Live Downtown: Cash Incentives Offered to Move Employees to Detroit Neighborhoods

An example of the architecture to be found in Detroit's historic Corktown neighborhood.

Mayor Dave Bing and a group of five Detroit-based companies on Monday announced their commitment to the city with their participation in the Live Downtown initiative.

The five-year initiative will provide cash incentives to employees who move to or stay in any of six eligible neighborhoods in Detroit. It’s much like the Live Midtown initiative that launched earlier in 2011.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is participating along with Compuware, DTE Energy, Quicken Loans and Strategic Staffing Solutions. “All of these companies have made a significant, substantive commitment to the city of Detroit,” said BCBSM President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp. “We all know that great regions work because core cities work, and this program is making Detroit work.”

There are six neighborhoods where residents will be eligible for these incentives; here is a little idea of what each has to offer:

  1. Corktown: This is the oldest neighborhood in Detroit, and is even listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a largely residential area with its own farmers market and even a local point of interest.
  2. Eastern Market: Aside from offering the weekly farmers market (now expanded to Tuesdays) that Detroit is so well-know for, this area of the city is also known for great specialty restaurants like Supino Pizzeria and the Milano Bakery. Not to mention it is urban, thriving, and within walking distance to many Detroit locales.
  3. Lafayette Park: Consisting of apartment complexes and housing cooperatives planned by famous architect Mies van der Rohe, this development is close to Belle Isle as well as Eastern Market Historic District. Befitting the name, Lafayette Park also offers a landscaped 19-acre park with no through traffic for residents.
  4. Downtown: Downtown offers the convenience and pleasure of being near everything. Living here means being close to all the museums, theaters, restaurants and the RiverWalk. Downtown also puts you in proximity with Comerica, Ford Field and other Detroit staples.
  5. Woodbridge: This neighborhood offers a step back in time with its array of stately Victorian-era homes. It has largely survived unaffected by redevelopment efforts and offers historically and architecturally significant space in which to live.Mayor Bing
  6. Midtown: The Detroit Medical Center and Wayne State University are just two of the important places in Midtown. It also has a rich history and offers residents all of the businesses inhabiting the well-known Woodward and Cass avenues, as well as many establishments for art lovers.

Not only will this initiative help to highlight some of the great neighborhoods in Detroit, but Mayor Bing also spoke of how this program “will help to create the density Detroit’s downtown needs” by not only moving more workers downtown but also by “creating atmospheres where young people will want to live, work and play.”

What do you think of this new incentive? Will it encourage you or someone you know to move to Detroit?

Corktown photo by ifmuth.

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  1. I think this is a good idea.  However, I would like to see it expanded to  current AND retired and semi-retired Detroit employees who want to return to the city and help stabilize the community and maybe start small businesses.  Many offer volunteer services to schools and other organizations. Put out the welcome mat – “Come home to Detroit”.  I was born, raised and worked in Detroit most of my adult life. I want to come home.  Have been looking but there is uncertainty about future viability on home values.So many lovely streets and houses or even commercial buildings with living quarters I would like to consider. I want to know in an emergency, the police and fire department is fully staffed and have everything they need to respond quickly to emergencies.

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