Live Downtown helps accelerate current revitalization efforts and continue the positive momentum we are experiencing in Downtown Detroit. The program attracts and retains talent, increases economic development and tax revenues, sparks retail development and is a catalyst to renovate and convert more of our beautiful downtown historic landmarks to new housing units.
The current project is a five-year, more than $4 million initiative that will provide cash incentives to employees who choose to move to Downtown Detroit and live where they work and play. The companies currently involved in the program are Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, DTE Energy, Quicken Loans and Strategic Staffing Solutions. These anchor companies work together to make Detroit’s urban core a vibrant, safe, clean, economically strong community.
In spite of the difficult economic conditions and the loss of population in the city, the Greater Downtown area continues to attract a very diverse group of new residents of all incomes, ages, races and backgrounds as well as new businesses. It experienced a 59 percent increase in the number of college-educated residents under the age of 35 in the last decade, according to a recent article in the New York Times. That’s nearly 30 percent more than two-thirds of the nation’s 51 largest cities. Artists, designers, entrepreneurs and other young professionals are taking advantage of low real estate prices and the growing career opportunities.
Here’s a quick look at how Live Downtown works:
About 16,000 full- and part-time employees of the five participating companies who work in Southeast Michigan are eligible to participate in Live Downtown. Those who choose to move Downtown or who already live here can use the following incentives.
- New homeowners receive a $20,000 forgivable loan toward the purchase of their primary residence
- New renters receive a $2,500 allowance of funding toward the cost of their apartment in the first year followed by additional funding of $1,000 for the second year
- Existing renters receive a $1,000 allowance of funding for renewing a lease in 2011
- Existing homeowners receive matching funds of up to $5,000 for exterior improvements for projects of $10,000 or more.
Eligible neighborhoods are Corktown, Downtown, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, Midtown and Woodbridge.
The program is administered by Sue Mosey’s Midtown Detroit Inc. team. The Downtown Detroit Partnership is the overall program coordinator. The Hudson-Webber Foundation is supporting the program’s administrative costs. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is supporting the revitalization of so many neighborhoods Downtown and the conversion of many of our historic buildings great spaces to live.