Report: $9B Invested Since 2006 in Downtown Detroit Districts


The Hudson-Webber Foundation, a group that focuses on the revitalization of downtown Detroit and surrounding districts such as Midtown and Corktown, says more than $9 billion has been invested in real estate projects in the 7.2-square-mile area since 2006.

“With the second edition of the 7.2 SQ MI report, we can begin to identify what progress has been made in making greater downtown Detroit more attractive to residents and businesses,” says Dave Egner, president of The Hudson-Webber Foundation. The first report was released in 2013.

The report provides information about employment, housing, visitors, and investments in downtown Detroit, Midtown, Rivertown, Corktown, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, and Woodbridge.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Employment in greater downtown as of March 2011 totaled 134,401 employees and accounted for approximately 40 percent of the total employment in the city. In the last four years, large employers have moved over 16,000 employees to downtown.
  • 60 percent of all greater downtown jobs pay wages greater than $40,000 annually, a 14 percent increase since 2002.
  • There is 37.8 million square feet of rentable commercial space in greater downtown. Commercial vacancy in the central business district fell from 27.3 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2014.

With 40 percent of Detroit’s jobs in the 7.2 square miles, Egner says there should be more employment-related programs that reach out to other parts of the city as well as new arriving people. “We need to assure that greater downtown becomes a bridge, not an island,” he says.

He adds there are more bikers and walkers in the area, which is the first thing that deters crime.

The Hudson-Webber Foundation collaborated on the report with the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Midtown Detroit Inc., Detroit Economic Growth Corp., Invest Detroit, and Data Driven Detroit.

To view the full report, go to