First 'pop up' store opens along Woodward as City preps for NFL Draft

Posted at 6:17 PM, Mar 15, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-15 20:47:15-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — It’s the major thoroughfare in the heart of downtown. With just over a month before the NFL Draft, Woodward Avenue is being transformed.

The newest addition is "Born in Detroit," a clothing brand sold online and now in their downtown store.

“It's a big chance," CEO Anthony Tomey said of the opportunity to be downtown for the draft. "To come down here, you want to do well, you want to put your best foot forward.”

Tomey says the location, which takes the place of the former Moosejaw store, is just temporary. It's a pop-up store that will only be staying open until the end of April after the draft ends. It's one of several vacant storefronts the city hopes to fill in time for the draft.

“What you're seeing here is part of the larger strategy in preparation for the NFL draft," said Hassan Beydoun, Group Executive for Economic Development with the City of Detroit. "What we're trying to do is activate any and all spaces.”

Beydoun says lots of improvements are underway to prep the city for the spotlight, including improvements to parking lots and sidewalks.

“The city is all in on this effort," Beydoun said. "We want to show that Detroit is a place where you can bring your family, bring your business, and really enjoy all that the city has to offer.”

In just the first hour of opening, the pop-up store already had business.

“He's like 'Hey check it out! Born in Detroit, we got to check that out,” said Detroit resident Dominique Condevaux, who was walking downtown with her husband.

Customers from Detroit and around the country were stopping in while exploring downtown.

“We kind of read the sign coming in, seems like it’s an awesome brand," visitor Hannah Brandt said of the city. "Cool store, and cool for the city.”

Brandt is a hockey player for PWHL Boston, a professional women's team playing at Little Caesars Arena. She and her teammates were exploring the city before their game.

"Its awesome," Brandt said of the City. "I think we were walking through some of the alleys and there's some cool history and cool buildings.”

“People who come here and visit realize, you know what? There's good people here,” said Detroit resident Bernard Condevaux.

The Condevauxs hope the NFL Draft will bring positive change to the city long term.

“I think it's going to let people know Detroit is back,” Bernard said. “I think the City has a lot to offer and hopefully it puts us back on the map for a place to be.”

“I'm really looking forward to it, I'm excited,” Dominique said of the draft. "I tell people that Detroit’s a hidden gem... The culture, the food, the people? Amazing.”

Some businesses are expanding before the draft while others plan to open soon, as city officials, residents, and business owners hope this investment in the city will stay long after the draft picks are made.

VIDEO: Watch the press conference at the opening of the Born in Detroit pop-up:

Press conference at the opening of Born in Detroit pop-up

“I think the community and all Detroiters will be able to benefit off this draft in a way I don't think people had an imagination for,” Beydoun said. "This is a catalyst for longer investments in the city, larger investments in the city.”

“To have that many people in one small area like this gives everybody that chance to go make money, go get their name out there, and I think it's a great opportunity to just showcase the city and show what we're all about,” said Tomey.

Tomey added that if all goes well, there's potential for their pop-up store to become a permanent location.

VIDEO: See inside the new Born in Detroit pop-up store in Downtown Detroit:

See inside the new Born in Detroit pop-up store in Downtown Detroit

Born in Detroit is located at 1275 Woodward and will be open March 15- April 30, Monday-Saturday 11:00 am-7:00 pm and Sunday Noon-5:00 pm.

Where Your Voice Matters

Contact our newsroom
Have a tip, story idea or comment on our coverage? Send us a message. Please be sure to include your direct contact information.