Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
Detroit’s comeback is grabbing the nation’s attention, including this blog at the Huffington Post: “Detroit Hustles Harder: the All-American Comeback City” by Shannah L. Compton and co-authored by Jeff Game.
There is a city in the middle of America that is fast becoming a hipster haven full of artists, young entrepreneurs, and a rapidly rising restaurant scene - and we are not talking about the Windy City. Detroit is on the comeback trail, and travelers around the world will be taking notice.
Mercy Mercy Me
Once the classic Americana city, Detroit was the industrial manufacturing mecca for decades around the world. The bottom finally dropped out in 2013 when Detroit became the largest American municipality to declare bankruptcy.
In July 2013, Governor Rick Snyder refused to kick the can down the road and decided that it was time to address one of Michigan’s biggest problems—Detroit. He partnered with a bipartisan coalition of private organizations, foundations, and the public sector to create the ‘Grand Bargain’ in order to reduce cuts and ensure city services were maintained. The Grand Bargain accelerated the city’s bankruptcy process, and now, Detroit is once again an example of our nation’s hard work and comeback spirit.
Living for the City
The number one priority [in Detroit] is to create businesses that in turn create jobs. Entrepreneur Phil Cooley, the creator of Ponyride, gives creative small businesses a start in Detroit, and is helping to change the business model landscape in the city. Cooley is owner and driving force behind the success of a Detroit original restaurant institution, Slow's BBQ. PonyRide gives small-business owners a platform, workspace and a living-breathing support system that local government programs have never provided.
PonyRide has infused the city with creativity, which has created an opportunity for so many startup businesses that are now thriving under their large communal of commerce. The list of successful homegrown businesses continues to grow.
"Detroit has incredible people that engineer things, design things and build things,” Cooley said, reflecting on the working spirit of its local artistry. "Detroiters will save themselves, Detroit will save itself."
Since 2013, 77 new restaurants have opened in Detroit, with much more on the way in 2015 and beyond. Many locals have set up shop and created the kitchen fare of their dreams while former Detroiters have headed back to their hometown roots for this restaurant revival.
Earlier this year, our blog, “Cooking a Comeback in Detroit” highlighted how the culinary scene is playing an integral role in the city’s resurgence. The program, Detroit Kitchen Connect, in partnership with Eastern Market and FoodLab-Detroit, helps food entrepreneurs overcome the high cost of setting up a commercial kitchen by providing access to commercial, licensed kitchen facilities and equipment. Restaurant entrepreneurs who are part of the program buy local goods at Eastern Market and in turn use them to make and sell their own value-added products.
Already under construction, the state of the art M-1 streetcar rail system will cut through, connect its neighborhoods and propel Detroit into a modern-day and innovative city. More condominiums and hotels are being designed and built. An epic contemporary hockey arena for the dynasty-driven Red Wings will open in 2017 in the new "Detroit District" and will include retail and commercial components. Detroit quite possibly is becoming one of the coolest cities in America.
In 2013, the governor announced the new streetcar system to be built along the historic Woodward Avenue corridor, connecting downtown Detroit with the city’s booming Midtown neighborhood. Later that year, Governor Snyder announced yet another project, the new Detroit events center and entertainment district, creating 4,380 jobs.
Envisioning a stellar future, Phil Cooley is ever the optimist for the people of Detroit. Cooley declares," In the next 5-10 years, Detroit will have a lot of awesome and strange neighborhoods that other cities do not have, it will not look like any other place."
Click here to read the entire blog on the Huffington Post: Detroit Hustles Harder: The All-American Comeback City.
Read more about Detroit's comeback on the Reinvention Blog: