President Donald Trump has taken Baltimore and other Democratic-led urban areas to task for their disrepair and poverty, but a once-downtrodden city like Detroit is actually better off now than before, an expert told The Washington Post.
“Cities have turned around,” Penn Institute for Urban Research co-director Susan Wachter, a former HUD official during the Clinton administration, told the Post. “And it’s been a rather stunning reversal.”
The report comes amid President Trump’s tweets – “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” – railing on the Baltimore district of Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., a millionaire whose home there was then recently robbed.
The Post report chronicled the rebirth of Detroit, Michigan, the site of the Democratic presidential primary debates this past week, spotlighting a pair of 30-something Ivy Leaguers who have bought into a city “in a death spiral” in 2015.
“We bought our first house here when Detroit was still in bankruptcy,” Andrew Colom –whose Century Partners has bought homes for as little as $500, flipping them for resale – told the Post. “People thought we were crazy. They said ‘Detroit is never coming back.'”
Detroit’s revitalization has echoed the nation’s economy after the city declared bankruptcy in 2013, during the last term of former President Barack Obama.
“This city was at a dead stop,” Michael Isabella, a local shop owner, told the Post. “Now everything’s happening. Guys in hard hats. Scaffolding everywhere. It’s like what you see in Manhattan.”
Mortgage and real estate billionaire Dan Gilbert’s investment in Detroit has been largely praised. He is the franchise owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.
“You can’t give him enough credit,” downtown Detroit bar owner Patrick Springstead told the Post. “What changed Detroit? He changed it.”