Architects and Planners Can Create More Equitable Living Environments

On Wednesday, June 17, 2020, the SpaceLab Innovation Center, powered by SpaceLab Detroit, hosted a timely webinar to discuss the role of architecture and urban planning in creating safe, healthy living environments: Toward More Equitable Living Environments: African Americans, Architecture and Planning in the Time of COVID-19. View the video replay of the discussion by clicking the link above. Show notes are below the panelists’ bios.

Cities with majority Black populations like Detroit, Baltimore and New Orleans have been greatly impacted by COVID-19. At the end of April, Data Driven Detroit estimated that about one quarter of COVID-19 cases in Michigan were in Detroit despite the city being only 6.7% of the state’s population. APM Research Lab in St. Paul, Minnesota reports that nationwide, African Americans are dying from the virus at three times the rate of white Americans.

Discussion topics included the value placed on Black communities, causes for the disparity in cases of the virus and death rates, ideas for changes to city infrastructure design during and after this pandemic, and how design professionals can adapt to changing environments.

Our Panelists

Kimberly Dowdell, a licensed architect and urban thought leader who is focused on building resilient, healthy and sustainable cities. A native of Detroit, Kimberly’s passion for design as a catalyst for urban revitalization was inspired by childhood experiences in her hometown. She went on to live in Ithaca, Rome, Washington, New York and Boston prior to returning to Detroit in 2015, where she worked on neighborhood-scale reinvestment efforts until her relocation to Chicago in 2019. Kimberly’s professional mission is to improve the quality of life for people living in cities. She believes in building diverse, cross-sector teams to solve our society’s most complicated challenges with a lens towards justice and equity. She is the 2019-2020 National President of National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) and a Principal in the Chicago studio of HOK, a global architecture and planning firm.

Andre Perry, PhD, a fellow at Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC., and author of Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities. Dr. Perry’s research focuses on race and structural inequality, community engagement, education, economic inclusion, and workforce development. He is a frequent contributor to news programming on NBC, National Public Radio, TheGriot.com, CNN, and other national media outlets. (@andreperryedu on Twitter and Instagram and aperry@brookings.edu)

Donald Rencher, Director of Housing and Revitalization with the City of Detroit. Since 2015, he has served the City in multiple roles, including working on mixed income, mixed use development projects and financial underwriting. Prior to working at the City of Detroit, Donald was senior lead counsel to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority where he worked on large-scale, affordable housing development and served over its single-family housing portfolio.

Moderated by: Michael Randall, urban planner and Director of Community Impact at the American Heart Association Detroit. He has devoted his career and life to the development of communities around the country and the world. His expertise includes, but is not limited to, public health, urban planning, housing, community enrichment and financial capabilities. Michael has served on both public and nonprofit boards including the Ypsilanti Planning Commission, the Ypsilanti Library Board of Trustees and Legal Services of South Central Michigan. His entrepreneurial endeavors include co-owning and operating the community enrichment organization, Maureen James Community Enrichment.

Community Partners

Thanks to our Community Partners for this event: City of Detroit Department of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity; Real Estate Association of Developers (READ); Detroit chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMAD); Design Core Detroit; Noir Design Parti; Detroit chapter of The American Institute of Architects; Urban Land Institute Michigan; and Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative.

Purchase Know Your Price at Source Booksellers, a Detroit Small Business

Purchase online or call to order

Show Notes

Download the Chat

Questions:
Q&A (49:45 – 55:21): We see diversity in public spaces that have an attraction appeal. i.e..Millenium Park. How do we design parks inclusively so that level of diversity is co-existing in neighborhoods? Is this an opportunity for black/LatinX architects to enable this kind of participation? (via Michael R.)


Q&A (56:04): What will it take to provide more section 8 support for Detroit housing? will additional section 8 support encourage developers to invest in Detroit? (via Marla M.)


Q (57:04 – 1:00:42): At what point do we fund our projects with our money from our banks (Credit Unions as well)? One United Bank for example. (via Kendal B.)


Q&A (1:04:04 – 1:05:00): How do you recommend that we tackle explaining these histories and systemic racial practices within our universities architectural history classes? And make sure these community histories of disenfranchisement are kept in mind by designers even at the early stages of their education? (via Ramatoulie S.)


Q&A (1:05:45: 1:06:36): Are the panelists engaged in any real estate development or affordable housing projects? (via Vic B.)

Articles and discussion topics:
Public input to street re-design: Safe Streets’ Are Not Safe for Black Lives (CityLab) (via Kathleen D.)

Buy Back the Block:
Buy the Block
Buy the Block is Building Up Black Communities and Curbing Gentrification One Block at a Time (Black Enterprise)

Additional topics:

  • Credit repair and banking
  • Reparations
  • Opportunity Zones
  • Affordable Housing
  • Cost of homeownership (including insurance and utilities)
  • Practical money skills education

Organizations:
NOMA: National Organization of Minority Architects (via Kimberly D.)

Community Development Advocates of Detroit (CDAD) Community Engagement policy committee is drafting legislation to improve Community Engagement. Too often the engagement process is wanting. If you’re interested in this process please feel free to contact Ruth Johnson of CDAD or take action here. (via Orletta C.)


Habitat for Humanity affiliates are certified credit counselors and assist people with credit repair. (via Elizabeth W.)


U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) certified free credit organizations. (via Katherine W.)


Education:
Home Builders Association of Southeast Michigan (HBA) has scholarships for students heading to or already enrolled in any aspect of construction education. Deadline extended into July. (via Elizabeth W.)


NOMA Detroit Project Pipeline Virtual Summer Camp (via Vic. B.)

Noir Design Parti: Important work and history of minority architects in Detroit is the focus of this Knight Arts Challenge award-winning project. Find out more about our work and support our mission! (via Saundra L.)

Got discussion ideas? Email us at info@spacelabdetroit.com

SpaceLab Wants to Connect Online

We want to keep the business and urban innovator community connected and supported, even though we’re physically distant. Many of you had workshops, presentations, exhibits or other events scheduled that had to be canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak. Anyone interested in meeting online by webconference for 30 minutes with our CEO Karen Burton to share your event, email us your name, phone number and presentation details (an Eventbrite link would work, too), and we’ll work to get you scheduled. Preference will be given to those sharing information on start-ups, business planning, design, construction and development, art and culture, and smart ideas to make our cities better.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Apply for SpaceLab’s Saturday Market, part of the Detroit Black Business Crawl

Saturday, Feb. 22 is the Detroit Black Business Crawl! SpaceLab Detroit is sharing our space with makers, creators and vendors to showcase creative, unique home accessories, clothing, and gifts in our 9th floor event space. Interested food vendors, email karenb@spacelabdetroit.com.

Market hours: 10 AM – 5 PM.

Apply today! Vendors will be will be notified by email or phone call.

We’ll also have free open coworking. Reserve your seat, and bring your ticket. Drop in at a desk, the work bar or work café to work for the day, and network and collaborate with Detroit’s urban innovators, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Architects and Designers Discuss Commercial Design and Construction at Detroit StartUp Week

As part of Detroit StartUp Week, SpaceLab’s member architects and designers tell how to get the most out of a relationship with these professionals and answer questions at Ask the Architects and Designers.”

You’ve decided that you want to build out your restaurant or retail space. Should you hire an architect? What do architects do? Representatives of Detroit-based architectural firms share information on the best design practices on for your project and how to engage professional services to make your space the place that you love to come to work and welcome your customers.

Moderator: Doreen Hunter, ASID – Owner, HDesigns Group, LLC and Library Coordinator, SpaceLab Detroit

Panelists:

Wes Sims, Vice President – SDG Associates

Paul Carr, Architectural Designer – SDG Associates

Kevin Boyle, AIA, NCARB – BASIC Design

Bryan Cook, RA, NOMA – Detroit Director, Berardi + Partners

Bruce Kopytek, AIA, NCARB – Senior Architect, Fieldstone Architecture & Engineering

View the entire panel discussion here

Doreen Hunter, ASID

Doreen owns HDesigns Group and is Design Library Coordinator at SpaceLab Detroit. She has a degree in Interior Design (with a minor in Business Management) from Central Michigan University and has residential and commercial experience in her portfolio. Doreen was recently elected Finance Director of the Michigan chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers.

Kevin Boyle, AIA, NCARB, EDAC

Kevin, a licensed architect, holds both Bachelor of Science in Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees from Lawrence Technological University. Early in his career, Kevin worked on construction documentation for renovations and additions to several historic Detroit Public School structures and loft conversion projects. Significant past work includes single family residences in coastal Long Island towns, commercial projects in New York City, twin 37-story condominium towers at CityCenter in Las Vegas, and expansive work in the senior living and healthcare field.

Bryan Cook, NOMA

As the Director of Berardi Partners’ Detroit office, Bryan is instrumental in overseeing business/client development, new market sector initiatives, and talent acquisition. He also serves as Project Manager and oversees multiple projects while working directly with the client and development team in producing quality design and documents from schematic design through construction administration. Bryan is current treasurer and past president of the Detroit chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architects.

Bruce Kopytek, AIA, NCARB

Bruce has 40+ years of architecture experience. His specialty in the field is creative design, for which he has received several awards and accolades, including the prestigious “Ceramic Tiles of Italy” honorable mention for his work in the financial facilities market. Bruce has designed all types of structures; from banks and retail stores to custom homes, hotels and high-rise apartments. In addition, Bruce is an author and educator, having taught for Wayne State university’s interior architecture program and counts four (a fifth is on its way) published titles and a major article in Michigan History magazine.

Professionals Share Tips: What to do before your build out your commercial space

As part of Detroit StartUp Week, SpaceLab presents “From Build-Out to Open

Building out your brick-and-mortar business – restaurant, retail or office – is a gargantuan task, and can sometimes feel overwhelming. How do you come to an agreement with a building owner, or buy your own building? Who do you call first after you secure the space? How much should you budget for design and construction costs? We’ve assembled an expert panel of Detroit professionals to help navigate the process and answer your questions.

Moderator: Lynnette Boyle – Principal, Beanstalk Real Estate Solutions

Panelists:

Erin Bonahoom – Founding Attorney, Canvas Legal

Sean Kelly, LLP Construction Services

Troy Puste – Broker, RISE Real Estate & Co.

Watch the entire panel discussion here

Lynnette Boyle

Lynnette has worked in the Detroit metropolitan commercial real estate industry for over 25 years. As Vice President of Property Management with Bedrock Real Estate Services, she worked on the acquisition, development and management of over 7 million square feet of downtown Detroit high-rise and mixed-use property. Lynnette has managed assets and operations of over 20 million square feet of real estate, developing and overseeing operating budgets, implementing multi-million-dollar renovation programs, helping mitigate risk of legal and financial issues, and negotiating vendor, supplier and union contracts.

Erin Bonahoom

Erin’s law practice is based in Detroit and dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services to established businesses, startups, and nonprofits in Southeast Michigan. She advises small businesses, startups and nonprofits from across a wide range of industries on formation, governance, employment, general operations, commercial real estate, construction, and contractual agreements. Erin is also a facilitator and a member of the Board of Directors for the Build Institute in Detroit, a nonprofit focused on economic development empowering the citizens of Detroit and other cities to start their own businesses.

Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is a construction industry professional representing the LLP Construction team. Sean’s project portfolio includes commercial and industrial projects throughout the U.S. His responsibilities include; estimating, project management and business development. Sean received a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Michigan State University and holds the designation of “Associate Constructor” through the American Institute of Constructors.

Troy Puste

Troy is founder of RISE Real Estate & Co., a full-service Real Estate Brokerage. The firm handles residential and commercial sales and leases. Their emphasis is on Detroit’s real estate market, however they sell throughout all of Southeast Michigan.

Ford Fireworks 2017: Traffic, Parking & Logistics for June 26th

FROM THE 607 BUILDING MANAGEMENT

As you may know, our cherished downtown, for the last 58 years has a celebration of the beautiful riverfront and a pre-celebration of our national holiday, know as the 4th of July! This year the Ford Freedom Festival aka The Detroit-Windsor International Fireworks, will be celebrated on Monday, June 26th, 2017. Click here for the official City of Detroit Guide regarding parking and road closures. Although the published info says June 27th, the accurate date is Monday, June 26th, 2017. Please see attached to govern yourselves accordingly.

*Please note that because of the early street closures and the anticipated influx of visitors to see the “Fireworks Show”, our shuttle service in the afternoon will be only be operating from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in hopes of getting you to your car prior to complete street closure at 6 pm. Again, govern yourselves accordingly.

Basco

http://www.bascomi.com/

Note: This mLive article states that parking meters will not be enforced after 5 pm, however there will be several street closures. Traffic will flow west on Congress to the Lodge Freeway. Freeways will begin to close at 6 p.m.

Check the Pre-Fireworks event sponsored by CAMBRIA on Monday, June 26, 2017.

News Release: Coworking Space for Built Environment Professionals Opens in Detroit, Introduces New Members

Contact:
Brenda V. Peek
Peak Communications Group
248.227.1350

Karen Burton
SpaceLab Detroit
313.960.4477
karenb@spacelabdetroit.com

 

DETROIT, June 2017 – SpaceLab Detroit celebrated its grand opening with nearly 200 guests in the company’s newly constructed 5200 square foot office at 607 Shelby Street in downtown Detroit, just two blocks from Cobo Center. Members of the city’s built environment community – real estate brokers and developers, architects, interior designers, engineers, builders, urban planners, artists – and other professionals toured the coworking and executive office space that features services and amenities unique to the design and building industry.

SpaceLab Detroit owners describe the business as “next-level coworking”: many members have been in business for 20 years or more, and the office design incorporates higher-end furniture and finishes that more established companies desire. SpaceLab offers an affordable opportunity for independent business owners to share prime, downtown office space with some of the city’s most influential corporations and organizations.

Office amenities include a materials library, a large-format plotter for printing construction drawings, video conferencing, along with a community kitchen and three meeting rooms – including a glass-enclosed conference and event space. Educational and networking events and room rentals are available to members and non-members. A render farm for computer-generated imagery will soon be available.

SpaceLab is accepting applications for monthly memberships. Monthly pricing options begin at $40 for use of the conference rooms and library to choices of shared work areas and desk rentals and private offices.

Michal Catari, owner of Wolf Virtual Reality, LLC, a 3D visualization and virtual production company, says of his experience as a SpaceLab member, “In the last four weeks, Wolf VR has conducted more than seven introductory meetings and increased its clients by more than five new customers. The opportunities at SpaceLab are tremendous. Spacelab and its members are all contributing to transform and shape a brighter future for Detroit.” Wolf VR’s mission is to visually capture their client’s imagination, looking through their eyes, and desires into reality.

Other member companies include:

Berardi + Partners: Headquartered in Ohio, Berardi + Partners is a full service, multi-disciplinary architecture, interior design, and engineering firm with over 40 years of experience. They’ve located their first Michigan office in SpaceLab Detroit. Bryan Cook leads the Detroit team and is also president of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Minority Architects.

Davis Corporate Solutions: Partnering with organizations to create productive corporate, healthcare and education environments, Davis Corporate Solutions is the Michigan territory representative for OFS Brands, Carvart, and Visual Magnetics, and was the sales representative for furniture at SpaceLab.

Architecture & Urban Design, PC: A&UD believes that architecture is art that makes a difference in people’s lives – art that must be useful and make good use of the limited resources of the Earth. A&UD has been a part of Detroit’s evolution and reconstruction for nearly two decades, and continues to provide architecture with the assistance of creative and culturally diverse staff that reflect the strength of our community.

Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative: UEI facilitates the creation of innovative, sustainable business solutions to important urban problems. Over the last four years, the non-profit organization has hosted symposia in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Flint, convening entrepreneurs and thought leaders in business, academia, community organizations and government.

Building Industry Resources, LLC: BIR offers social media, marketing and business development services to encourage and assist firms and professionals to reach their full potential. With years of technical and business experience in the design and building industry, BIR offers clients an insider’s view to markets, clients and competition.

Whatever Technology Group: This information technology start-up caters to the computer and technical needs of small businesses and provides affordable quality service for personal technology needs.

SpaceLab Detroit is owned by Space Lab Development, led by husband and wife team Bobby and Karen Burton. Karen is an architectural designer, marketing consultant and member of the National Association of Women in Construction, National Organization of Minority Architects, and an associate member of the American Institute of Architects. Bobby is an accountant former IT executive with a national bank.

SpaceLab is a Round 4 City of Detroit Motor City Match Space awardee and was awarded a cash grant in Round 7.

For more information about SpaceLab Detroit membership, see http://www.spacelabdetroit.com

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