Here are 10 reasons why I think Detroit will succeed:
- Detroit now has excellent, cooperative political leadership with the mayor and City Council president working together for the first time in memory. Mayor Mike Duggan has certified turnaround skills that have already begun to show fruit. He garnered a $53,000,000 demolition grant in addition to a transportation grant to repair buses.
- Detroit has a super clean future balance sheet. Post-bankruptcy promises to be a booming time for the D.
- Detroit has great entrepreneurs such as Dan Gilbert, who has bought more than 50 buildings downtown. Dan and others like him are fully committed to turning downtown Detroit into a super vibrant place to work, shop and play.
- Detroit’s philanthropic community’s response to the bankruptcy is unheard of. Members demonstrated the depth of their commitment by pledging an unprecedented $366 million to help out the pensioners and keep Detroit’s artwork out of creditors’ hands.
- Detroit has 25 percent of the world’s fresh water —a product that is in short supply and, sooner or later, people will have to come to where the water is. Just ask the Pepsi Co. bottling plant, which last year sold more than $4 billion of Detroit’s water to the rest of the world.
- The automotive industry is back on top of its game with a pent-up demand for new cars and a demand for new engineers and computer experts that rival Silicon Valley.
- Enter a new generation of optimists: Young, energetic intellectuals who are occupying office space, living in lofts and cramming into bars. The change is happening before our eyes, and it is almost unbelievable.
- Detroit has the best real estate values in the country and probably the world. Where else can you get a cap rate of 15 percent or better? Real estate is still selling for a mere fraction of its value against a pent-up demand for quality housing. The availability of move-in ready real estate is now becoming an issue. Evidence surfaced when Detroit Land Bank Authority auctioned off five houses last week starting at $1,000 each. The houses, which needed repairs, sold between $30,000 and $42,000.
- Bordering Canada, Detroit is a major international city and expanding transportation hub.
- Detroit has a great international airport with connections all over the world, and with plans to include a new airport rail system, additional runways and terminal expansions
I believe Detroit is headed for a future brighter than anyone could have imagined. These are exciting times, and it is just the beginning.