The city of Detroit and the Detroit region are reinventing themselves for the 21st century. That requires massive transformation, collaboration and innovative thinking. Like all big cities, Detroit has faced serious challenges for some time and is now at the tipping point of being able to benefit from its stress. The region knows how to make and move things and is harnessing its diverse talents, opportunities and natural resources to recreate its future. The elements are there.
Even during these challenging times the Detroit region is the economic powerhouse for the entire state of Michigan and the nation. It ranks 7th in total number of business establishments nationally. Detroit is the strongest link in the longest common border in the world – the U.S./Canada border. Trade between Ontario and Michigan is more than $100 billion annually. The Detroit region has the elements to become a world-class aerotropolis — two major airport facilities, over 25,000 acres of developable land and supportive community leadership. Emerging Sectors has brought in over $1 billion in new investment in Oakland County.
The Detroit region is home to the University Research Corridor (URC) of Wayne State University, University of Michigan and Michigan State University. The URC leverages the intellectual capital of the three research universities to attract the knowledge economy businesses. In 2007 it generated $13.3 billion in new earnings as well as 69,285 jobs.
The low cost of living in the Detroit region is also very attractive. Recently, the New York Times ran a story on the amazing value of houses in Detroit right now. The reporter, Toby Barlow, talked about his recent move from Brooklyn to Detroit where he had purchased a townhouse for $100,000 in “arguably the most beautiful Mies van der Rohe development ever built – an island of perfect modernism forgotten by the rest of the world.” The story also mentioned that others were picking up houses for a few thousand dollars; one as low as $1,900. This will attract young people and investors to the downtown Detroit area.