I went to lunch with my uncle not too long ago in Ann Arbor, and we began talking about the state of the Detroit real estate market. Since we are both real estate brokers, we have a vested interest (so to speak) in the local real estate markets. He is based out of Ann Arbor and I am based out of Detroit. We talked about the vacant land issues; abandoned home issues; ideas for new industries. But what struck a chord with me was his question - "How do you get control over the all the violence?"
His question started me to think. What can we do about the violence in the city. Is violence and actual 'fear' driving and keeping people away from buying and investing in Detroit? I mean, who wants to buy a home in a place where they fear for their lives and the lives of their family?
I was born in Detroit at Henry Ford Hospital in 1974. I was raised in the Rosedale Park sub-division on the west side and was educated by Detroit Public schools. No matter where I go or where I have lived, I've always consider Detroit to be my home. And all my life, Detroit has been depicted as a dangerous place to live or visit. Yet, even with the dwindling population, there are still over 700,000 people like me who call Detroit their home.
The thing to me about our city is that we are known as a city of pioneers. We are world renown for pioneering the auto industry. We are world renown for pioneering the 'Motown sound'. Those of us who were born and raised in the city of Detroit have been infused with this pioneering spirit. The thing about pioneers, however, is that when pioneers see better opportunities somewhere else, they are often off to go explore those opportunities. The other thing about pioneers is their tendency to be aggressive. I believe that this aggressiveness has also been infused in those who were born and raised in Detroit. To me, when this aggressiveness in not properly channeled in a positive direction, it can become the fuel to feed the inner violent tendencies of some people. However, I also tend to believe that the violence is also due to the overwhelming frustrations of a people who feel forsaken and forgotten and who lack a proper and positive outlet to channel these frustrations into productive activity. So what do we do about this? Where do we begin? The first place to start is by looking in the mirror.
I believe in Detroit. I believe that Detroit will make a huge comeback. I believe that the Detroit real estate market will survive, revive and once again thrive. I believe that loyal Detroiters, who refuse to move or be shaken (even in the mist of bankruptcy) will be rewarded for their loyalty by seeing a significant increase in home values, a significant reduction in property taxes and a return of the manufacturing industry which will bring much needed jobs. I truly believe these things will happen. Now, when it will happen...who knows? It may be 5-10 years or longer, but I believe it will happen. I believe in Detroit.