New record store adds to Detroit neighborhood's revival

Ursula Watson
The Detroit News

Detroit —The sound of music wafted out of a house-turned-record store, attracting curious residents of West Village.

Janessa Manning and her husband Richard Ramirez checked out Paramita Sound, during its grand opening Saturday afternoon.

Paramita, which means perfection in Sanskrit, is located on 1417 Van Dyke, around the corner from Agnes Street, home to other neighborhood businesses such as the coffeehouse The Red Hook, Tarot and Tea, Parker Street Market and the restaurants Detroit Vegan Soul and Craft Work.

"Now we have a record store," said Ramirez. "We really like the vibrancy and new business coming to our block. A younger, working professional community is really coming alive in West Village and I am happy to see it. "

Paramita's owner and West Village resident Andrey Douthard said his store is more than a place to purchase the latest vinyl releases. It is hub for the community to connect.

 Owner Andrey Douthard, left, and curator Vicente Elizondo.

The store has 400 records in its inventory by such artists as Isaac Hayes, Nick Drake, Alice Coltrane, and Radiohead.

During the grand opening, a D.J. spinning records, welcomed those who ventured into Paramita. There is also lounge area where turntables will be added.

The store is opened with the support of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation's REVOLVE Detroit program, MGM Grand Detroit Casino, and The Villages Community Development Corporation.

Michael Forsyth, REVOLVE program manager, said 16 people submitted applications.

"I think the cool thing about REVOLVE is that there is a strong real estate component so it is about matching good quality spaces and good landlords with high quality tenants that they would never be able to find themselves," said Forsyth.

He said the program is a competitive process in which an entrepreneur and their business plan, is scrutinized and hard questions about finances and their vision are asked.

"We get to see who hustles and who wants it," said Forsyth. "Andrey is one of the best examples I can think of in Detroit right now, who is able to take advantage of all the resources and make all the connections to make a project happen."

MGM Grand Detroit awarded a $10,000 grant to Douthard and the owner of the building where Paramita is housed. TechTown Detroit also provided funding said Forsyth.

Paramita Sound in West Village held it’s grand opening Saturday.

Douthard also gained valuable knowledge from D:hive, a storefront and welcome center in where people can find help with anything Detroit and learn how to build a business.

"With most small businesses no one has enough money to do it all," said Forsyth. "It takes a village to raise a small business."

"We are excited to have this happen because it furthers our initiative to expand the neighborhood and make it a more walkable, livable community," said Brian Hurttienne, executive director of The Villages Community Development Corporation.

Hurttienne said West Village businesses are planning market days for the holiday that will include pop-ups.

Manning and Ramirez moved to Detroit from Texas with some apprehension that quickly dissipated.

"The news that makes it out of any city to other cities is always terrible," said Manning. "The news that I heard out of Detroit wasn't great and there was a lot of it and it was scary. West Village is really a wonderful place to live. We are house hunting."

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