This weekend we are seeing the return of the Detroit Grand Prix after a 3 year hiatus spearheaded by businessman, race team owner and former driver Roger Penske.  Motor racing in Detroit dates back to the early 1900’s when Henry Ford won $500.00 in prize money in a race that would be the seed to start what today is the Ford Motor Company; this weekend we will see both Indy cars and Grand Am Series compete on Belle Isle. This weekend the roar of the motor city will be louder than ever!

Detroit has long been known as the Motor City and almost lost that moniker in 2009 with the potential failing of Chrysler and General Motors.  Today, Detroit has reasserted itself as the Motor City as the automotive industry continues to strengthen, jobs are returning and the race cars are back!

Housing starts increased 47% in Metropolitan Detroit showing signs of a stronger job market.  Additionally, Metropolitan Detroit’s unemployment rate dropped from 11.1% in April 2011 to 8.7% in April 2012. The jobless rate decrease was partially aided by a 43,700-person reduction in the civilian labor force. The total number of unemployed residents in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia area fell to 170,300 in April from 221,400 in April 2011, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Michigan’s business and political leaders are meeting this week on Mackinac Island for the Mackinac Policy Conference to discuss the State’s future and how it will approach job growth and ensure that the state is competing on a level playing field nationally and can succeed economically. These leaders have vested interest in the success of our State and hopefully will enact policies to help continue the growth of our region.

Entrepreneurs continue to lead Michigan’s resurgence through innovation and creativity. Many of Detroit’s business leaders have banded together to create a light rail system that will ultimately connect the City to the Suburbs with the hopes of long-term viability for both. Businesses from the sole proprietorships to multi-national corporations will continue to play an integral part in our regions long-term viability.

Metropolitan Detroit continues to show the rest of the nation how to survive and prosper and this weekend the roar of the motor city will be louder than ever!


Matthew B. Fenster, CCIM, MCR