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Some Young Professionals Being Priced Out Of Gentrifying Neighborhoods In Detroit

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Lofts in Detroit's Midtown (WWJ Photo/Marie Osborne)

Lofts in Detroit’s Midtown (WWJ Photo/Marie Osborne)

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DETROIT (WWJ) Are the young people who’ve been moving downtown over the past several years to reinvigorate Detroit being priced out out of the place they’re trying to save?

Many are complaining that as investors buy up buildings and turn them into swankier places to live — they raise the rents beyond what the young professionals who took a chance and moved there can afford.

Susan Mosey, the president of Midtown Detroit Inc., defends what’s going on, saying it’s actually a good sign.

“A lot of people have benefited from the fact that this neighborhood didn’t have any reinvestment going on for decades, so pricing is very arbitrarily low here,” Mosey said, adding, “That is not good living conditions for folks, nor is it a good environment for rebuilding this neighborhood.”

In some cases, renters report the increases have been $200 to $300 a month.

Andrew Kopeitz moved into Lafayette Park in Detroit more than a year ago, when he paid $840 a month in rent. He was forced to move out when the rent went up to over $1,100.

“It doesn’t really bother me,” he said. “I see the property values as they go up they become more attractive to people and cities, they need a mixture of people, they need people with really high incomes, more of a disposable income, to live there because it boosts the tax base.”

He’s found a cheaper place in midtown, saying he’s not bitter about the forced move.

Similarly, Mosey said it’s just part of the pattern when a neighborhood has an upswing.

“When a neighborhood is being redeveloped, prices go up,” she said. “When buildings have been in substandard and very poor condition, when people renovate, pricing is going to go up.”

There are still plenty of places in the area for affordable housing, she said.

“They will really have to take a look at lower, adjacent neighborhoods,” she said.

Where does she recommend moving next? Hamtramck.

 

 

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