Article by, Brent Virkus Co-Founder of Motor City Design Build
I ran across an interesting article posted on Yahoo News by Marilisa Sachteleben that highlights three of the hottest neighborhoods in Detroit. Obviously Detroit gets its fair share of negative press. But all is not lost in Motown, not by a long shot. The Detroit News reports that the Brookings Institute’s Global MetroMonitor study cited Detroit as one of six U.S. metro growth pockets. The report looked at 300 metropolitan areas around the world to see how they were faring since the recent global recession. To house that growing population, here are three popular pocket neighborhoods to explore.
The Michigan Journal lists Woodbridge as one of the best neighborhoods in Detroit. Historical Woodbridge mixes very old with uber-new. It’s listed in the National Register of Historic Places and encompasses parts of Trumbull, Calumet, Gibson, Wabash, Grand River Avenue, Rosa Parks Boulevard, West Warren Avenue, and Edsel Ford Freeway. Woodbridge contains some of the oldest and most venerable structures in the city. Many of the large Victorian-era homes built for wealthy 1800s families have been apportioned into smaller, more affordable living spaces. Woodbridge is popular with students, idealists, and hipsters. Trumbullplex crystallizes Woodbridge’s edgy, forward-thinking lifestyle. This mostly off-the-grid artist colony and anarchist collective boasts a theater and subsistence garden reclaimed from urban sprawl. The mission is to gather “radicals, freaks, residents, neighbors, artists, people of conscience, and any potential allies to build a safe space for sharing art and ideas free from oppression.” Another Woodbridge venue is Crow Manor. This repurposed living collective has a jewelry-making studio, an art space, a music area (with an array of instruments), a wood shop, urban gardens, bee hives, and a work-in-progress metal shop. Trulia lists nine homes for sale in Woodbridge as of February 5.
Midtown is closer to political and geographic center than leftist Woodbridge, and it’s somewhat less pricey than historical Woodbridge. CBS Detroit called Midtown Detroit’s “hippest new neighborhood.” The Midtown Detroit Inc. development center comprises two distinct areas: Detroit’s cultural/medical/educational center and a high-rise business center. The area is definitely in its ascendency. Midtown’s cultural section was formerly the University Cultural Center Association (UCCA) situated between Ford, Fisher, Lodge, and Chrysler freeways. New Center is a pocket bounded by the Woodward-Grand Boulevard intersection, Virginia Park Historic District, Ford Freeway, John R., and Lodge. Midtown boasts all the city’s cultural giants and many economic ones: the Central Business District, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Library, C. H. Wright Museum of African American History, Wayne State University, College for Creative Studies, Detroit Medical Center, Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall, Henry Ford Health Services, TechTown, and Masonic Temple. The Midtown website lists many available properties.
Probably the most diverse community in Detroit, Southwest is home to Irish Corktown (Detroit’s and Michigan’s oldest neighborhood), Mexicantown, Michigan Avenue, Delray, Oakwood Heights, Hubbard Farms, and West Vernor neighborhoods. Crain’s Detroit listed Corktown as not only popular not only with residents, but also restaurant owners. Other parts of this once-prosperous middle-class neighborhood have fallen on hard times, but the spark is alive and glowing. Inside Southwest lists gobs of activities, events, festivals, and community resources. From lavish tag art (graffiti) to the Detroit Synergy Bike Tour to Clark Park to Mexicantown’s Cinco de Mayo festival, there’s much to see and do. For varied ethnic taste experiences, Savor Southwest recommends the over 130 restaurants, 30 bakeries, and 25 markets and specialty food stores. You’ll find many affordable Southwest properties on Zillow. Check out this vibrant community and grab some churros from La Gloria Bakery (3345 Bagley St.) while you’re there!
A Michigan native, Marilisa Sachteleben writes about people, places, and events in her state’s most pivotal city of Detroit.