores and I could buy underwear there.

• An awesome nightclub for real ravers.

• Turn abandoned factories into maker spaces and tool libraries with 3-D printers and other industrial tools for use by members.

• Implode them.