A call for citizen-based revitalization: Suburbanites can help redevelop Detroit.

We are all aware that our neighborhoods are challenged, and some in more serious trouble than others. We have beautiful, vacant brick homes on the east and west sides. With a little loving care, these homes can be put back into service.

The question: Who will do it? The CDC’s? The block clubs? The churches? The Realtors? The developers? The retirees? The entrepreneurs? The city of Detroit redevelopment agencies?

The outsiders – meaning those in other parts of the country or world? The answer, hopefully, is us.

There is no one coming to save our community. We will have to do this ourselves, or the outsiders will take over as investors and reap the upside. If these outsiders get the job, by default we may not even recognize our own neighborhoods five years from now.

The mayor has done a good job setting up clever programs but we have to do the work. So, will we get involved in redeveloping and taking back the “D,” or will we sleep through this great metamorphosis?

Detroit has the most attractive investment opportunities in the world. We are now post-bankruptcy with close to a $100 million surplus on our balance sheet.

I predict that by the year 2020, Detroit’s middle- to upper-middle housing values will more than double, and that community demographics will change positively.

However, the only way this can happen positively within a reasonable time frame is for the greater community to get involved and make sure we reinvent quality communities. The future is in our hands.

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