The City of Detroit’s filing of Chapter 9 bankruptcy may be a blessing in disguise for Detroit’s business community, according to Michigan Business and Professional Association President and CEO Jennifer Kluge.
“The business community long ago committed to re-developing the City of Detroit,” said Kluge. “With the City’s path forward is no longer in doubt; now public officials must follow the direction of the court and finally address long-simmering financial issues which means that private sector leaders can proceed with their plans knowing that the City’s financial issues are being addressed,” she continued.
Kluge pointed to a number of signs that prove businesses both large and small are committed to keeping Detroit alive:
- Corporate Real Estate Magazine named Wayne County Economic Development as one of the nation’s top-performing economic development organizations citing 10,582 new jobs and $2.2 billion in capital investment in Detroit in 2012.
- Detroit was chosen No. 5 on the 2012 list of fastest growing tech cities, according to tech job site Dice.com. It was No. 1 on the same list in 2011.
- Major food retailers, Meijer and Whole Foods, are building new stores within Detroit’s boundaries — the first for any major retailer in many years.
- State officials are moving forward with the new International Trade Crossing across the Detroit River and the M-1 Rail Streetcar project.
- Local business leader Dan Gilbert has purchased 22 properties over the last three years through his Rock Ventures entity.
- The renovation of historical business buildings, apartments and hotels in downtown and midtown seem to be picking up steam.
“These developments are continuing because Detroit has a lot of spunk on top of its reasonably priced talent and real estate,” Kluge declared. “From our work with thousands of businesses across the state, we know that we have great talent and an enduring spirit of entrepreneurship in the private sector that will help to ensure Detroit’s future.”