Urban Pioneers Attracted to Detroit

The Economist paints a gloomy picture of an ailing Detroit, but also says there is hope in the form of urban pioneers attracted by the affordability of space.

In the decade of the aughts, says The Economist, Detroit lost 25% of its population. The struggles of Mayor Bing to make "shrinkage" work are detailed in the article, but it also presents a ray of hope in the form of people like developer Dan Gilbert:

"Mr Gilbert is reshaping Detroit's centre. Last year he moved his main business, Quicken Loans, the largest internet mortgage company in America, from the quiet suburbs into a building on Campus Martius park, the heart of downtown. His 1,700 staff there were joined, earlier this month, by another 2,000 people whom he moved into a second building nearby. From his window Mr Gilbert points to some of his other acquisitions, including one, of 800,000 square feet, that he bought for just $8m and intends to let out. It is hard to beat $10 a square foot for downtown office space."

Full Story: So cheap, there’s hope

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