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Voting Starts Today In Hatch Contest To Revitalize Detroit

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(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

(credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

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DETROIT (AP/WWJ) – A final round of voting takes place this week for the 2012 Comerica Hatch Detroit contest, where a $50,000 grand prize is at stake for those pitching business ideas for the city.

Hatch Detroit seeks to champion and support independent Detroit retail businesses with contests, education, exposure and mentoring. More than 250 business ideas were submitted for this year’s competition, and more than 30,000 online votes were cast to narrow 10 competitors to four finalists.

Online voting runs Monday through Thursday.

The finalists are kayaking business Detroit River Sports, the Detroit Vegan Soul Café, the La Feria wine bar and a handmade pie company called Rock City Pies.

  • Detroit River Sports is a business concept that seeks to bring kayak rentals to the city.  The business would offer tours through the canal districts of the city, around Belle Isle, downtown and other spots.
  • The Owners of Detroit Vegan Soul are currently operating as a catering and food delivery business. They seek to open a storefront business selling “vegan food with a soul twist.”
  • La Feria is a Spanish tapas wine bar featuring authentic Spanish tapas in a relaxed, upbeat setting.
  • Handmade Pie company specializes in unique combinations such as Salty Apple Carmel Pie and Blueberry-Custard Pie. It’s currently a pop-up restaurant.

The goal of the contest, according to the Hatch website, is to foster “vibrant and diverse retail” which is “the lifeblood of a thriving urban community.”

“It makes a neighborhood cool,” according to the site. “Stores with personality, bars with an edge, and restaurants with style and charm (and killer eats) throw off energy and put a unique stamp on a particular area.”  Hatch hopes to inspire shops, restaurants and bars to cluster in Detroit to spawn foot traffic, destination shopping, home buyers and renters.

A pitch night for the ideas is Wednesday at the Majestic Theatre. The winner will be announced Thursday.

VOTE HERE at HatchDetroit.com.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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