Founder of Fossil to make bikes in Detroit
This project has been bubbling under the radar until now. From the Detroit News:
The founder of Fossil Inc. has chosen a New Center site to make bicycles and watches and is close to signing a lease agreement to sell those goods in a West Canfield Street retail shop in Detroit’s Midtown, according to three sources familiar with the dealings.
Tom Kartsotis, founder of Fossil watches, sunglasses and apparel, has signed a lease for a 30,000-square-foot space in the College for Creative Studies’ A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education, according to the sources, who requested anonymity because they didn’t have permission to speak publicly.
Yes, they’ll be building retro cruiser bikes (and watches) in the former GM Research Laboratories. The brand is Shinola and they have some top people from the bicycle industry involved.
Crain’s also offered this insight into why he chose the city of Detroit.
He said Kartsotis commissioned a study of pens in which subjects were asked if they prefer pens made in China, the USA or Detroit at price points of $5, $10 and $15 respectively.
“People picked the Chinese pen over the USA pen because it was cheaper,” he said. “But when offered the Detroit pen, they were willing to pay the higher price point.”
By the end of this year, the city of Detroit may have up to four bicycle manufacturers within city limits.
New bike shop?
This Detroit News article discusses new pop-up retail along Woodward Avenue in Downtown Detroit. One pop-up possibility is a bike shop.
Jon Hughes sees a lane of opportunity in Detroit. As the owner of Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop, he would like to sign a two-month lease in Detroit for space where he can test the urban trails and side streets for interest by city residents and workers in a full-service, cycling aficionados store.
“Everything depends on the size of the store downtown,” said Hughes, 29, who is negotiating a lease on one of two spaces in the Compuware Building and could move into the smaller space as early as July 1. If the store catches on, he said he could renew the lease for a year or more. If the venture goes flat, he only loses two month’s rent money and sweat equity.
Yes, having the Downtown Ferndale bike shop in Downtown Detroit sounds odd.
Food delivery by bike
Shayne O’Keefe may not envision himself a businessman, but the 29-year-old drummer for a punk rock band just might be in denial.
That’s because a simple idea a few years ago that would allow O’Keefe to pay his rent on Fourth Street in Midtown Detroit and maybe go on tour here and there with his band, Noman, now supports not only him, but five of his friends as well.
Plus, it fuels his love of biking.
Pedicabs in high gear
And it sounds like they have a supporter in the Mayor’s office.
Detroit Deputy Mayor Kirk Lewis admits he’s never noticed the pedicabs, but said it’s a great idea for a new business that can help the city through its transformation.
“As we get more people in the downtown and Midtown areas, you’re going to see more opportunities for the entrepreneurial types in the city,” he said. “We want to have people engaging themselves in Detroit and having fun and enjoying the city.”
That sentiment rings true for all these businesses and new ones that are in the pipeline.
Being involved with biking is fun, but getting paid for it is more fun.