Detroit’s downtown ‘starting to fight back’
Upwardly mobile lead the way
By Andrea Billups - The Washington Times
DETROIT — For the past seven months, geologist Dan Ten Brink has made his home in a loft in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, working at an upscale cafe to make ends meet while on the lookout for a more permanent job.
The Grand Rapids native, 26 and single, loves city living and riding his bike all over town, and he notes that today’s Detroit, while decidedly urban, retains a small-town feel that is less overwhelming than, say, Chicago or New York.
He is part of a trend of young professionals who are relocating to Detroit. Although the city has lost significant population in the past several decades, including a 25 percent drop from 2000 to 2010, one demographic is up 59 percent: college-educated professionals ages 24 to 35 who live downtown, according to the 2010 census.
With a host of apartments, condos and lofts opening in midtown and several large companies such as Quicken Loans, Compuware and Blue Cross and Blue Shield moving operations to the city center - and offering cash incentives, no less, to staffers willing to live nearby - the rebirth of Detroit is capturing the imaginations of young and upwardly mobile explorers who say they want to get in on the ground floor of what they describe as a cultural shift.
“This is a city that is starting to fight back,” Mr. Ten Brink said. “A lot of people have moved in from the suburbs because they want to be a part of a growing urban culture.
“It’s starting to turn upbeat here,” he said. “It’s a fun area to be around. I feel like new things are happening, and it’s great to see it taking shape.”
A city opening its doors
After taking years of criticism for political malfeasance, a foreclosure epidemic and epic blight, Detroit was named last month by Forbes magazine as the best American city for business. READ MORE…