Experts say expect more big things for Detroit in 2017

Posted at 11:29 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-30 09:22:56-05

2016 is coming to a close and Detroit continues to see a renaissance of growth, development and new faces.

Detroit has a lot to be proud of, but those ‘in the know’ say even more changes are on their way.

Pizzas are flying off the assembly line inside the jolly pumpkin, The same for drinks.

Shelby Oberstaedt, the restaurant’s GM, says the presidents' surprise visit in January helped sales.

The growth around them, is helping even more.

SHELBY: “I think just everyd ay there’s something new,” Oberstaedy says. “There’s a new project, a new condo, or a new apartment complex going up.”

Her ‘neck-of-the-woods’ is hardly alone.

As Rodrick Miller, President and CEO of the Detroit Economic Crowth Corporation explains, small businesses are anchoring communities, but big businesses paired with new developments are bringing billions of dollars into the city.

“Not only is Detroit back, but Detroit is back and it’s back in, I think a more thoughtful way, a way that’s thinking about quality of life, that’s thinking about jobs, that’s thinking about housing,” Miller says.

It’s all visible too.

Quality of life: How about the new stadium going up that will soon house the red wings and the pistons

Jobs: Ywo new businesses are opening in the Mount Elliot corridor.

Housing: Look no further than Brush Park.

Miller says we’re at a tipping point.

“We’re going to continue to see large investments, not just by traditional names we’ve heard -- the Gilberts, the Illitches, and such, but you’ll see lots of new investors coming in from around the globe,” says Miller.

He tells me that two years ago those opportunities weren’t a reality.

But with the Qline set to launch soon,

“That’s going to be really, really important,” says Miller.

And a new 20-plus story office building set for construction in downtown on the Monroe block, there’s a reality that Detroit isn’t just back financially, but there’s a sense of optimism from the ground level.

“Our company looks for growth opportunities, and right now -- Detroit is that booming place,” says Oberstaedt.

That’s a perfect example.

Jolly Pumpkin has been in Detroit two years and already they’re expanding into a new location at Campus Martius.

Here’s some hard numbers to show you that growth, from 2008 to 2012 we saw $4 billion invested in our city.

In the four years since, we’re over $5 billion and miller says we’re set for exponential growth moving forward.

One thing to keep an eye on: A regional transit line.

Experts say that moving people around the city will become more important as all this growth continues.

However, the regional transit measure failed during the last election cycle.