Urban Renewal


Panelists at the 2018 ULI Spring Meeting spoke about housing solutions for wealth creation. From left to right: Jeff Wilson, Rev. Faith Fowler, Tosha Tabron, and David Alade. // Photograph courtesy of Scott Chemis. 

Detroit’s rejuvenation will be on full display before audience from May 1-3 when the Urban Land Institute, a nonprofit worldwide organization of 40,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and planning, hosts its Spring Meeting at Cobo Center.

As part of the three-day meeting, which has set a record for scheduled attendance and fundraising, attendees will share trends on urban planning, design, placemaking, and attracting and keeping talented workers. Dozens of meetings will be held throughout the city, complemented by tours of downtown, Midtown, Corktown, Belle Isle, and The District Detroit, the 50-block area that includes the Fox Theatre, Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, Ford Field, lofts, stores, restaurants, and office renovations.

“Transformative development is happening throughout Detroit in what has become a living laboratory that’s changing the way we think about the possibilities for our built environment,” says Eric Larson, CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership.

While the vast majority of attendees are visiting from North America, the Spring Meeting is also drawing members from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, India, Japan, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In addition to tours of the city, the gathering offers a range of committee meetings, talks centered on real estate trends and deals, a leadership and innovation series, and networking sessions.

For a presentation called Detroit Renaissance, speakers include Robert S. Taubman, president, CEO, and chairman of Taubman Centers Inc. in Bloomfield Hills; Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans Inc. in Detroit; and Chris Ilitch, president and CEO of Ilitch Holdings Inc. in Detroit. Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, an online shoe and clothing store, will provide the closing keynote address.

“We’re very excited to bring ULI’s Spring Meeting to Detroit,” says Mark LoPatin, president of LoPatin and Co. in Farmington Hills. “Detroit is on the road to again becoming the great city it was in the 1950s and ’60s.” 

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