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  #1  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 8:21 PM
Docere Docere is offline
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The dark side of Detroit's renaissance

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Dan Gilbert, the owner of Quicken Loans (and the Cleveland Cavaliers), walks around Detroit with a veritable halo around his head. He is credited with having put this Rust Belt city, which only recently emerged from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, on the path to revival. He saw opportunity where others saw ruin, scooping up vacant old gems facing demolition. And he didn't just sit on them hoping to dump them when their value inched up. He actually led the comeback, moving his headquarters, along with thousands of employees, to a struggling city at a time when others were streaming for the exits. And now, voila, thanks to his efforts, Motown is back.

It's a nice story. If only it were true!

Alas, the reality is that Detroit's renaissance exists, but only on a seven-mile stretch of this 140–square-mile city. And even this has less to do with Gilbert's visionary capitalism and more to do with his (and his fellow businessmen's) crony capitalism.
http://theweek.com/articles/692770/d...ts-renaissance
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  #2  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 8:28 PM
Crawford Crawford is offline
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The city of Detroit continues to struggle. Nothing has really changed.

Yes, a few blocks of downtown/midtown have revitalized, which is basically true in every major American city. But it's a very tenuous revitalization, and almost entirely bankrolled by public subsidies and one company (Quicken Loans).

What has been built without some massive taxpayer subsidy? Zilch.

Outside of downtown/midtown, the city has never looked worse. But the core is definitely better than 10 or even 20 years ago. The very heart of downtown (Campus Martius) is somewhat vibrant these days, which is quite a change. Something like 5,000 mortgage dudes moved downtown. Just pray that Quicken doesn't go under.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 9:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford
Outside of downtown/midtown, the city has never looked worse.
Would have to disagree with this. First, at least the streetlights are finally on in all parts of the city now. They've also demolished a massive amount of burnt out homes over the past few years and tackled the graffiti problem dramatically under Duggan. Regardless of what the numbers are saying today in terms of population loss or unemployment the city definitely "looked worse" 10 years ago.
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Old Posted May 1, 2017, 10:18 PM
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You gotta start somewhere. Can't re-do the whole city all at once.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by James Bond Agent 007 View Post
You gotta start somewhere. Can't re-do the whole city all at once.
exactly. Its 7 miles today, but it was 0 miles 5 years ago. Detroit is so far gone its never going to turn around overnight, especially given the low growth in the metro as a whole. Its going to be a long, slow crawl out. It took NYC 20 years to shake its negative image, another 20 to get where it is today. I imagine Detroit will be similar, if not even longer.
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  #6  
Old Posted May 1, 2017, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Docere View Post
This article is a load of crap!
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  #7  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 12:09 AM
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Detroit has its issues, as does every city. And of course, when it begins to make a positive turnaround there will be some negative aspects or controversies that come with that.
But, if Detroit is anything like my city, the city is making huge strides that make a big difference to its residents, but they are overlooked by anyone who has little interaction with the city. Things will change, it will just take time.

The Detroit of 2027 will be a much more influential nationally, I can see it becoming a role model for other rust belt cities that have "declined" over the past few decades. Its hard to say if the city itself will be growing by this time, but the metro should be picking up speed and growing at a healthy rate.
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  #8  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
exactly. Its 7 miles today, but it was 0 miles 5 years ago.
This isn't really true. Downtown/Midtown were fine five years ago too. In fact there's little difference between today and five years ago. 10-20 years ago, yeah, but there was no point in Detroit's history where the core was completely dead.

I get the "you gotta start somewhere" reasoning, but it's debatable that anything has started. There is no real metric (population, employment, tax base, etc.) where there's clear signs of even the beginning of a turnaround. The best you can say is that the decline has slowed. Detroit still has the worst or second worst population loss of any city in the U.S., every year.

Detroit is still the only major U.S. city where there is no real option for middle-upper class people seeking a safe, desirable, walkable residential neighborhood. Pittsburgh, Buffalo and to a lesser extent Cleveland, have this. Detroit has a stronger metro area overall, but a weaker city limits. There isn't even one fully intact, walkable neighborhood strip.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 1:14 AM
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The North One The North One is offline
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
This isn't really true. Downtown/Midtown were fine five years ago too. In fact there's little difference between today and five years ago. 10-20 years ago, yeah, but there was no point in Detroit's history where the core was completely dead.
2003 was probably the lowest point, It was pretty much dead, let's be honest.

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I get the "you gotta start somewhere" reasoning, but it's debatable that anything has started. There is no real metric (population, employment, tax base, etc.) where there's clear signs of even the beginning of a turnaround. The best you can say is that the decline has slowed. Detroit still has the worst or second worst population loss of any city in the U.S., every year.
Nonsense, there's plenty to measure, the core has been gaining thousands in white populations since 2010. The population loss of outer neighborhoods that are skewing numbers doesn't negate that the central core is growing stronger, and that's what really matters.

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Detroit is still the only major U.S. city where there is no real option for middle-upper class people seeking a safe, desirable, walkable residential neighborhood. Pittsburgh, Buffalo and to a lesser extent Cleveland, have this. Detroit has a stronger metro area overall, but a weaker city limits. There isn't even one fully intact, walkable neighborhood strip.
Well, in terms of the suburbs, you and I both know there are very urban and affluent nodes all over the metro to choose from. As for the city proper, West Village is the closest thing to that option outside of downtown itself. Midtown is getting there, just wait a couple years for Brush Park to be finished. The vast majority of the city was detached homes in the first place. I wouldn't single out the city like that either, where do such desirable and sufficiently urban inner-city neighborhoods exist in Pheonix, Charlotte, Houston, Dallas, Jacksonville or Atlanta?
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Last edited by The North One; May 2, 2017 at 1:43 AM.
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  #10  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 1:56 AM
Docere Docere is offline
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For those saying the article is just "lies" and "crap."

Is it not true that Detroit's "revitalization" is pretty much entirely due to massive taxpayer subsidies to Gilbert et. al.?

Has Detroit really come roaring back or, at best, has the rate of decline been slowed down?

Last edited by Docere; May 2, 2017 at 2:10 AM.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 2:16 AM
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there is really no dark side. don't know why crawford has to be so negative.

* (white) people are moving to detroit
* housing values are up: link to zillow w/ 100k+ recent sales
* basically the entire building stock of classic skyscrapers has been fixed up: no more 'ruin porn'.
* real money is being invested: https://detroit.curbed.com/maps/detr...nstruction-map
* the mayor is actually on the ball

some of this needs subsidies but meh, so do wind and solar power plants and highways and rail. it's a good cause and should be taxpayer supported (and a couple more billionaires taking an interest in the city wouldn't hurt)
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  #12  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 7:01 AM
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Are they ever going to do what they need to do, which is to relocate people and demolish huge tracts of Detroit (not abandoned houses all over the city) and turn it into parkland?
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  #13  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
Are they ever going to do what they need to do, which is to relocate people and demolish huge tracts of Detroit (not abandoned houses all over the city) and turn it into parkland?
That's exactly what they're doing, lol.

The demolition program has been going on for I think over a year now, and there are lots of community farming projects like apple orchards being planted in the outer neighborhoods.

I don't think you can legally "relocate" people from their own homes, if anything it's better to give people ownership of adjacent properties in the worst neighborhoods and let them maintain it. Which is also what the city is doing.
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Old Posted May 2, 2017, 4:13 PM
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I wonder if that whole foods is a loss leader for their company? Like, hey look at us, we built in Detroit! Id be more impressed (and confident) in the city's long term solvency if they had built a Kroger or Meijer downtown. I think this comeback is the start of the real deal though, the one we've all been talking about if you grew up there. Im 20 years removed but every time I go back it seems nicer and nicer, all over SE Michigan too.
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  #15  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 5:54 PM
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Originally Posted by The North One View Post
That's exactly what they're doing, lol.

The demolition program has been going on for I think over a year now, and there are lots of community farming projects like apple orchards being planted in the outer neighborhoods.

I don't think you can legally "relocate" people from their own homes, if anything it's better to give people ownership of adjacent properties in the worst neighborhoods and let them maintain it. Which is also what the city is doing.
I know what they're doing, but it isn't what I'm suggesting. You would need to move people in order to create large enough contiguous open spaces.

You don't get anything from having a few plots here and there turned over to urban farms, even if it adds up to a lot of land in total. But creating a bunch of 10 or 50 or 100 acre parks could actually provide a great legacy for the city's eventual revival.
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  #16  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 6:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Docere View Post
For those saying the article is just "lies" and "crap."

Is it not true that Detroit's "revitalization" is pretty much entirely due to massive taxpayer subsidies to Gilbert et. al.?

Has Detroit really come roaring back or, at best, has the rate of decline been slowed down?
Dan Gilbert is one of the main reasons for Detroit's comeback, but he's not the only developer who has invested in the city, and planning new developments, there are actually quite a few of them now.

Detroit really is roaring back, but it's only in DT and some close by neighbourhoods so far. But the city as a whole is better and healthier than it has been in decades. Obviously there are still some neighbourhoods that are hollowing out, but there are also other ones throughout the city that are starting to see people move back in.
I'm pretty sure that the population loss has slowed overall, with some areas even gaining in population.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 6:34 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I know what they're doing, but it isn't what I'm suggesting. You would need to move people in order to create large enough contiguous open spaces.
You don't get anything from having a few plots here and there turned over to urban farms,
Says you, current community spaces have been a great benefit to these neighborhoods.

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even if it adds up to a lot of land in total. But creating a bunch of 10 or 50 or 100 acre parks could actually provide a great legacy for the city's eventual revival.
I don't see how this creates a "great legacy", the city can't and won't be kicking out Detroiters from their homes just to give it over to nature, these are people in case you forgot, not cattle. What you're suggesting is of little benefit to the city and makes no sense in the real world. There's no reason to destroy existing infrastructure just to create a greenbelt, the city already has plenty of parks.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 6:41 PM
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Originally Posted by pdxtex View Post
I wonder if that whole foods is a loss leader for their company? Like, hey look at us, we built in Detroit! Id be more impressed (and confident) in the city's long term solvency if they had built a Kroger or Meijer downtown. I think this comeback is the start of the real deal though, the one we've all been talking about if you grew up there. Im 20 years removed but every time I go back it seems nicer and nicer, all over SE Michigan too.
Highly doubt it, the store is right by the university and you've got plenty of midtown yuppies shopping there, employees from the medical center, etc. If anything Whole foods has an overly beneficial monopoly on the market.

Kit and Ace's luxury store in downtown was their most profitable. None of this is a charity.
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Old Posted May 2, 2017, 7:09 PM
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While the corporate boys seem to be making out like thieves in the night, you cannot always use the excuse that some areas are still losing population. Much of that maybe demographics............young people moving closer to rehabilitating areas as well as the elderly dying and homes left vacant as no one wants to live there. Even in booming Toronto down the street, some areas in the original city are losing or just maintaining their current populations.

The one really positive thing about the flourishing downtown is also psychological.......they finally see parts of the city on the rebound and the mentality of "if it can happen in that neighbourhood, maybe it can happen in mine" begins to set in. It maybe just one corridor at this point but in a few years it may be another and another and another until a constant urban form and communities begin to reconnect bothsocially and economically.

Woodward is just a start but it's a good start.
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  #20  
Old Posted May 2, 2017, 7:28 PM
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Originally Posted by 10023 View Post
I know what they're doing, but it isn't what I'm suggesting. You would need to move people in order to create large enough contiguous open spaces.

You don't get anything from having a few plots here and there turned over to urban farms, even if it adds up to a lot of land in total. But creating a bunch of 10 or 50 or 100 acre parks could actually provide a great legacy for the city's eventual revival.
Now that's a thought.

Why not create a suburban growth boundary of sorts. Let the suburbs continue to prosper by creating a new 'Emerald Necklace' around the CBD of Detroit. Let a new Frederick Law Olmstead work his/hers magic by hemming in urban Detroit with a greenbelt. The old slums turn into parkland for both urbanites of the CBD and suburbanites to recreate in.
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