AuthorTopic: The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit  (Read 1087 times)

Offline JRM

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The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit
« on: December 08, 2014, 03:14:09 PM »
"Economists fret that Detroit, in the absence of the manufacturing economy that built it, no longer has any reason to be. And indeed, large chunks of the sprawling, 139-square-mile city have literally vanished: Of Detroitís 380,000 properties, some 114,000 have been razed, with 80,000 more considered blighted and most likely in need of demolition. But the new prospectors have an abiding faith that cities, like markets, are necessarily cyclical, and that the cycle has finally come around. It is the same ethos that turned other urban disasters into capitalist boomtowns ó New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina or the cities of Western Europe after World War II. If the scale of Detroitís failure is unprecedented, then so (the local reasoning goes) is the scale of its opportunity, ...." -- excerpted from the below link.


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Detroit is more than a city in radical decline. It's also a symbol, an allegory, a myth, a metaphor, a mystery....

I'm starting this thread because I want to know this city better, what it is in light of what it has been and where it may be going. And where we all may be going.


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The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/13/magazine/the-post-post-apocalyptic-detroit.html?_r=0

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What is Detroit? What's it like now? Where is it going? Where are we going?
« Last Edit: December 08, 2014, 03:18:55 PM by JRM »
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

Offline Eddie

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Re: The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 09:09:13 AM »
Detroit is interesting, and I do read many stories about urban gardening there, which is where they need to go, for sure.

But you've got guys like the one in the article, the Gilbert guy, who is being praised for investing in the city...the reality imho is that he's part of the problem and not part of the solution. One reason people can't pay their water bills is because casino gambling and the lottery take food off the table of the poor folks, who are the ones supporting  the local casino industry, which is the only industry left there. The Gilberts of the world are vampires.

And the entrepreneurs who are buying houses and rehabbing them? Did you notice they say they like houses that are occupied? What that means is...they take a house that someone is already renting (or squatting in for free) spend a maximum of $15K total (their numbers), and then turn it into a rental unit.

Generally, (in case you don't know how this whole deal works)....the people living in such properties are forced to move, or face higher rent. If they have a lease they're protected until it runs out, but if they're month to month they get thirty days.

Exactly how much of a remodel do you think can happen for 15K? Foundation repairs? Nope. New roof ? Probably not. You're talking paint and plumbing fixtures for 15K, at best.

They have a raft of Chinese money coming into Detroit, which might be a good thing or it might not, depending on exactly what they do with they new properties they're acquiring. But I'm not optimistic, because i think the Chinese are generally looking to make a fast buck.

And Detroit is still a very dangerous place to live. they find bodies in abandoned houses all the time.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Petty Tyrant

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Re: The Post-Post-Apocalyptic Detroit
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 12:06:58 PM »
And Detroit is still a very dangerous place to live. they find bodies in abandoned houses all the time.

Good post and good question what are the chinese going to do with what they are buying there.   Just another place to park funny money or create industry? The other question on my mind is chinese property investment in the so called safe havens. It has been fuelling the market in places like canada and australia etc in a reckless way, buying buildings sight unseen, no negotiation. Are they going to stop doing this and start selling off, which would cause a true local level of price discovery probably 30% lower, or will it be like the concerns they had for all the japanese investment 20 years ago that amounted to nothing.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 12:08:36 PM by Uncle Bob »
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