Are you thinking about moving Yourself or Your Business to Detroit? You should, because every renaissance starts somewhere and Detroit’s renaissance is happening now. Although recent census figures show Detroit’s overall population has shrank by 25 percent in the last 10 years, our business intuition tells us a different story. These days, Downtown Detroit is quickly becoming a hotbed for entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial companies, professionals, and creative types. We are moving more businesses and people downtown than we have in our 33 year history of being in business. A recent article in the New York Times seems to support our intuition, stating that during the same time Detroit was experiencing an exodus in overall population, Downtown Detroit experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35. This is nearly 30 percent more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest cities. These types of positive statistics offer some key indicators that Detroit is on the rise. If you are an innovative and forward thing individual or company, now is the time to make your mark on the city that is ripe for growth.
A massive re-invention of Detroit is creating a new paradigm for social experiences and business opportunities. This new image for Detroit means that ‘things are different in Detroit’, ‘YOU or YOUR company can make a difference in Detroit’ and ‘Detroit is open for YOUR business.’ The barriers to entry for business are fairly low, and getting lower. Real estate is cheap, and if you’re a business owner, there’s an abundance of skilled workers seeking jobs. Combine all this with the fact that the business tax structure has improved dramatically, and Detroit may be the next place that you would like to call home.
Don’t just take our word for it, visit downtown for yourself. Drive Woodward Avenue and you will witness the transformation. Skyscrapers that for years stood dormant are now being brought back to life and rehabbed into incredible modern workspaces that rival of Silicon Valley. Companies like Quicken Loans have already relocated thousands of employees to the cluster of buildings located near Campus Martius and many more are scheduled to make the move in the next few years. A true urban environment with greater density is being created, infusing the area with new energy and new market of clientele that is helping lure potential retailers.
To support and encourage continued growth, companies that are already located in Detroit are banding together to offer incentives to entice their employees to live and invest in a downtown home. Two particular programs that have been successful are the “Live Midtown” and “Live Downtown” programs. These seed programs are attracting more people and more development. One exciting development is the restoration of the Broderick Tower, a luxury residence that is being transformed back to the original glory and grandeur of its storied past. When this development is complete, some views from inside the apartments will look on to Comerica Park. How great would it be hanging out in your apartment while you see Tiger fans going crazy when Miggy belts one out? The Broderick Tower is just one of Detroit’s many cool and unique housing choices. Others include, lofts with urban architecture, historic neighborhoods, and condos.
As you have read, the perception of Detroit is changing, the office buildings and residential units are being repopulated, but you may be wondering, with all the people living and working downtown, what social experiences does Detroit offer? Here is a list of fun places inside Detroit that make planning your time in Detroit easy:
- There are 130 bars and restaurants within the one square mile of downtown Detroit.—Whether you like jazz, sports, martinis, or dancing, there’s a spot downtown for you.
- Detroit has the second largest theater district in the country with over 13,000 theater seats in just a 2 block radius. With the Fox Theater seating over 5,000 just blocks from the Fillmore, Opera House, Music Hall, Gem, Century and even the little avant-garde 1515 Broadway it’s a theater lovers paradise.
- Detroit River Walk – a 3.5 mile promenade alongside the Detroit River, with bike paths, carousel, fountains, a marina, and parks.
- Detroit has 3 Professional sports teams including the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers, and the Detroit Lions.
- There are 3 Casino’s including the Motor City Casino, the MGM Grand Detroit Casino and the Greektown Casino.
- Detroit Eastern Market – a local food district with more than 250 independent vendors and merchants processing, wholesaling, and retailing food.
- Belle Isle – Home of the largest island park in the United States comprised of 985 acres, and the tenth largest municipal park in the United States.
- Detroit Institute of Arts – The DIA’s collection is among the top six in the United States, comprising a multicultural and multinational survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century.
- Detroit Campus Martius Park – Known as Detroit’s gathering place, a showcase for the city’s diverse culture. The park includes a fountain and a skating rink in the seasonal winter months.
So now you know about what’s happening right now in Detroit, but what about some exciting things in the future? One big project that is in the works is Detroit’s Woodward avenue light rail project, known as the M1 Rail. This mass transit curb-side system will stretch from Downtown up to 8 Mile road helping improve Detroit’s pedestrian options for getting to and from Detroit. It’s part of an aggressive effort to massively improve Detroit’s mass transit infrastructure. This substantial undertaking requires much capital and organization and the project has already received backing and support from Detroits’s heavy hitters. Its financial and organizational backers include Penske Corp. founder Roger Penske Peter, who is chairman of the M1 Rail project; Peter Karmanos Jr., founder of Detroit-based software maker Compuware Corp.; Mike Ilitch, owner of the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Red Wings and co-founder of Little Caesar Enterprises Inc.; and Quicken Loans/Rock Financial founder Dan Gilbert, who’s the project’s co-chairman. Having the track record and support of Detroiters who know how to get things done is huge and with this team of legendary deal makers, the project is on solid ground to get fast tracked and operational within the next five to ten years.
Whether you are someone who visits Detroit regularly or someone that only makes it down for a few ball games or events every year, there is so much left to be discovered. Best part is, the more you know about Detroit, the more you are going to love it and the more you might make an effort to show others. Ultimately, to continue the positive changes that are happening in Downtown, we need more people to live, work, and play in Detroit. It’s going to take more than us talking about it, it’s going to take action.
Right now, wherever you are reading this, we want you to pick a day and commit spending a day or a night in Detroit. If you have a friend that works Downtown, visit them for lunch. If you have tickets to a game, come down a few hours earlier and have dinner and explore. If you are a first timer and don’t know where to start or even if you feel you are a savvy Detroit veteran who craves more, we recommend that you check out the group Inside Detroit. They are experts in all things Detroit and even offer public and group tours so you can get the insiders perspective of the many great things to enjoy about Detroit. Visit their website here http://www.insidedetroit.org/ or stop by and visit them at their welcome center.
Downtown Detroit Welcome Center
1253 Woodward Avenue Detroit, MI 48226
Thank you for taking the time to read about why you should consider a move to Detroit. Detroit’s going to be a big story here in the next several years, and YOU and YOUR business should want to be part of it!