WEEK 5 – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program


I recently read an article covering the progress of the Brush Park development funded by Dan Gilbert. As someone who has always been interested in architecture and real estate, I find the designs fascinating. It has potential to not look tacky, but that could quickly go out the window. The old Victorian homes that still stand in this neighborhood are gorgeous, and it does not appear that he’s planning on tearing down all of them, though I may not have read detailed enough. The homes have been in poor condition for as long as he can remember, and he’s 60 years old. It will certainly be a combination of old and new styles. I’m not always a huge fan of what Gilbert does in the city; here, I have hope.

Detroit hasn’t had a lot of contemporary development in recent years. Lafayette Park, according to the article, was the last development within the city. Still, it makes me wonder if its something local residents desire. Certainly, this will push prices even in surrounding areas to new heights, thus pricing out more locals. According to Detroiters I’ve talked to, the M1 Rail, or Q-Line it was disastrously renamed to, was not a desired project. My sources are limited, but I trust their opinions. I question if people voted on this issue and whether or not Brush Park has any residents today. I walked to it recently with some Green Garage workers and was astounded at how decrepit the houses were.

Detroit is in a transitional period, one that I can’t necessarily describe due to my limited knowledge and fear of looking/acting like a fool. Also, there are two sides: the upper-middle class young people moving in and the lifetime Detroiters being forced out. Clearly, this development project will only draw in more wealthy out-of-towners and force out locals. As someone who grew up outside of the city, it is hard to not feel like an outsider who is forcing people out if I choose to live here after college.


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