August 5, 2013

Detroit’s Bankruptcy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kevin Bauman @ 1:12 pm

I realize this is old news, and my opinion is one of way too many, so I won’t spend any time on it at this point. I generally find there are two types of people, those who think “good riddance”, with hopes for Detroit’s complete demise, and those who think the only direction is up, and that, in fact, despite the bankruptcy Detroit is in the beginning stages of an exciting rebirth.

As usual, I tend to find myself trying to occupy some kind of middle ground. Detroit is really as bad as the pessimists say, and it’s probably as exciting as the boosters say. How can it be both? Well, it depends on who you are, where you come from, how you make your living, what you expect from the city, and your past experiences in Detroit. Some people have experienced terrible violence, poverty, and despair in the city, while some young newcomers have only experienced the exciting opportunities that might await the young, educated, creative, and often somewhat privileged background. Both experiences are real, and are happening everyday in Detroit. What I saw over the years was that a few areas were experiencing the gentrification of young, hip, educated creative types, while the majority of the city was suffering from the former, namely poverty and violence.

I read this article in the Free Press a few weeks ago, and one paragraph in particular highlighted the divide I experienced over the years:

The projects underscore what appears to be a dichotomy in Detroit’s real-estate market, where a few trendy areas in and around the city’s core continue to attract young professionals and empty nesters as most other city neighborhoods cope with a decaying housing stock, abandoned structures and rock-bottom land prices.

There were a few other interesting parts as well:

Like all recent downtown and Midtown developments, this east riverfront project would depend on a hodgepodge of various government subsidies and foundation support, as Detroit rents are not yet high enough to support all-private ventures.

Unfortunately, this problem won’t change until enough people are making enough money to support the needed rental prices.


  1. You are right that for some it is a total demise of Detroit and for some it is a positive sign as they believe that Detroit can go up from here meaning towards growth.I am of the latter opinion that Detroit has now nothing to loose.It can only take one path that is the growth path and can only rebuild from here. Some good govt policies and developers taking interest in the redevelopment of the Detroit city will boost the economy of Detroit and attract more and more investors to buy the investment properties in Detroit.

    Comment by Honestdeals — August 5, 2013 @ 11:32 pm

  2. When time Magazine offered advertising space for a campaign designed to draw this very demographic to southeastern Michigan, they asked five large agencies to answer the question, “If I’m young, talented and creative, and open to all kinds of opportunities, why Detroit?” Take a look at the ads … My personal opinion is that these ads do a better job of answering, “if I’m young, talented and creative, and open to all kinds of opportunities, why leave Detroit?” The ads do a great job of pointing out the disconnect that exists between those who have lived here a long time, and made lots of money here, and those of a younger more mobile generation. Outside of the suburbs of Detroit, who cares about Kid Rock? It really makes me wonder, if these people even understand what types of music the target demographic listens to? I can tell you, it’s not Kid Rock. Not a single one touched on any compelling reason for someone from outside of the area, to relocated here. Why are we even asking the old guard how to attract a new generation of creative, enthusiastic, and highly motivated entrepreneurs and creatives? L. Brooks Patterson still wants to stake metro Detroit’s future on the widening of I-75 from 8 Mile to M-59. MDOT and SEMCOG still seem to believe all transportation should be done in an automobile. No bikes, no trains, no walking…again that’s for the Third World poor, such as those in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, London, Brussels, and Toronto.

    Comment by get smart — August 21, 2013 @ 4:29 am

  3. Wait a second ‘get smart’…I wrote that comment here:

    Comment by admin — September 1, 2013 @ 8:10 pm

  4. Although I am a french canadian, I find all of this quite sad. Over the years, I have travelled extensively in the United States but never been to Detroit. I have often seen houses abandoned in many small cities but only the odd one. This, on the other hand, is something else.

    Some of those houses are quite beautiful still and all that history is roting away… It is as if all the people who have built, dreamed, lived and died for this city over the years have never existed. It seems that respect has been pushed aside.

    Somehow, I feel the urge to see this for myself as a reminder of the incredible stupidity of mankind.

    Comment by Josee Seguin — October 28, 2013 @ 6:31 am

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