97% of homes in Detroit had 40% or more home appreciation in the last five years. Detroit ranks number one in price jumps in North American cities. Even higher than San Francisco (69%), Vancouver (68%) abd Toronto (59%).
Dan Gilbert, a local Detroit Billionaire and the founder of Quicken Loans and owner of NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, has invested over $5.6 billion across downtown Detroit through his real estate venture, Bedrock. Bedrock has about 100 properties in Detroit alone. The family of companies employs over 17,000 staff in Detroit. Quicken Loans, the largest mortgage lender in the US, was moved to Detroit in 2010.
Metro Detroit is among the top five financial centers in the U.S. having all of the accounting firms. The area’s major financial service employers include Quicken Loans, Ally Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, Bank of America, Comerica, PNC Financial Services, Fifth Third Bank, JP Morgan Chase, GE Capital, TD Auto Finance, Deloitte Touche, KPMG, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Baker Tilly, Plante Moran, Robert Half International, and Raymond James.
Metro Detroit has diversified its economic base though initiatives in emerging technologies. Michigan typically ranks third or fourth in overall Research & Development (R&D) expenditures in the United States. In 2011, Detroit received the first U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outside the Washington, D.C. area.
Metro Detroit accounts for the State’s national ranking in emerging technology fields such as life sciences, information technology, and advanced manufacturing; Metro Detroit’s technology sector is fifth in the U.S. for total employment and fourth in the percent of employment concentrated within the sector. In 2010, the Detroit area became the fastest growing region in the U.S. for high technology jobs.
In 2019, Google confirms $17 million investment for Detroit and Ann Arbor expansion. Currently, Google has about 164,000 square feet of office space in the Michigan locations, with about 100 employees in the Detroit office. Google offices will grow from 164,000 square feet to 210,000 square feet.
The most ambitious neighborhood project in the city is taking place in the Fitzgerald neighborhood near the University of Detroit Mercy. Led by Century Partners and the Platform, the Fitzgerald Revitalization Project originally called for the renovation of over 100 homes when it was first announced in 2017, but only 13 were expected to be done by the end of summer 2019. (Now Completed)
In other neighborhood news, nearby on the Avenue of Fashion, redevelopment of the old B. Siegel department store should be completed soon, adding more retail and residential space. Streetscaping projects on Livernois and McNichols have gotten underway.
In 2017, the city sold land in Delray to the state of Michigan for bridge development. The bridge, named after Canadian-born, Detroit Red Wings legend Gordie Howe, will be 1.6 miles long and cost an estimated $5.7 billion. The international crossing will also have bike and pedestrian lanes. Construction on the American side officially broke ground in July 2018 and is expected to be completed by 2024.
The Motown Museum announced all the way back in 2016 that it would be embarking on a $50 million expansion, turning the Hitsville U.S.A. home where Motown began into a 50,000 square foot complex with interactive exhibits, a new theater, recording studios, and expanded meeting and retail space. The museum has spent the last three years fundraising. It’s gotten support from a number of foundations, and most recently, Berry Gordy himself donated $4 million. In September, it broke ground on the first phase of construction—the renovation of three homes facing West Grand Boulevard is expected to be completed in summer 2020.
In the next three-to- four years, Ford Motor Company will build a campus for mobility in Corktown at an estimated cost of $740 million. The broader project will include the old DPS Book Depository, renovated into offices, retail, and residential; and, of course, the long-vacant Michigan Central Station. The infusion of 5,000 workers, renovations, and subsequent investment could be the biggest.
Announced in March 2019, The Mid will be the biggest development in Detroit north of Mack Avenue since the 1920s. Initial plans call for a 25-story, 228-room hotel with luxury condos making up the top nine floors; a 30-story mixed-use, multi- family development with 250 apartments and first-floor retail; and a 12-story building with “co-living” spaces. The $377 million project is slated to be completed by the end of 2020. After receiving $58 million in tax incentives and negotiating a community benefits agreement, the project is expected to break ground soon.
Vacant for nearly two decades, the new Hudson’s will total approximately 1,000,000 square feet (not including underground parking for 700 cars), with 330 residential units and 240,000 square feet of office space at a cost of over $900 million. Bedrock broke ground on the site in December 2017 and the completion date is expected in 2023.
The East Riverfront is already a popular destination in Detroit, but numerous projects will make it more accessible and attractive to visitors. Expect redevelopment of vacant warehouses and land, increased residential and retail, streetscaping along Jefferson Avenue, a new greenway, an urban beach, and the Riverwalk extending to Belle Isle.
A major redevelopment will take place at the West Riverfront Park as well. This plot of land in the west side industrial area will be transformed with trees, playscapes, sports courts, trails, and a beach in the coming years. In October last year, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation donated $50 million to construction and upkeep, which will be called the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park.
FCA announced that it would invest heavily in upgrades to its own on Detroit’s east side. At the Connor Creek Industrial Center, the automobile company will spend $1.6 billion converting its Mack Avenue Engine Complex to produce next generation Jeeps, and $900 million to retool the Jefferson North Assembly Plant. It estimates that these upgrades will bring 5,000 new jobs to Detroit.
The city successfully accumulated the land necessary to complete the deal, which was soon after approved by City Council. The project is expected to receive over $400 million in tax incentives.