There’s nothing like living in a historic American city during its renaissance era, and for Detroit, that time is now. Private investors have funneled millions into revitalizing the downtown area, upgrading old residential units and constructing new Detroit luxury apartments for a steadily increasing population.
The influx of new residents has helped to restore downtown as a vibrant and desirable destination, with conveniences and character to spare. Here are just a few aspects of downtown Detroit loft living that have positioned the Motor City as a prime 21st-century address.
Even in its revival, living in downtown Detroit is still an amazing bargain. Detroit’s overall cost of living is 7% below the Michigan average—a stunning figure for the state’s most populous urban area—and about 17% lower than the US average. Living in Detroit costs less than 79% of American cities across all measurements, including groceries, transportation, goods and services, entertainment, and housing. There’s no shortage of affordable homes, lofts or luxury apartments in Detroit for sale or rent.
Diversity has long been one of Detroit’s most prominent traits. In recent years the city’s cultural profile has expanded thanks to lower housing costs and incentive programs. Corktown, one of downtown Detroit’s oldest neighborhoods, is a thriving town center with a history of multiculturalism in residents and businesses and is gaining momentum with recent reinvestments in the district.
Detroit has a history of creativity that’s sometimes overlooked. But a rich heritage of visual art and architecture lurks downtown, with internationally acclaimed museums like the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and the Detroit Institute of Arts within close reach. Smaller outlets like the Simone DeSousa Gallery showcase the most innovative art happening right now, and Detroit’s use of public space for art installations like the Heidelberg Project brings the city’s spirit to light. Downtown venues Saint Andrew’s Hall, the Majestic Theatre and countless pubs honor Detroit’s rich and ongoing musical heritage, and the Motown Museum promotes the legacy of the most influential soul music label in history.
The Motor City built its reputation on the growth of the auto industry, but modern downtown Detroit is quickly transforming into an area especially hospitable to public transit, biking, and walking. The People Mover is an elevated train that gets you around downtown Detroit for 75 cents one way. The QLine electric streetcar bisects downtown and connects with several regional bus lines. The inner city is also becoming something of a mecca for bicyclists, with an eye-opening 200 miles of dedicated bike lanes on the streets. With new developments and businesses flourishing in downtown Detroit, its Walk Score of 53.2 is a significant jump over past years.
Detroit’s food traditions are rooted in blue-collar classics like the Coney Dog, square-shaped pizza and classic Greek diners. But thanks to a boom in downtown restaurants in the last decade, Detroit’s food scene is gaining traction and mirrors the city’s increasing diversity. Newly opened or renovated upscale restaurants like the butchery Marrow, the steakhouse Highlands and the new Selden Standard sit alongside more working-class destinations like Buddy’s Pizza, Hygrade Deli, Jose’s Tacos, and the unofficial capital of the Coney Dog, Duly’s Place. Along with trends like urban farming and microbreweries taking hold, there’s something for every taste and budget in the restaurants of downtown Detroit.