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A developing neighborhood.

1 Counter-Trend Success:Despite challenging economic conditions in the city and the region, the greater downtown residential market (New Center, Midtown, Central Business District, East Riverfront, West Riverfront is doing well. More than 2,400 residential units have been developed in the greater downtown since 2000. Fourteen-hundred of those units have been developed in the last three years. Generally, these units are purchased or rented as they are developed.

2 Several Districts, One Market: The districts studied (New Center, Midtown, Central Business District, East Riverfront, West Riverfront) function together as a residential market. People move to these areas, and move around within them, because they value a diverse, downtown urban environment.

3 Developer Diversity: There is a broad range of developer types active in the greater downtown. Recent residential projects include developers who are based in suburban Detroit, entrepreneurial residents building multiple projects and creating a new market in their own neighborhoods, and firms based out-of-state. The capacity of these developers ranges from a single project to thousands of units per year.

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4 Project Types: Most projects are based on adaptive reuse of formerly vacant commercial and industrial buildings into new residential units. Other project types recently developed includs the conversion of existing rental residential buildings to condominiums and newly constructed townhouses.

5 Resident Profile: New downtown residents are young (57 percent of respondents were between 25-34), highly educated (83 percent had at least a bachelor's degree) and relatively wealthy (72 percent of new residents in the survery had an annual household income of at least $50,000 per year). They are mostly single people and couples without children (42 percent living alone, 33 percent couples without children). About two-thirds of respondents who moved into downtown moved from suburban Detroit and beyond. About one-third moved from elsewhere within the City of Detroit. When given a chance to provide a response about what they liked best about living downtown, respondents indicated they most value city living and the urban environment, proximity to their place of employment, proximity to emertainment and the culture and diversity of downtown Detroit.

6. Future Projections: This study demonstrates there is market demand for an additional 1,700 marketrate residential units in the next five years in the Central Business District alone. However, the challenge is making supply available at that pace.

7 Public-Private Partnerships are Working:Efforts and incentives including but not limited to historic rehabilitation tax credits, Neighborhood Enterprise Zone tax abatements, various Detroit Downtown Development Authority programs, and the Detroit Renaissance Lower Woodward Housing Fund) are together attracting investors to greater downtown Detroit. The market, which in this area has recently had limited options for living in an urban environment, is responding.

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"The Southeast Michigan business community may not be aware that national research shows a pent-up demand for the urban lifestyle," said Ann Lang, president and CEO of the Downtown Detroit Partnership. "Downtown Detroit is in a strong position to deliver that lifestyle."

The Downtown Detroit Residential Market Study, prepared by Katherine Beebe & Associates for the Lower Woodward Housing Fund, identified some interesting trends in the Detroit market:

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City Living Detroit is currently hosting its second annual Neighborhood Bus Tour series, which runs through September. The tours, which are free and open to the public, showcase newly-constructed residential development projects in Detroit's Greater Downtown area. Upcoming tours include Saturday, July 14 (Downtown), Saturday, August 11 (Brush Park) and Saturday, September 8 (Midtown). Tours depart Campus Martius

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Title Annotation:FEATURE
Publication:Detroiter
Date:Jun 1, 2007
Words:585
Previous Article:Understanding what's missing: re-development efforts underway in Detroit's historic New Center offer a walkable and livable sub-district that will...
Next Article:Riding the wave: Detroit Region businesses get involved in downtown development.
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