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wolverine

Detroit Asian Village

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The website for the Asian Village is now up http://myasianvillage.com/index.htm

Not much of the "villages" interior is done yet on the lower level of the parking structure. Just hollowed out concrete spaces.

I may sound mean, but I have to laugh at how nowadays we are such cultural fakes. New York and Chicago would get a good laugh out of this. But it is a farmer's market like atmosphere which can pretty much go anywhere, including the ground floor of a parking structure. It's definitely better than nothing at all.

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I think it's super lame, but yeah, I guess it's something.

But what I think what makes it lame is that it's trying to be a cultural district. If it was just given a normal name then I'd probably like it.

In Toronto, when I visted it, there was a chinese food place across the street called "ho-lee chow" and I wonder if the name is a gimmick or not.

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Agreed. I'm thinking the River East project could take on some permanent stores that would give it all a more authentic feel.

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Perhaps it can link itself up to the Dequindre Cut Corridor leading into Eastern Market. I know that's overly thinking it, but I think that there is a possibility that it could happen if the eastward extension is done right.

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That is the most god-awful rendering I've ever seen. The least they could do is give that riverfront facade windows or something!

Hell, they could even drape huge banners to cover the openings.

rendering2.jpg

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...or imagine shooting flames out the big gaps as if a dragon lives inside! How "Asian" would that be! :D

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I have some photos of the parking structure closeup, I took over a week ago. I like how you can jump up and hang from the awnings since they are so low.

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New York and Chicago would get a good laugh out of this. But it is a farmer's market like atmosphere which can pretty much go anywhere, including the ground floor of a parking structure. It's definitely better than nothing at all.

Actually, this isn't toooo different from the Chinatown Square that was built by Chicago's Chinatown, which is somewhat of a semi-enclosed pedestrian mall about two blocks long. Of course, that development is near a more 'authentic' Chinatown. But we should all realize that this Asian Village isn't an ethnic neighborhood. What we can hope for is that many of the ethnic East Asian communities can find something to do there. I think the existing communities have weak centers currently, while they do have grocery stores and in some cases Christian churches. They won't be moving into the neighborhood. But it will give the region a noticeable center for Asian culture, something to point to, perhaps something to ease the minds of new immigrants. Up in the air is how all these Asian ethnic groups are going to get along as one.

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A semi-enclosed pedestrian mall, and a parking garage are two very different things. All we can hope is that this leads to a more authentic neighborhood to form as the East Riverfront is brought up. Sorry, but no matter how you spin this, it's still an embarrassing parking structure with ground floor retail, regardless of who its geared towards. I'd really wished they would have held off on marketing this to the Asian community, as even an Asiantown made out of a strip mall would have been better, IMO.

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My friend told me about this. He is Asian. He said, "Dude, they're building an Asiantown downtown. Sweet HUH!"

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A semi-enclosed pedestrian mall, and a parking garage are two very different things.

I should add that when driving up to Chinatown Square and parking in the parking lot, all you see are a series of closed garage doors (the corrugated metal kind). You have to walk to the other side to see that the businesses are actually open.

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This development would be perfectly fine if it just called itself something else that was less glorified.

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Actually, before the main tenant, Dominic Pangborn, branded this project, it was simply known as "Beaubien Place." I'm going to call it that. A town implies a collection of businesses/residences along multiple streets. And, I definitely agree, this is no such thing.

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^That name sounds better.

And of course the "V" has to be a person with their arms open. And nothing says cultural richness like Fort GM! It's even more ironic because of the asian auto competetors, lol.

But I also just realized that's where that new developement thing is going in, and combined with what tomo said earlier today (about this being more like a beacon to help concentrate the people and create a real cultural district) means that maybe that area could become an asian village.

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Here's an update from the Freep:

Asian Village, a multimillion-dollar venture nestled in a building at Beaubien and Atwater, near the Renaissance Center, is set to open sometime this month. Developers hope to have it open in time for the North American International Auto Show, which opens to the public Jan. 13. With an Asian marketplace, upscale restaurant and a Polynesian-Indonesian coffee and teahouse, the concept is meant to connect to local Asian Americans and draw in people from other cultures and backgrounds.

Detroit to get taste of Asian flair

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I'm looking forward to seeing it open

Excellent concept, awful name.

I really wish it would be called Asian Market.

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Yeah, village implies that it's much larger than it really is...as in a few blocks in area. Oh well, I'm not complaining. Hopefully this means that I'll be able to get Chinese food that doesn't suck without having to go to the suburbs. :)

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