Detroit Showing Hope

detroit

There is hope for Detroit.  The city has developers breathing new life into the district.  Companies like Google and Quicken Loans are buying real estate in the downtown area and filling vacant buildings with new jobs.  Committees are removing the run down and abandoned structures in the inner city in hopes of rebuilding and renewing neighborhoods.  Young people are flocking into the city, and businesses are following.

The downtown district has reshaped itself completely over the years.  Fifteen years ago, even a native Detroiter would not feel the most comfortable walking around downtown.  Now people are seeing something new.  People from all walks of life are freely engaging with one another.  Working together, playing together, and thinking with each other to rise above.  An optimism is fighting its way into the hearts of these people, despite all of their struggles.

The city has filed for bankruptcy, the inner city is rough with crime, and the residents have been through corrupt leaders that have robbed from the people time and time again. The once thriving manufacturing capital of the world became an eyesore of a metropolis, and for a while, it seemed as if everyone had forgotten about the Motor City.  That is everyone except for the people of Detroit.

One can talk to residents that have lived there throughout all of the change, and the overwhelming consensus is these people have love for their city. They know the negative qualities, and even when it was nearly impossible to identify positive traits about their surroundings, the people of Detroit seem to never give up.  There is this inherent sense of community engrained in them.  They take it everywhere they go. Notice a person from this path never seems to say “Michigan,” or “The Midwest,” when asked where they come from, the answer is always “Detroit.”  These are people who years ago lived in neighborhoods that more resembled war zones than any quiet suburb. Finally, there is new hope emerging for the city and it’s loyal.

Dan Gilbert has played a huge role in installing these changes.  The Quicken Loans CEO has headquartered his company downtown, and has 12,000 locals working for him.  His investments in real estate, high-end security technology, community events and the city itself speaks volumes.  Investors are looking into the area and have been buying properties and planning new developments.  The riverfront, once sullen and boring, is now a beautiful park that holds numerous events every year.  Google recently bought a chunk of properties for offices downtown.  Mike Illitch, owner of the Red Wings and Tigers sports organizations, recently got his plan approved for a new hockey arena downtown that includes commercial and residential development in its plans.  The list continues to go on and on.  Business leaders are putting their money on the table betting Motown will surge in the near future.

Will Detroit ever be able to become a thriving city center like Chicago?  Only time will tell. Things are looking up for the city.  Investments are there. Opportunity is there.  There is money to be made.  There is change to contribute to.  There are people there, filled with courage, and love, and desire.  Hard working families that haven’t succumbed to a struggling auto industry, and corrupt officials.  People that have not given up hope, even when down to their last dollar.  Motivated to succeed, Detroit appears to be on its way back out of the shadows.

Editorial By  Vyctor Andres

The Huffington Post

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