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.
October 21, 2011, 8am PDT | Tim Halbur
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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."

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Published on Thursday, October 20, 2011 in The Economist
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