Rivertown called fastest gentrifying neighborhood, but officials argue the term is not fair

Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-23 18:21:30-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — A real estate website says a former industrial neighborhood in Detroit is attracting more residents, which increases property value, leading to gentrification.

Gentrification is a sensitive subject, especially in the city of Detroit.

According to the Rivertown-Warehouse District is the fast-gentrifying neighborhood in the country. Some say it’s growing quickly but ‘gentrification’ may not be the the right term.

Arthur Jemison is the city’s Chief of Services & Infrastructure said, “Detroit’s riverfront was quite frankly industrial and so those warehouses are part of that legacy.”

The Rivertown-Warehouse district spans north of the Renaissance Center to the bridge to Belle Isle and east of Jefferson.

City officials disagree with the article because gentrification means lower income residents and businesses are being pushed out. In this case, they say developers are converting vacant warehouses and turning them into condos and apartments.

That requires zoning changes from commercial to residential, which explains the rise in home sales.

“The methodology really is better at measuring people coming in, which frankly is a good thing for our city,” Jemison says.

The article uses data like household income and home sale prices between the years 2012 and 2017.

Patrick Blair, the Events Director of Atwater Brewery which sits on Joseph Campau, welcomes developers saying its better than having buildings remain vacant.

“Condos and everything like that really kind of brings more of the downtown area to the riverfront, which is just off the beaten path,” he explained.

If you’re wondering, neighborhoods in Miami and Charlotte round out the top three.

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