By. Chris Stritzel
We have all heard of Detroit. Many people say that "it is a race to the most dangerous city in the nation between Detroit and St. Louis". However, both of our cities lost much due to crime, failed urban renewal and exponential suburb growth. These accompanied by the downfall of industry led to our cities population falling and problems soaring. Now we are in the 2010s, and while this decade has been beneficial for both Detroit and St. Louis, one city takes the crown as most innovative and changing. That city is Detroit.
While Detroit filed for bankruptcy in 2013 (largest municipal bankruptcy ever recorded), many developers and investors still had spirit in Detroit and led them to push for the preservation of older buildings and the creation of new ones. Most notably, Bedrock Detroit, led by Dan Gilbert, has helped bring life back to Woodward avenue by drawing retailers such as Lululemon and Under Armor to the famous street in Downtown. Gilbert also has led the redevelopment of multiple Detroit skyscrapers that were abandoned. Bedrock's grandest plan is not redeveloping more historic structures but an ambitious skyscraper project along Woodward on the old Hudson's Department Store site. This project is known as "Hudson's"
As seen in the first photo of this article, the Hudson's Tower will be quite tall and the odium base will add retail to what is fast becoming "Detroit's Michigan Avenue". At 800 feet, it will be roughly 70ft taller than GM's Renaissance Center and will have an observation deck. Architecture firm SHoP, based in New York City, is leading the design and planning for the project. Besides this, Detroit recently opened the "Q-Line", a streetcar connecting the outside of Downtown to the core of it. The streetcar will run along Woodward.
Furthermore, Bedrock has also unveiled plans to redevelop a long vacant block in the heart of the City known as "Monroe Block". This plan is rather ambitious and features multiple high-rises and skyscrapers creating a dense, urban experience in the heart of Downtown Detroit.
Outside of the Downtown Core lies the new Little Caesars Stadium and "The District Detroit". But how are they putting us to shame? Well, just look at what I said earlier. Developers and investors are redeveloping multiple abandoned buildings. Because of this, demand for new things is really needed. Therefore developers, like Dan Gilbert, can come along and build anything they like because they know that there is a demand for it. In St. Louis, we can't get a hold of our abandoned buildings. Every time one is ghost busted, another goes empty. Most notably, the 45 Floor AT&T Center in our downtown is now sitting vacant waiting for redevelopment as 705 Olive Street, 900 block of Olive and the Chemical Building move forward.
Detroit has a much larger millennial population than St. Louis who are trying hard to restore the motor city's reputation. Here, most millennials are involved in trying to bring Justice to officer involved shootings and what not than trying to help make the City a better place to live. On the business side of things, Detroit is ahead of us. They are pushing for Amazon's Second Headquarters and have a greater chanced than St. Louis at getting it. They have an International Airport that is fairly busy. There is plenty of land to build on. Developers like Dan Gilbert will gladly help get a company to Detroit. In St. Louis, developers and government cant agree on anything making our bids for large companies mediocre at best.
Clearly Detroit is whooping us in every category. The one thing they have that we don't have though is an International Border. Sharing a border with Canada is not that bad when your neighbor is Windsor. Furthermore, an international border city will more likely to keep itself up to show the rest of the world our country's reputation. In St. Louis, we border Illinois which is a cesspool for corruption that is bleeding into St. Louis and making us corrupt. While corruption in Detroit is no better, it sucks becoming corrupted by the most corrupt state in the Union, Illinois.
So while Detroit builds itself up, St. Louis will sit where it is burning and changing to fit the needs of the lawless who want Justice and not progress.