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Thanks to a billionaire, Detroit is new and improved – but for whom?
November 18, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | by ADRIAN MORROW, U.S. CORRESPONDENT

Detroit's urban renaissance has also drawn tough criticism. For one, Quicken and Bedrock are accused of building an affluent island in the centre of a low-income city. While Dan Gilbert’s spending has revitalized the central business district, much of Detroit remains economically distressed with neighbourhoods full of boarded-up businesses and burnt-out houses. Detroit’s racial divides factor in, too: Recent developments have tended to concentrate in the whiter neighbourhoods of a city where 79 per cent of the population is black. For another, Bedrock and its related companies have received US$767-million worth of government subsidies and tax breaks since 2010. To some, this is an egregious use of funds when Detroit’s schools and transit system are struggling. Mr. Gilbert’s critics argue a man with a net worth Forbes estimates at US$6.8-billion has no need for government assistance.
Whether Mr. Gilbert is the hero Detroit needed to pull it back from the precipice or an unaccountable billionaire wielding an uncomfortable amount of civic power, his rise represents an extraordinary moment in U.S. urbanism. The rapid rebirth and future of one of the country’s greatest and most troubled cities rests largely in the hands of one man and his corporate empire, which is both animating the metropolis with its workforce, and directly shaping the look and feel of its streets and buildings........the subsidies have been “necessary,” but the city and state have done too little to extract benefits such as affordable housing and heritage preservation in exchange. Rather than a divide between downtown and neighbourhoods, or Mr. Gilbert and community bootstrappers, she argued, all of these elements have to work together.
anchor_tenants  Dan_Gilbert  decline  Detroit  downtown_core  gentrification  hollowing_out  income_inequality  moguls  property_development  Quicken_Loans   racial_disparities  refurbished  rejuvenation  revivals  subsidies  tax_subsidies  urban_renaissance  urban_renewal  white-collar 
november 2019 by jerryking
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