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Old 12-24-2010, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Ferndale, MI
85 posts, read 320,669 times
Reputation: 55

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Happy Holidays All,

This past week I received a rather good job offer from a major loan/mortgage company that is moving to a brand new office building in downtown Detroit.

I am a former New Yorker but have been living in South Carolina for the past almost year and a half where I have been really spoiled by the low cost of living and the gorgeous year round weather (well...except for a few weeks in summer when it gets hotter than hell).

The job I have been offered is a senior executive position and the company is willing to pay all relocation costs to the Detroit area. I have been researching Detroit here on CD and other sites and while the overwhelming majority of the posts are negative, there quite a few posts that have brilliantly argued that Detroit is going through a revival of sorts.

When I was in Detroit for the job interview in November, I observed the following:

Pros:

1. Excellent Airport - One of the most ultra modern airports in the US (and quite possibly the world)
2. Phenomenal location - Location on the lake gives Detroit a very unique look and geography that few other cities can match (except perhaps Chicago and Toronto)
3. Friendly people (but with weird accents) - Almost everybody is friendly and helpful but speak with vaguely flinty Canadian accents...took me a while to get used to it
4. Downtown is nice (but clearly has seen better days)
5. Low costs - comparable to the south - Restaurant meals, drinks etc. are similar to what I pay in South Carolina (and way way cheaper than New York)
6. Fair amount of trees, parks and greenery even in downtown

Cons:

1. Awful roads - I cannot believe that in Motor city the roads can be this bad. How on earth do people drive on this obstacle course everyday?
2. Very little diversity - I am not quite sure how to put this delicately without causing any offense - almost everybody seemed to be African American - and this is great but surely a big city needs some diversity ( I am Jewish).
3. Neighborhoods that look like they may belong in Baghdad - My first reaction in seeing some neighborhoods driving around just outside downtown was - wow, when did the bomb go off?\

As you can see good people of Detroit, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons (notice, I did not put weather as a con) of moving to Detroit - the job is great......but its in Detroit!! Please help me make a decision - should I move up North to the big D?
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:58 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,541,701 times
Reputation: 2129
[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnemployedFinanceGuy View Post
Happy Holidays All,
This past week I received a rather good job offer from a major loan/mortgage company that is moving to a brand new office building in downtown Detroit.
...and while the overwhelming majority of the posts are negative, there quite a few posts that have brilliantly argued that Detroit is going through a revival of sorts.
Your company is among others making the move.
Detroit's in transition - some entrepreneurs are looking upon it as a frontier. Other businesses have been moving into downtown - you might contact them for their opinions.

Quote:
Phenomenal location - Location on the lake gives Detroit a very unique look and geography that few other cities can match (except perhaps Chicago and Toronto)
You'll be glad to vacation in Michigan (see my other posts). You won't just stay in Detroit. There are wonderful vacation spots northward along the lakes, especially L. Mich. (tourism is major in Michigan). The summertime population along L. Mich. is half from out-of-state - especially Chicago.

Quote:
Downtown is nice (but clearly has seen better days)
Check out the postings from others who live downtown.
Quote:
Low costs - comparable to the south - Restaurant meals, drinks etc. are similar to what I pay in South Carolina (and way way cheaper than New York)
Food & drink - better in Detroit than you have probably heard!

Quote:
Very little diversity - I am not quite sure how to put this delicately without causing any offense - almost everybody seemed to be African American - and this is great but surely a big city needs some diversity ( I am Jewish).
The tension & anger of the 1960's has been and is dissipating. There is more optimism in the city now. Jewish have always been here. Detroit is African-american, the suburbs mostly white due to past politics - but this is in flux, changing for the better. There is a middle-eastern presence in Dearborn & Detroit. Southwest Detroit is hispanic. Hamtramck is Polish. These are cultural enclaves and ethnocentricity makes them interesting, check out the restaurants and shops.
Quote:
Neighborhoods that look like they may belong in Baghdad - My first reaction in seeing some neighborhoods driving around just outside downtown was - wow, when did the bomb go off?\
The rings around the immediate downtown areas of large cities are always the worst.

Re. weather: It won't get as hot as SC but the tradeoff is obviously harsher winters (like me I assume you're not into cold weather). You can do as I do - get through Jan, Feb, March and the rest is fine. The summertime weather is beautiful, sometimes humid but you're used to that.
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:54 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
1,107 posts, read 2,932,171 times
Reputation: 534
Quote:
3. Neighborhoods that look like they may belong in Baghdad - My first reaction in seeing some neighborhoods driving around just outside downtown was - wow, when did the bomb go off?
I know what you mean. I can't believe Manhattan Lower East Side @ 4:29 and look how it changed. Detroit is very slowly crawling to that change.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uw0W9dMLA90


You should take the job in Detroit and be apart of the rebirth.

Last edited by Jwo85; 12-24-2010 at 08:05 PM..
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Metro Detroit Area, Michigan
1,107 posts, read 2,932,171 times
Reputation: 534
Since you mention your Jewish and I was reading the news for today and this was one of the articles and thought it would help show you about the Jewish community in Metro Detroit.

Michigan Jews, Muslims continue volunteer tradition - macombdaily.com
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:37 PM
 
Location: Traveling again
2,535 posts, read 2,143,102 times
Reputation: 6081
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnemployedFinanceGuy View Post
Happy Holidays All,

This past week I received a rather good job offer from a major loan/mortgage company that is moving to a brand new office building in downtown Detroit.

I am a former New Yorker but have been living in South Carolina for the past almost year and a half where I have been really spoiled by the low cost of living and the gorgeous year round weather (well...except for a few weeks in summer when it gets hotter than hell).

The job I have been offered is a senior executive position and the company is willing to pay all relocation costs to the Detroit area. I have been researching Detroit here on CD and other sites and while the overwhelming majority of the posts are negative, there quite a few posts that have brilliantly argued that Detroit is going through a revival of sorts.

When I was in Detroit for the job interview in November, I observed the following:

Pros:

1. Excellent Airport - One of the most ultra modern airports in the US (and quite possibly the world)
2. Phenomenal location - Location on the lake gives Detroit a very unique look and geography that few other cities can match (except perhaps Chicago and Toronto)
3. Friendly people (but with weird accents) - Almost everybody is friendly and helpful but speak with vaguely flinty Canadian accents...took me a while to get used to it
4. Downtown is nice (but clearly has seen better days)
5. Low costs - comparable to the south - Restaurant meals, drinks etc. are similar to what I pay in South Carolina (and way way cheaper than New York)
6. Fair amount of trees, parks and greenery even in downtown

Cons:

1. Awful roads - I cannot believe that in Motor city the roads can be this bad. How on earth do people drive on this obstacle course everyday?
2. Very little diversity - I am not quite sure how to put this delicately without causing any offense - almost everybody seemed to be African American - and this is great but surely a big city needs some diversity ( I am Jewish).
3. Neighborhoods that look like they may belong in Baghdad - My first reaction in seeing some neighborhoods driving around just outside downtown was - wow, when did the bomb go off?\

As you can see good people of Detroit, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons (notice, I did not put weather as a con) of moving to Detroit - the job is great......but its in Detroit!! Please help me make a decision - should I move up North to the big D?
I think you should give it a try. You don't have to live in the inner city, there is a large diverse Jewish population in the cities north of 10 mile road mainly Royal Oak/Oak Park/Southfield area just north of Detroit. Or you could live downtown Detroit in the plush lofts or hi-rises and have the advantage of the people mover (it's a very limited train-like thingy that serves the Greektown, casinos, bars, restaurants, and night life). You would also be less than a mile from the ball park and the university a few miles up Woodward Ave -nationally recognized for its medical school.

But more than all that, in this economy, are you willing to pass up a job offer with a company willing to pay your relocation expenses?!
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:53 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,541,701 times
Reputation: 2129

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnemployedFinanceGuy View Post
Happy Holidays All,
This past week I received a rather good job offer from a major loan/mortgage company that is moving to a brand new office building in downtown Detroit.
The job I have been offered is a senior executive position and the company is willing to pay all relocation costs to the Detroit area. I have been researching Detroit here on CD and other sites and while the
overwhelming majority of the posts are negative, there quite a few posts that have brilliantly argued that Detroit is going through a revival of sorts.

I forgot to mention that BOTH are true but I believe the latter is gaining strength just because many more people now desire it and are working to make it happen! Attitude is everything! I find it hard to believe that the other businesses moving in haven't done careful market studies.
I can't speak with authority about Mayor Bing, but he seems a man of integrity and possibly of vision.
Detroit's blight is mostly in the inner neighborhoods and old industrial areas but you're in the financial district, I assume. Downtown has nice places to live as do the suburbs. Actually the burbs are some of the best in America.
I hate to tell you something you probably already know, but here's a link to Crain's Detroit.
Crain's Detroit Business - Detroit News and Information
Re. the "overwhelming majority" of negative posts: I'm amazed at the amount. Notice, a lot of them come from afar...very suspicious! There is a lot of bitterness over previous politics and some want the world to know about it. They will say "Detroit's a rathole and that's just the undeniable truth!" Too one-dimensional for me....
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Old 12-24-2010, 11:56 PM
 
2,117 posts, read 5,063,078 times
Reputation: 1130
I'm guessing that you'd be living in the suburbs of Detroit and commuting into the city if you were to accept the job. West Bloomfield is a nice community and is supposed to have a large Jewish community. Southfield also historically has a very large Jewish presence. Southfield is a bit more integrated with the African-American community and borders the city limits of Detroit. For quick commutes into Detroit you might also want to look into the Grosse Pointe communities although they don't have a significant Jewish presence per se.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UnemployedFinanceGuy View Post
Happy Holidays All,

This past week I received a rather good job offer from a major loan/mortgage company that is moving to a brand new office building in downtown Detroit.

I am a former New Yorker but have been living in South Carolina for the past almost year and a half where I have been really spoiled by the low cost of living and the gorgeous year round weather (well...except for a few weeks in summer when it gets hotter than hell).

The job I have been offered is a senior executive position and the company is willing to pay all relocation costs to the Detroit area. I have been researching Detroit here on CD and other sites and while the overwhelming majority of the posts are negative, there quite a few posts that have brilliantly argued that Detroit is going through a revival of sorts.

When I was in Detroit for the job interview in November, I observed the following:

Pros:

1. Excellent Airport - One of the most ultra modern airports in the US (and quite possibly the world)
2. Phenomenal location - Location on the lake gives Detroit a very unique look and geography that few other cities can match (except perhaps Chicago and Toronto)
3. Friendly people (but with weird accents) - Almost everybody is friendly and helpful but speak with vaguely flinty Canadian accents...took me a while to get used to it
4. Downtown is nice (but clearly has seen better days)
5. Low costs - comparable to the south - Restaurant meals, drinks etc. are similar to what I pay in South Carolina (and way way cheaper than New York)
6. Fair amount of trees, parks and greenery even in downtown

Cons:

1. Awful roads - I cannot believe that in Motor city the roads can be this bad. How on earth do people drive on this obstacle course everyday?
2. Very little diversity - I am not quite sure how to put this delicately without causing any offense - almost everybody seemed to be African American - and this is great but surely a big city needs some diversity ( I am Jewish).
3. Neighborhoods that look like they may belong in Baghdad - My first reaction in seeing some neighborhoods driving around just outside downtown was - wow, when did the bomb go off?\

As you can see good people of Detroit, I am trying to weigh the pros and cons (notice, I did not put weather as a con) of moving to Detroit - the job is great......but its in Detroit!! Please help me make a decision - should I move up North to the big D?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-25-2010, 04:23 AM
 
4,852 posts, read 8,695,798 times
Reputation: 7704
Definitely take a drive up through the Grosse Pointes and out into Oakland and western Wayne Counties. As a PP said, W. Bloomfield has a large Jewish population and many great places to live, Bloomfield Hills has multi-million dollar mansions (even in this housing market!) that will blow your mind. That's where most of the pro athletes and people like Aretha Franklin have homes. Some of the communities of western Wayne Co. such as Plymouth and Northville are gorgeous too. If you go downriver, Grosse Ile is an actual island community accessible by two bridges that also has some beautiful waterfront homes. If you want to live closer in but not in Detroit, check out Birmingham, Royal Oak, or Troy. The Detroit Metro is so much more than just Detroit, a fact that the national media tend to forget much of the time.

Because of our jobs and some rental properties that we own in the Toledo area we cannot relocate to metro Detroit from the outerlying area where we live, but I envy people who can live in the 'burbs and commute into downtown Detroit or just live in a cool loft in downtown. I love the vibe of a big city and Detroit, with its waterfront, the Ren Cen with its winter garden, the ballparks, the theaters, the museums, and the vibe from the casinos (even though I don't gamble personally they bring a lot of life and people are in a good mood when they're having fun), the Eastern Market, and Greektown, to name just some of its attractions, is honestly a pretty cool place to be. As the PP said, there is renewed optimism with the new mayor who actually seems to be decent, honest, and have the best interests of the city at heart. I would love to be able to say someday that I was part of the revitalization of Detroit, or at least worked there and got to witness it. I think it's incredibly exciting. I look for excuses to go to Detroit, not to get away from it! And ITA with your assessment of our regional airport. I am so proud when someone I know flies into Detroit Metro because they are almost always very impressed with it, as am I. It's spacious, bright, modern, and efficient.

I don't know how long you have to accept this offer, but it sounds like a good one. Too bad you don't have an opportunity to drive around the area in the late spring to early fall, because things look so much different when the trees have leaves and the grass is green and flowers are blooming. Still, try to take a day and drive most of the metro area, especially some of the suburbs that we mentioned if you don't think you would want to live in the city proper. There are a lot of great things about the Detroit Metro, I hope you have a chance to experience them.

Last edited by canudigit; 12-25-2010 at 05:15 AM..
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:27 AM
 
358 posts, read 1,004,568 times
Reputation: 207
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnemployedFinanceGuy View Post
Please help me make a decision - should I move up North to the big D?
It depends on your preferences and personal situation. Some things to note:

Detroit suburbs include some of the nicest places to live that you will find anywhere. If you want to, you can drive in to your job and drive back out to the burbs with few problems other than dealing with traffic.

If you want to spend time in the City, or live there, it will probably be different than what you are used to. There is a level of risk for theft or even violence, but it is less than most people will make it out to be (EXCEPT IN SOME AREAS AT SOME TIMES). There are not a lot of amenities in the City such as shopping, but there are some restaurants worth visiting. You will be frustrated seeing things that could be done much better than they are being done. If you do not have a strong desire to live in the City, you probably should look at the suburbs for a place to live.

Should you take a job in Detroit? You can pretty much find any living situation you might want, so it comes down to job related questions, is the pay good and is it what you want to do?
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Ferndale, MI
85 posts, read 320,669 times
Reputation: 55
[quote=detwahDJ;17128010]
Quote:

The tension & anger of the 1960's has been and is dissipating. There is more optimism in the city now. Jewish have always been here. Detroit is African-american, the suburbs mostly white due to past politics - but this is in flux, changing for the better. There is a middle-eastern presence in Dearborn & Detroit. Southwest Detroit is hispanic. Hamtramck is Polish. These are cultural enclaves and ethnocentricity makes them interesting, check out the restaurants and shops.
The rings around the immediate downtown areas of large cities are always the worst.
Thank you detwahDJ for the excellent and informative post. For my first year in Detroit I have decided to rent in Ferndale (highly recommended by all the New Yorkers who moved to or know Detroit).
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