Tighter Labor Market Builds Confidence in Detroit Development

Real estate development in Southeast Michigan remained strong through the third quarter. Single-family and multi-family housing starts were both up strongly from the previous year. Detroit’s riverfront will soon host a $65 million mixed-use development, Orleans Landing, spanning eight acres and including nearly 300 residential units and more than 10,500 square feet of retail space. Ducharme Place recently broke ground in Lafayette Park, and is slated to cost $42 million and feature 185 units. Downtown Detroit will see the addition of 80 new units as the $24 million Griswold Apartments development is completed in 2016. Single-family development is expected to grow as Southeast Michigan continues to benefit from a tightening labor market.

As the economic climate continues to firm for Southeast Michigan, concerns of livability are being considered for the region’s future. Governor Snyder signed $1.2 billion legislation to boost spending on roads and bridges, which will gradually improve the conditions of state infrastructure. Detroit will receive $21.2 million in federal funds to reinforce efforts to remove blighted homes. The city will soon be the latest to add a bikeshare program. In an effort to adapt to its unique circumstances, the city hopes to see the $15 million development of a 60-acre urban farm, Recovery Park, on formerly blighted land in the coming year.

Amazon will be doubling its office space in Detroit to accommodate more IT hiring. Detroit is committed to diversifying its industries, as evidenced by its 21-CEO-strong Workforce Development Board. Manufacturing in Detroit is peaking with auto sales, and future job growth will be more concentrated in service-related industries. Negotiations between UAW and the Big Three are mostly completed. The manufacture of smaller cars with smaller profit margins will pivot to Mexico, while Michigan will shift to larger, pricier cars.


Click here for the complete South East Michigan Regional Economic Update: SEMI 2015Q4.

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