Detroit Downtown Real Estate Is Hot

According to Bloomberg,Luxury Condo Developers are invading Downtown Detroit.

$1 million dollar penthouses and other luxury condos are going up alongside vacant skyscrappers in Downtown. Several ex-atheletes are joining in too.

Bob Bartlett is buying a million- dollar condominium atop a historic hotel in Detroit — the U.S. city with the highest unemployment rate, the worst violent-crime rate and thousands of abandoned houses.

It’s a city that outsiders underestimate, he says.

“It is a viable place to live, and I think investment in the city of Detroit is a smart move,” said Bartlett, a Michigan native who owns ReviewWorks, an insurance cost-containment company.

Bartlett is leaving the affluent suburb of Birmingham for a 3,900-square-foot (360-square-meter) penthouse in the downtown Book-Cadillac Hotel, renovated after sitting vacant and decaying for more than 20 years.

Only a handful of the 66 condos remain to be sold in the building, which also will house a 455-room Westin hotel. Nearby, more luxury condos and three casinos with hotels are under construction.

Bartlett represents a counterintuitive wave of investment in Detroit, where years of economic decline caused by racial divisions and a struggling auto industry eroded the population and left acres of homes selling for less than $10,000.

Thats great, but where are the jobs? Job growth and population growth fuel the demand side of the equation. Selling a few hundred over-priced condos doesn’t turn the city around. Neither does setting up gambling dens (or casinos as they’re now called!). The city needs real jobs.

For the past 20 years, the median salary and the population has been dropping every year. Doesn’t sound like a “tipping point” to me, even if you can buy homes for $10,000. But enough people believe that, someones definitely going to make some money!

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