Monday, March 9, 2009

"A Strange, New American Dream"

The Detroit Unreal Estate Agency received a mention in the New York Times, in an op-ed piece about Design 99 and "the $100 houses" for sale in Detroit. The piece, authored by Toby Barlow, points out that Detroit is not simply a city in decline, but is, simultaneously, a "vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished": the site for realizing "a strange, new American dream." We might want to discuss whether the opportunities in Detroit are, in fact, "limitless," but we can only celebrate Barlow's acknowledgement of the city's potentials.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having been to UC Santa Cruz when people found incredibly artful and cheap ways of living in geodesic domes they built themselves in the forest, to rehabbed resort wooden cottages by the sea,(1968-1972) I'm thrilled to see my birthplace of Detroit giving rise to a new generation of creative householders. I'm now living in Switzerland but have very suburbanite cousins still in Detroit--that's not my style. But you guys have made it sound like you've returned to what I recall as one of the most romantic, organic and sexy (I can say it at 58!) lifestyles of my generation. I want to buy a house near you, just to enjoy the artistic community and thrill to the end of the Reagan-Clinton bubble hedgehorrors era.
Keep going, kids!
www.dinahleekung.com

SommerStylee said...

I think it would be worthwhile to develop a coordinated list of can's and cannot's of local Detroit zoning.
What are the rules on urban agriculture, small-scale manufacturing (art-production), wind turbines and co generation, and small-scale retail in some of these residential neighborhoods?
I think the real question is how willing is the Planning Dept. to adapt their zoning to the new ideas set forth by this new wave of interest in their city?

Anonymous said...

As an artist living in over-priced SF, this article made Detroit sound enticing, if challenging. What's a good web spot with resources on moving to Detroit, with neighborhood breakdowns, and as SommerStylee suggested zoning rules and tax info? If there's going to be a green revolution, why not in Detroit?

Jon Koller said...

re: codes

There are places in detroit that look much more like the countryside than the city, rows of veggies, flocks of chickens, entire yards full of goats. it's almost entirely illegal, and much of it is done on land that the "farmers" don't own.

the only problem with the law i ever heard seemed to be the result of a cat-fight resulting in a call to animal control. apparently, at least one herd of goats ended up seeking shelter at CFA.

In regards to good resources, modeldmedia.com is a local shop and pretty helpful in getting grounded in the city.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking about moving to Detroit.... I'm 28 and just finishing grad school in Illinois. What neighborhoods should I focus on? What sort of house can I get in these for around $3K? Thanks.

Attempt Anything said...

Anyone have any suggestions for a Canadian who'd like to invest in an inexpensive Detroit "summer house"?

self poor trait said...

does anyone know exactly where this area is in detroit?

Anonymous said...

But what about the property tax? It's one thing to buy a house for $5000, but if the taxes are $7000, you're screwed. And Detroit's winters are a far cry from Santa Cruz!