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Fabulous Ferndale: It’s Booming!

Ferndale is growing!  While much of the country — and the state — is struggling with home foreclosures, massive layoffs, and a tight credit market, Royal Oak’s neighbor to the south added several new businesses and generated over 200 new jobs last year, according to the Ferndale Downtown Development Authority.

As city after city announces news of impending financial doom, Ferndale released a ray of light recently in announcing its better-than-expected growth rate.  Last year, 15 businesses closed their doors, but 26 opened which is a net gain of 233 percent according to the Ferndale Downtown District Authority. Sixty-five jobs were lost, and 290 were created. —Lana Mini for

Lana Mini’s article in cites new projects such as the Lofts on 9 (condominiums), the Foley Mansfield Law Firm rehabilitation of the historical library, The Loving Touch billiards hall, Blumz flower shop, and Go Comedy! The DDA’s Executive Director Cristina Sheppard-Decius reports that several projects are in the works for 2009.  (One of these includes a complete rehab of an apartment building by our owner, Urbane Apartments — article here.)

More on Ferndale and it’s strategy for success, after the jump . . .

So, what’s the secret to Ferndale’s success?

I am asked that question all the time.  If I had the exact formula I could write a book.  But, a key factor is that this is a very open-minded community.  It’s inclusive.  People here are very active, they don’t just move here and sit back and do nothing. –City Manager Bob Bruner

Ferndale’s large gay and lesbian population can’t hurt either (not to brag, but we’re renowned for improving the neighborhood)!  Notably, Ferndale was the first city in Michigan to elect an openly-gay mayor when Craig Covey was elected to that post in November 2007.

What’s your favorite spot in Ferndale?  Let us know below . . .

City of Ferndale

Ferndale DDA

Ferndale Historical Society

6 responses to "Fabulous Ferndale: It’s Booming!"

  1. Stuff to Do: Assembly Line Concert | the urbane life Mar 21, 2009 at 16:26

    […] Music Cafe in downtown Ferndale is hosting the Assembly Line Concert starting Friday, March 20. (Don’t worry — you […]

  2. Cindy L Mar 22, 2009 at 09:58

    I live in Royal Oak, but the whole family enjoys Ferndale. When we tire of our local haunts here in RO, we head down Woodward and always find another great restaurant to try. We like Howe’s Bayou and the new Anita’s Kitchen. Just for starters.

  3. Brandon Mar 22, 2009 at 13:40

    Thanks for the recommendations, Cindy. I’ve heard great things about Anita’s Kitchen. Will finally have to try it out. It’s nice to have another spunky town so close by. I like the Emory as well — has a nice neighborhood bar kind of feel to it.

  4. Justin Mar 22, 2009 at 18:55

    I’ve always wondered – why is Detroit’s gay neighborhood in Ferndale? Almost every major city has a predominately gay neighborhood– yet Detroit doesn’t have one that I’m aware of… Does anyone know anything about this? Was there ever a gayborhood in Detroit?

  5. Brandon Mar 23, 2009 at 09:36

    Hi Justin — thanks for the comment. I’ve always wondered the same thing . . . Dear readers — any insight?

  6. Downtown Ferndale Sidewalk Sale & Food Drive | the urbane life Jul 21, 2009 at 18:12

    […] a Sidewalk Sale and Food Drive. Perhaps you could help us spread the word, and heck hop on over to Fabulous Ferndale and help the cause if you are […]