Google “Detroit Comeback” and you’ll get pages and pages of results. Many of these are predictions that Detroit is on the verge of the greatest American comeback of our time, describing the hundreds of new, trendy restaurants, the vibrant arts scene, and the millennials flocking to become part of the city’s rebirth.
A Michigan State University study released in late 2016 sounded a more cautious note, asserting that most of the city’s rebirth has happened in a few areas concentrated on downtown and Midtown, and that areas outside of the core are not sharing in the renaissance. While it is important not to lose sight of the very real difficulties still facing the city in its revitalization efforts, the study downplays two important elements.
The first is that, while it may seem like it, the comeback of the downtown and Midtown didn’t happen overnight. It was the result of decades of hard work, dedication, and belief in the city by its residents and champions.
QEA has been working in the city for over 30 years, and we have seen time and again how even small-scale rehabilitation projects have been catalysts for change. We’ve been fortunate to participate in many of those projects, and we see the current intensity of the redevelopment and infill in these areas as the achievement of critical mass built on decades of work.