Published: October 2019
Published: October 2019
The Detroit Reinvestment Index tracks perceptions of Detroit’s revitalization among several groups to gain a better sense of local and national perspectives of economic growth in the city.
This, the fourth installment of the report, marks the first time that Detroit Future City – through funding from the Kresge Foundation – has produced the Detroit Reinvestment Index. DFC teamed up with FTI Consulting, which had previously worked directly with the Kresge Foundation to produce the three earlier editions of the survey.
The Detroit Reinvestment Index began as a survey of national business leaders to gauge their perceptions of Detroit’s comeback and their views on Detroit as an investment opportunity, but it has been expanded each year to include other groups. This year’s survey includes residents of Detroit and its suburbs in order to track perceptions of how redevelopment affects them, with the goal of helping to inform policy decisions and mitigate negative effects of redevelopment.
National Business Leaders continue to have positive opinions of Detroit, with two-thirds having favorable views.
The perception of Detroit as an excellent business opportunity has grown with a 14-percentage-point increase in the share of national business leaders who consider the city an excellent investment opportunity.
While there are many positive feelings, there are still challenges. One of these is the misconception about Detroit’s current fiscal situation.
Even so, National Business Leaders do not need convincing when it comes to confidence in Detroit’s Ability to Recover and become a Great American City.
Cities like Detroit can compete for business investments and opportunity. When asked which of the two options they preferred, business leaders said...
Much like national business leaders, opinions about Detroit have become more favorable among residents' across the region. Based on everything they have seen, residents views are becoming:
When asked how much change they have seen in Detroit, the majority of residents from Detroit and the suburbs and national business leaders say that they have noticed change in the city. However, most of their perceptions did not rise to the "hardly recognizable" level.
Detroiters who have more change in their neighborhoods rate it more favorably.
When asked to describe the change they have seen in their neighborhood over the past 5 years, the majority of respondents have seen improvements.
Though there has been much discussion about the changes that are happening in Detroit's neighborhoods, the majority of respondents said those changes are bringing a substantial positive upside.
A strong majority of all respondents agree that change brings more upside for them and their neighborhoods. When asked which statement they agreed with more, respondents said...
An important and frequently asked question when discussing revitalization in Detroit is whether those currently living in the city will benefit from the changes happening within their neighborhood. When asked if changes in their neighborhood would benefit them, residents believed that they would.
Residents agree that changes in their neighborhood benefit them.
A major concern related to redevelopment is how it will affect current Detroit residents. The majority of residents have not been forced to move out of their neighborhood or were not fearful it would happen. However, some were still fearful that they would be.
Though Detroiters are more likely to raise concerns about increased rents displacing them from their neighborhoods, suburbanites do not fear this issue as much.
It comes without surprise that renters are most concerned about increasing rents forcing them to move out of their neighborhoods.
As in the previous years of the Reinvestment Index, the perception of Detroit is improving, with large portions of both national business leaders and Detroit and suburban residents’ views of the city becoming more favorable. This continued improvement in perception strengthens Detroit’s desirability as a place for businesses to invest.
Part of the ongoing revitalization of the city is based on continuous change. Though the majority of residents view these changes as positive and benefiting them personally, it is important to consider the negative externalities of redevelopment in the city. This survey found that renters perceive themselves to be most vulnerable to the negative consequences of redevelopment and change, and we must identify policies to mitigate any negative impacts. This is especially important as renters not only account for a majority of the city’s households, but they are also a growing demographic in Detroit.
As the city continues on its path toward revitalization, it is important to keep in sight where we are in the process. Only in the last five years has Detroit started to make notable progress in turning around what had been 60 years of decline. There is still plenty of opportunity for Detroit to guide redevelopment and provide a better opportunity to rebuild a city that balances the needs and desires of everyone. The Detroit Reinvestment Index can be used as a data point to help provide clarity on some of the issues facing the city and can offer insight on the views of residents and national business leaders as the city continues its renaissance.