|Photograph by Theodor Barth/laif/Redux|
In midtown, 95 percent of the 5,884 housing units are occupied, more are being built, and 26 new shops and restaurants have opened in the last two years, according to Midtown Detroit, an economic development organization. A Whole Foods Market (WFM) scheduled to open by 2013 is the first national chain grocery the city’s managed to attract in years. It’s not far from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Library, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
The result: safer streets. According to the Wayne State University Police Department, which shares patrols of the area with Detroit police, major crimes in midtown have dropped 38 percent from 2008 to 2011. That compares with a 16 percent drop for the city as a whole, FBI statistics show.
Businesses with offices downtown are trying to keep the renewal going. Nine large employers, including Detroit Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware (CPWR), and Quicken Loans have pledged $2 million a year for four years to pay employees to move to midtown and downtown. Workers get $2,500 in their first year of renting and $1,000 if they stay for a second. Those who want to buy get a one-time payment of $20,000. (The median home price was $9,500 in June, according to the multiple listing service Realcomp.) Just under 400 people are participating in the program so far, according to Midtown Detroit.
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