This month, several national media outlets have written profiles on the City of Detroit to mark the 5 year anniversary of its bankruptcy filing. In 2013 Detroit became the largest US municipality to file for bankruptcy, a story that received extensive coverage. At the time, Detroit was crippled by massive debt and a staggering decline in population. So where is Detroit today and what lessons have we learned from 2013? According to this CNN article, Detroit has made huge positive gains despite “having a long way to go.”
The loss in population has slowed drastically, with several sections of the city actually experiencing gains in population - specifically in the “greater downtown area.” This area includes neighborhoods such as Corktown, New Center, and the Cass Corridor. Perhaps the most telling sign of how far Detroit has come since the pits of the financial crisis is the massive drop in the unemployment rate. From a high of 22% to the latest figure of 8%. While statistics are a great indicator of progress, the visual signs of progress are even more tangible. Anyone that drives down Woodward Avenue, the inconic road that separates the city East from West, can tell that something special is happening in the city’s center. Construction cranes and “coming soon” signs line the streets. Major developments are flooding Detroit, including a massive skyscraper set to be the tallest in the State of Michigan.
But as Detroit residents will tell you, the money being poured into downtown does not improve their quality of life. They worry about city services, schools, and public safety. As referenced in the CNN article, Detroit’s police response time has improved and once absent city services like street sweeping have returned. Also, thousands of abandoned dangerous structures have been demolished with thousands of other properties renovated. This is a direct positive impact on the neighborhoods, and drives more families to consider moving back to the city. As Deteoit’s comeback story continues to unfold, US Investor Group will be here to chronicle every chapter.