Coming home — to America’s Comeback City

September 15, 2016

By Josh Paciorek

Detroit is America’s Comeback City, and former Detroiters were invited to come home to witness the progress — and maybe even become a part of the momentum.

The third Detroit Homecoming event began on September 14, and Governor Rick Snyder joined Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan to participate in the excitement. Detroit Homecoming is a program designed to attract expats back to the city and invite them to invest in Detroit’s comeback. The three-day event provides an opportunity for the city to show off some of the remarkable changes underway, the Governor said.

“Make no doubt about it, Detroit is the Comeback City, and we are all so excited to see the city continue to grow,” Snyder said. “Since the first Homecoming event in 2014, expats have launched new ventures, invested in real estate and local companies, and found dozens of ways to support their hometown. The world is taking notice of the incredible transformation taking place in Detroit.”

And they’re liking what they’re seeing, so much so, that areas like Midtown Detroit and downtown Detroit have occupancy rates of 97 percent and 98 percent. And that’s because they’re able to find good-paying jobs within the city. More than 85,000 individuals work in Detroit’s Central Business District, and since 2010, downtown Detroit has added more than 16,000 employees.

Investors are also taking notice of Detroit’s revival. Over a six year span between 2006 and 2012, more than $4.2 billion was invested in a total of 176 real estate development projects. But, in the following two years alone, $5.2 billion was invested in a total of 258 real estate development projects. One of those new developments is District Detroit, a project that will be home to new businesses, parks, restaurants, and Little Caesars Arena.

While at this year’s Homecoming event, Snyder presented the Governor’s Award for Arts and Culture — the Guvvy — to Jeffrey Seller, producer of the Broadway hit, “Hamilton.” Sellers — a native of Oak Parks and a graduate of the University of Michigan — was recognized for his tremendous accomplishments in the arts.

Since the homecoming event began three years ago, it has attracted more than 300 expats to visit their home and see what’s happening. Expats have invested more than $260 million in city projects and businesses.

You can watch a livestream of the various Detroit homecoming events throughout the week here.