Spectacles to remain in Detroit
PRNewswire/ -- Lear Corporation [NYSE: LEA], a leading global supplier of automotive seating and electrical systems, recently announced that Spectacles, an independent retail boutique, located in the Harmonie Park district of Detroit will be completely renovated and remain at its present location on 230 East Grand River Avenue.
For the past 34 years, Zana Smith's Spectacles has been located in the heart of Downtown Detroit. Spectacles carries both men's and womenswear, books, CDs, albums, hats and of course a variety of glasses. Spectacles has acted as a cultural hub in the city of Detroit giving many performers and designers a platform to launch their brands.
In 2015, Lear Corporation purchased the historic building located at 230 East Grand River Avenue in Detroit. Initially there was much concern about whether or not Spectacles would weather the transition of ownership. Loyalists of Spectacles voiced their concern about how important it is that black-owned and operated businesses are kept downtown. As the loyalists were speaking, Lear Corporation was listening.
Lear has been extremely committed to Smith and her store Spectacles, assuring her that Spectacles still had a home at 230 East Grand River. Lear is currently in the process of completely updating and renovating the building. Lear intends to utilize floors 4 to 7 for administrative office space, executive offices and a new business incubation center. The remaining floors will be leased to business partners and professional service providers.
"We were happy to work together with Zana to update her store, and work out a financial arrangement whereby Spectacles could remain in the Harmonie Park location," commented Matt Simoncini, Lear president and CEO. "During the renovation of the building, we have provided the space to Spectacles on a rent-free basis. We are very interested in supporting an independent business and keeping it in the City of Detroit," Matt added.
"Lear Corporation has been more than accommodating during the process of renovation," said Smith. "They have worked with me closely to make sure that my doors did not have to close during this time. For that I will always be grateful."
Smith is excited for the renovations to the interior of her store that Lear will be funding. She believes this will be the breath of fresh air that Spectacles needs to move forward toward continued success.
"It comes as no surprise that Lear Corporation has shown such commitment to me and my business, based on its outstanding track record as an engaged corporate citizen doing community work and heading so many charitable initiatives," added Smith. "I look forward to a fruitful relationship with Lear as the completion of the 230 East Grand River Avenue approaches."
PRNewswire/ -- Cass Tech High School graduate and iconic comedienne Lily Tomlin will accept the Detroit Homecoming award and a key to the city at a spectacular event at the Michigan Central Train Station as the kickoff to Detroit Homecoming IV, Sept. 13-15. Homecoming will be the first event in the Station in more than 30 years.
"We are anxious to see the reaction from the expats and dignitaries when they walk into Michigan Central Station on September 13. The new windows on the 13th floor offer spectacular views of the city," said Matthew Moroun.
At a recent news conference, Homecoming Director Mary Kramer announced several Homecoming IV speakers with ties to Detroit or Michigan including philanthropist Stephen Ross, Golden State Warrior Draymond Green and TaskRabbit CEO Stacy Brown-Philpot.
At the press conference, Expat and Hall of Fame gymnast Wendy Hilliard, founder and CEO, Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation, shared how her attendance at the first Homecoming inspired her to open a youth gymnastics center on Detroit's northwest side. She is now operating out of the Joe Dumars Fieldhouse and looking for a permanent site in that same area of the city.
"My Detroit Homecoming experience brought together the enthusiasm and resources I needed to make my dream of a gymnastics center a reality," said Hilliard.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is pleased to welcome the event to the city.
"The connections people like Wendy make at events like Homecoming make all the difference," said Duggan. "This event continues to attract some of Detroit's most accomplished alumni who haven't forgotten their roots. They are passionate about our city and are investing time, intellectual capital and millions of dollars to help revitalize Detroit."
The event brings some of the region's most successful "expats" – from CEOs to entertainers – back to Detroit so they can reconnect and reinvest in their hometown. Expatriates also share ideas and perspectives on how to continue Detroit's rebirth. Since the inaugural event in 2014, Detroit expats have committed to investing more than $300 million in city projects and businesses.
The theme of this year's Detroit Homecoming – connections – will highlight the critical synergies necessary to bring a city back to world class status.
At the suggestion of past expats, Homecoming IV will focus on Detroit's neighborhoods and include immersions in three Detroit areas: Brightmoor, Livernois/6 Mile and the area around Central High School where Detroit's civil unrest began in 1967. Another morning will include a product showcase where 15 entrepreneurs will highlight their concepts to the attendees at The Factory in Corktown, a new development by Expat Robbie Buhl. The group will also pay tribute to Artist Charles McGee with a new video from Expat Mike Ellison and experience a progressive dinner on the QLINE that includes a stop at the new Little Caesar's Arena and entertainment at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
"When we launched the Homecoming idea in 2014, we weren't sure what to expect since the city was still in bankruptcy then," said Kramer. "It is so energizing to think about all the new things we have to share this year. Our goal continues to be to have the expats fall in love with their hometown all over again and find ways to re-engage and reinvest."
Said Jim Hayes, Detroit Homecoming founder: ""The Detroit Homecoming was a simple idea that turned out to be of great value for Detroit. At the outset we had no idea we were building a template for other cities, as well. This year Flint and Erie, Pennsylvania, are hosting homecomings following our model. Other cities like Baltimore continue to contact us for advice. I suspect more cities will eventually host homecomings. It can be a powerful economic development tool."
In addition to Wendy Hilliard's gymnastics center, other expat initiatives include Will Leather Goods, The Platform, technology incubators and angel investments in startup businesses across the city. Individual expats have also made private investments in projects such as Orleans Landing, DuCharme Place and the Foundation Hotel,
Detroit Homecoming and its nonprofit fiduciary partner, the Downtown Detroit Partnership, are grateful to the sponsors and partners who have committed to support the initiative so far this year: Ford Foundation, William Davidson Foundation, Kresge Foundation,Urban Science, DTE Energy Foundation, General Motors, Meridian, Quicken Loans/Bedrock/Jack Entertainment, Atlas Industries, CBI, CBRE, Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, Detroit Pistons, Display Group, Henry Ford Health System, Honigman, Huntington, Ilitch Holdings, Infused PR & Events, Michigan State University, Octane Design, Robar PR, Rosetti, Rush Trucking, University of Detroit Mercy, University of Michigan, Wayne State University and WXYZ.
For more information on Detroit Homecoming, visit www.detroithomecoming.com. The event is invitation-only.