How Nike, Whole Foods And Shinola Are Rebuilding Retail In Detroit

by MR Magazine Staff

Ohio Representative Tim Ryan recently took a group of Silicon Valley- and New York-based venture capitalists on a three-day road trip in America’s Rust Belt. Visiting cities that have been down on their luck, they ventured to Youngstown, Akron, South Bend and Flint with a stop in beleaguered Detroit. Called the “Comeback Cities Tour,” Rep. Ryan’s intention was to introduce the VC contingent to the untapped potential in these once-proud cities filled with people not afraid of hard work. “We have all this wealth in places like Silicon Valley, all these venture capital funds [in the United States], but 80% of that venture capital money goes to [companies in] three states — California, New York and Massachusetts,” Ryan said in an interview, as he noted that only a miniscule share of VC funding goes to places on his tour. Detroit was once the home of a prosperous middle-class thanks to the automotive and other companies headquartered there. But today 35.7% of people in Detroit live in poverty, according to the latest Census data. While that rate has improved from 2015 when Time magazine called Detroit the poorest big city in America, with 4 out of 10 natives living under the poverty line, it still is at the top – or more appropriately, the bottom – in the list of most impoverished big cities. Cleveland is #2. But things are starting to change for Detroit. Google recently announced it is looking for office space downtown. Ford is moving 220 workers to a renovated factory there. Fortune 500 company, Adient, an automotive seating supplier, is remodeling the historic Marquette Building to house its new headquarters. And Microsoft is transplanting its Microsoft Technology Center from Southfield to Detroit’s One Campus Martius building, where it will be next door to Quicken Loans headquartered there. Read more at Forbes.