You have seen the commercials on Channel 7. This ABC affiliate is one of the only sources that is talking about this great wave of change coming to Metro Detroit. Occassionally there is some mention of it in the Detroit Free Press. The idea here is that in 2020 the residents of Metro Detroit will be exposed to a whole new city. That leaves us with 8 years. Not 20. 8.
The last 8 years zipped by with corruption, a murder investigation tied to the mayor and other horrendous conditions including embezzlement and mismanagement of funds. The core issues of the problem have still yet to be addressed in the form of the downtown area which is a crime ridden shambles. These buildings sit vacant and are deteriorating at a rapid rate. Some blocks continue to be an eyesore while other blocks, (not sure how the zoning works here) are being torn down completely. I have noticed this near the famous Lafayette Coney Island restaurant.
Retail and big box stores still elude the city. They come in briefly only to falter or go out of business like the Borders chain. We do have some things going on in the city which are upscale including a couple of new hotels and the Hard Rock Detroit. There are a couple of high end restaurants but the city still suffers from a lack of police.
Worse.... aside from the major media I have noticed a lot of my real estate associates are exceptionally quiet when it comes to the city of Detroit. This city serves as a microcosm for other cities with similar problems.
Ann Arbor, Michigan - Zoning And The Red Light District
20+ years ago Ann Arbor, Michigan had a serious crime element. They still have a pretty healthy criminal scene but that has diminished over the years thanks to a lot of smart zoning. There was a motion to get rid of adult themed businesses along 4th avenue which included a book store, a video store, which attracted a lot of low end clientele. The YMCA, (which has been relocated) also attracted some serious criminal activity along with some infamous killers in American crime.
Since that area has been cleaned up this element has disappeared off the face of the map in Ann Arbor. The entire downtown is now family friendly. The bar scene on Main street has also picked up a lot of high end customers and today it is a new city. But even that took 20+ years.
Detroit suffers from a lack of structure, vision, and focus.
There is also a problem with the core of downtown. Many of these buildings are owned by one person and he will not give up the control of these dilapidated eyesores or allow them to be rented out. As a result, we all suffer for it.
This is a difficult topic to talk about. I put it in your hands and welcome your thoughts and input.