Monday, January 10, 2011

Opportunity grows from disasters lesson -Detroit

Detroit lures young people

DETROIT (UPI) -- A few neighborhoods in Detroit have become so hot that seven apartment building projects are expected to get started in 2011, officials say.

Most of the projects involve renovations of older buildings that emptied out during Detroit's years of decline, the Detroit Free Press reported Sunday. The University Cultural Center Association, one of many non-profit groups involved in revitalizing the struggling city, said more than $425 million has been invested in Detroit housing construction in the past two years.

Detroit's population peaked at 1.8 million in 1950 and has dropped by half since. Some neighborhoods have so few people and so many abandoned buildings that Mayor Dave Bing wants the remaining residents to move to other neighborhoods.

But young people have begun moving into the city to neighborhoods such as Midtown, Woodbridge and New Center. Students at Wayne State and Detroit's other educational institutions are also moving closer to campus instead of commuting from the suburbs.

The new Detroiters say the attractions include the cultural and artistic life they find in the city, attractive housing that would cost three or four times as much in Boston or New York, and grants and tax credits aimed at luring them to Detroit.

Among the urban pioneers are Rachel Perschetz and Blake Vanier, both 29, who share a Detroit loft. Perschetz moved from Washington and Vanier from New York.

"In New York or D.C., you feel insignificant," Perschetz told the Free Press. "But here, we bump into nice people. It's a very uncomplicated existence."

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Brant Positive Action Group -a positive community affirmative action group that promotes goodwill and timely cost effective creative solutions to enhance the competitive well being of Brant Brantford and Six Nations  

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