I grew up in the Brewster projects of Detroit and later the University District where you could find some of the best homes money could buy in America.
I grew up wanting to live in these homes. Although a person can buy homes like the two above for a steal in Detroit or even a piece of crap for $500 I could not live in Detroit. I don’t care how cheap the property is I prefer not to live in fear of my life.
I agree with most of what was said on this subject. Someone even hinted at the problem of segregation still being an issue; and therefore, hindering Detroit’s comeback. Racist thinking by Detroiters and the geographically segregated living situation in southeast Michigan is not just an issue it is one of Detroit’s biggest issues.
Unless the people of Detroit take it upon themselves to take charge of their future by changing the way they presently think of themselves and their neighbors the next 50 years will only be worse than its past and present.
On its face, cheap land in Detroit may present an awesome opportunity. You can buy a city block for a couple of grand or a 10,000 square foot mansion for a few hundred grand. The city’s physical infrastructure of roads and freeways are awesome. It sits on a river looking at another country. Detroit has a great history, it is in close proximity to some of the worlds greatest universities, it has a cultural center, and has some great sports teams. Not to mention it is Motown.
Twitter thinks Detroit is good enough to set up shop and so does Compuware. So its only a matter of time before Detroit turns into the Silicon Valley of the Midwest. And, with the resurgence of the auto industry in 50 years, there will be a Cadillac in every driveway.
That could be true. But if Detroiters mindset remain the same that driveway will be in the suburbs of Detroit. One of Detroit’s greatest assets is its freeways. It allows those who work downtown to drive safely to the suburbs without encountering any of Detroit’s residents, blight or danger. You will just see Detroit from the TV like everyone else in the country. Ironically, one of its greatest assets contributes to its greatest problem. Tax revenue. People work in Detroit and drive home to live and shop in the suburbs.
You need professionals who earn high wages to work, live and shop inside of Detroit to build the tax base for better services and schools. It is that simple and that complicated.
How complicated is it? If I told you that I would give you a city block worth of property inside of Detroit in an area like the one below:
would you take it? Are you willing to put everything you have worked for including a college education, your family, and physical possessions near the criminal element in Detroit? Let me answer that for you. No.
If the answer were yes I would not be writing this from California. In fact, I would not be writing this at all. Sure, there are some brave souls out there who would move in with their second amendment right strapped to their hip. But, Detroit needs more than a few brave (or stupid depending on the outcome) people looking for deals.
Before any of the lofty ideas for Detroit’s rejuvenation can have a meaningful and long-term effect on Detroit the City of Detroit has to change. The residents of Detroit have to change. At a minimum, they have to adjust. It doesn’t mean the residents have to be replaced i.e gentrification.
Instead of being seen as the victims of gentrification, past racial hatred, current racial hatred and physical segregation the current residents of Detroit have to somehow become empowered in their own future. They have to ignore to the degree possible all of the negative obstacles in front of them and make a way for themselves first and foremost by themselves. Not excluding help from others but helping themselves first. They have to continuously and patiently work toward a long-term solution to a long-term problem. One individual at a time. One family at a time. One neighborhood at a timeDetroiters
ers have to raise their own standards. They can’t wait for some outsider to altruistically come in and supply Detroiters with jobs. Because they won’t. This is America the land of the opportunist.
It is up to Detroiters to fight and educate or re-educate themselves to become marketable to business owners so that they see the value in employing Detroiters instead of people in Ohio, or Texas, or China, or India.
Let’s try it again:
If I told you that I would give you a city block worth of property inside of Detroit in an area with houses like the one falling down in the picture above would you take it?
Would you be willing to put everything you have worked for including a college education, a family and physical possessions near people demonstrating that they are seriously trying to better themselves through education and hard work? Would you want neighbors who are demanding that their friends and family members strive to be productive citizens and not look for handouts but look to knock down any obstacle in their way to being a successful neighbor and Detroiter?
Sure you would. You likely live next to people like that now with a huge mortgage in a home much smaller than a city block.