A BIG 2020 IN STORE FOR DETROIT
Detroit as a city has seen huge developments over the last 6 years. Downtown has been transformed, international hotels and stores have opened, a new rail system, a new stadium, a new shopping mall, the list goes on and on. So is the development now finished and is Detroit back to its former glory?
There’s no denying that Detroit is on the up and still pushing ahead. In fact, we can expect many more developments over the coming years as it stakes its claim as the beacon city of the Mid West America. At least $3.4 billion in construction projects are currently underway in downtown alone, while another $877 million is being spent in Midtown; $389 million in the New Center; and $353 million in the central business district. That’s $5.1 billion altogether.
According to the latest reports, this capital investment will generate 6,000 new apartment units, 1,200 hotel units, and 2.1 million square feet of new office space. Many young professionals are opting to live downtown over the suburbs, as the population in Greater Downtown (including Midtown, Corktown) continues to grow.
CNN recently ran an article that aptly summarises the city’s recovery: “Six years after Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history, the Motor City is roaring back to life, Detroit’s rebound is one of the most underrated stories in the nation.”
The revitalisation of Detroit was spearheaded by Quicken Loans’ billionaire founder Dan Gilbert. He has transformed the downtown core, Gilbert’s network of companies employs 17,000 people in Detroit. Since 2009, Gilbert has pumped $5.6 billion into downtown Detroit – his own and borrowed money –and now owns more than 100 buildings in the 7.2-square-mile center.
There are so many new developments taking place in Detroit it is hard to choose just a few to mention! But here are some examples of what we can expect in the coming years:
- Fitzgerald Revitalization Project – This is the most ambitious neighborhood project the City has undertaken. Fitzgerald is near the University of Detroit Mercy and is surrounded by some of the best school and universities in the whole of Detroit. This neighborhood has hundreds of beautiful brick properties and a boatload of character but is in need of rejuvenation. There are big plans for new parks, landscaped pathways, new street lighting, new roads and other developments to get this area back to its former glory.
2. Gordie Howe International Bridge – This is a new bridge that will connect the USA with Canada. It is named after Canadian-born, Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe and will be 1.6 miles long, costing an estimated $5.7 billion.
3. Michigan Central Station – In the next three-to-four years, Ford Motor Company will build a campus for mobility in Corktown at an estimated cost of $740 million. The campus will include the old DPS Book Depository, renovated into offices, retail, and residential, and the renovation of the long-vacant Michigan Central Station.
4. The Mid – The Mid will be the biggest development in Detroit north of Mack Avenue since the 1920s. Initial plans call for a 25-story, 228-room hotel with luxury condos making up the top nine floors; a 30-story mixed-use, multi-family development with 250 apartments and first-floor retail; and a 12-story building with “co-living” spaces.
5. Hudson’s site – The new Hudson’s will total approximately 1,000,000 square feet (not including underground parking for 700 cars), with 330 residential units and 240,000 square feet of office space at a cost of over $900 million.
6 . The Monroe Blocks – Covering the area between Campus Martius and Randolph along Monroe, the project as initially announced would add a 35-story office tower plus residential at a cost of $830 million.
7. Fiat Chrysler Plants – At the Connor Creek Industrial Center, the automobile company will spend $1.6 billion converting its Mack Avenue Engine Complex to produce next generation Jeeps, and $900 million to retool the Jefferson North Assembly Plant. It estimates that these upgrades will bring 5,000 new jobs to Detroit.
8. East Riverfront – The Riverfront is already a popular destination in Detroit, but numerous projects will make it more accessible and attractive to visitors. Expect redevelopment of vacant warehouses and land, increased residential and retail, streetscaping along Jefferson Avenue, a new greenway, an urban beach, and the Riverwalk extending to Belle Isle.
These are just a snippet of some of the new developments taking place in the every changing city of Detroit, so much progress has been made. All of these changes have had a positive impact on the housing market, as we have seen that property prices have risen in the last six years.The Detroit metro area has experienced year-on-year increases in employment every month since June 2010 so this has pushed up the rental market.
When Realtor.com released their list of the US hottest property markets, Detroit came among the top 20 and, according to Zillow, whilst house prices have continued to grow since 2011 they are still a huge way of their historic norms. This suggests that there is still significant space for growth and the possibility for property appreciation to continue for some time.
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