If you have lived in Detroit’s greater downtown for even a year, you’ve noticed rapid transformations taking place all around you. On any given day, it seems like a new small business opens up, a free event is happening at one of the district’s many museums and cultural institutions, and more and more people are out walking through the area’s public and commercial spaces.
The vibrancy of Midtown and downtown today obscures the fact that just seven years ago, Detroit’s core neighborhoods were hemorrhaging residents. This trend, coupled with a disastrous economic recession that was experienced acutely in southeast Michigan, made it very hard to convince young, educated individuals that Detroit was a place they should consider calling home.
Fast forward to 2015 and things have drastically changed for Detroit’s greater downtown. Housing is consistently close to capacity (97 percent existing housing units in the greater downtown are currently occupied), small business districts like those along Cass Avenue and Canfield Street and in the Park Shelton in Midtown are thriving, and crime rates have decreased significantly. Not only are there more opportunities to get a job thanks to the downtown relocations of major companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield and Quicken Loans and the establishment of new ones like Shinola in Midtown, but more and more residents now have access to resources and support to help them pursue their own entrepreneurial endeavors. […]