Lathrup Village debuts new television program featuring diversity in business

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published August 3, 2016

File photo


LATHRUP VILLAGE — A new TV show produced by city officials and Downtown Development Authority officials is showcasing the medley of cultures that make up Lathrup Village.

The half-hour program, called “Global Village,” showcases six Lathrup Village business owners, ranging from restaurants and nail salons to a shelter.

According to Ken Marten, Lathrup Village Main Street manager and executive producer of the program, the show highlights what makes Lathrup Village unique.

Marten said that after realizing the scope of the diversity in Lathrup Village, he pitched the idea of the show to the DDA.

“I thought it would be important to highlight the business community and the fact that so many folks from all over the world have chosen to make their business home here,” Marten said.

In that same vein, Marten said he hopes the show calls attention to the various businesses in the city.

“The idea is to highlight the ethnic diversity within our business corridor. Globalization is a fact of life today. The fact that we have such a cosmopolitan business community within our 1.5-mile community is significant, and I’m not sure everyone is aware of this,” Marten said.

Marten said the show cost the DDA around $2,000 to produce.

Dave Birchler, chair of the Lathrup Village DDA, said the show fits in with a bigger-picture plan to reinvent the city. Birchler acts as a host on the show and interviews guests.

“(Lathrup Village) has a long-range vision that will literally reinvent the entire downtown. We’re looking to create something in Lathrup that is the kind of downtown that young millennials would want to live and work and spend their spare time,” Birchler said. “Lathrup Village does not have that kind of downtown physical structure.”

Birchler said he hopes the show will hook the attention of business owners looking to move to a city that’s on the rise.

“We’re looking at a much more 21st-century design: multistory, mixed use, doesn’t require a car,” Birchler said. “We’re deep into the implementation phase of that, trying to get the attention of the redevelopment community — get them interested in looking at Lathrup Village as a place that might be more valuable than you originally see.”

Marten said the show is a pilot project of sorts, and they are waiting on community feedback to see if residents want to see more shows like it.

“Global Village” airs on Community Media Network, an Oakland County public access channel, daily at 1 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Comcast subscribers should tune in to Channel 17, WOW subscribers to Channel 10, and AT&T subscribers to Channel 99. It can also be found on the Lathrup Village YouTube channel.