25 Reasons Why Detroit Is On The Verge Of An Epic Comeback

detroit red wings

Detroit just became the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy

The city is staring down a $20 billion unfunded liability vortex.

Meanwhile, crime, unemployment and broken infrastructure remain endemic.

But we’re banking on the city getting its act together — and it’s not just because things can’t get any worse.

We’ve put together 25 signs Detroit is on the mend.

 Here’s the summary: 

  • In several major economic indicators, Detroit’s rate of improvement has matched or exceeded the national average.
  • Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick aside, the city enjoys strong leadership.
  • The auto industry is booming.
  • Its sports teams remain hugely successful.
  • It’s also becoming an increasingly popular centre, for a new wave of entrepreneurs.

Hear us out.

Let's start with the obvious: cars.

The auto industry is leading the entire nation in the recovery: manufacturers sold more than 14 million vehicles in the United States last year, up 13% from 2011, according to UPI's Al Swanson. Credit Suisse said vehicle purchases accounted for around 30% of domestic economic growth during the first six months of last year, Swanson reported.

Here are GM's recent and projected revenues — up every year since 2010...

And Ford's, on pace to break $140 billion next year.

The rebound is so robust that Chinese automakers and parts suppliers are setting up shop in the city.

The country's largest automaker, Shanghai Automotive Industries, opened up offices there last year.

Source: New York Times

Besides the big automakers, Detroit remains home to a dozen additional Fortune 500 companies.

Lear, BorgWarner and Con-way are all based in the area.

Source: Fortune

Lots of local data has been at or exceeded national averages: home prices — up 19% YOY in March...

And housing starts — which have seen gains 11 of the past 13 quarters.

Payrolls have not seen a negative month since April 2010...

Especially in manufacturing — growth in which has outpaced the national average every month since March 2010.

And local household finances have improved in 11 of the past 13 quarters.

Meanwhile, the city saw a 68% increase in hotel night stays from 2011-2012.

It went to 183K in 2012 from 109K in 2011,, and is on pace to exceed 200,000 in 2013.

Source: Freep

The metro area boasts five of Brand Innovators' 25 startups to watch in 2013.

Including 5-hour energy, which is based in suburban Farmington Hills.

Source: Freep

The city has smart, powerful leaders on its side.

Gov. Rick Snyder, whose Twitter handle is @onetoughnerd, is a CPA who served as an executive at Gateway for most of his career. He's made turning Detroit around the state's top priority.

Source: Freep

The guy Snyder appointed as the city's emergency financial manager helped rescue Chrysler.

And its native sons and daughters refuse to let it die.

Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert has reportedly spent at least $1 billion buying up distressed properties.

Source: New York Times

Jack White just paid $142,000 to save an iconic Masonic temple from foreclosure.

He tried to remain anonymous but they've ended up renaming it after him.

Source: Freep

Among the companies moving employees back to inner-city Detroit are Gilbert's Quicken Loans...

Source: New York Times

Blue Cross-Blue Shield...

Source: Blue Cross

And the architecture firm that's behind many sports complexes around the country.

Rossetti designed New York's Red Bull Arena.

Source: MLive

Speaking of sports: Detroit is home of the 2012 AL Pennant winners, the Tigers.

They were led by the first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, Miguel Cabrera.

As well as Justin Verlander, who won the Cy Young in 2011.

Detroit was recently named the greatest sports city of all time by Sporting News readers.

Four world series, 11 AL pennants, 11 Stanley Cups, 3 NBA Championships, and the town that produced Joe Louis? Makes sense.

Source: Freep

Meanwhile, crime in Detroit is actually waning.

In 2003, there were more than 18,000 incidents of violent crime reported. A decade later, there are just 15,000.

Source: FBI

And a Whole Foods just opened a location there.

Whatever that means to you.

Source: WSJ

No one is saying things are perfect. But just a few years ago, you'd have been hard-pressed to find cranes going up there.


It's gonna star Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Michael Keaton.

Source: IMDB

Now check out all the reasons why Houston is the best city in America...

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