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Report: Greater Downtown Detroit Near Full Residential Occupancy

By Edward Cardenas

DETROIT (CBS Detroit) - Greater downtown Detroit continues to have near-full residential occupancy according to a new report.

The figures come from the "7.2 SQ MI" report, which is from a partnership between the Hudson-Webber Foundation, Downtown Detroit Partnership, Midtown Detroit, Inc., Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and Invest Detroit, and provides an assessment of those living, working and investing in downtown Detroit.

"We believe a strong core is critical to the success of Detroit and our region," said Eric Larson, CEO of Downtown Detroit Partnership, in a release. "Having this data assists us in shaping new programming and fine tuning our initiatives supporting a resilient city and downtown."

This is the second edition of the report, which was first released in early 2013, and covers a 7.2 square mile collection of neighborhoods: Downtown, Midtown, Woodbridge, Eastern Market, Lafayette Park, Rivertown and Corktown, and found there are 35,037 people living in the area.

For those living downtown, there is a greater foreign-born population in downtown than the state ( 7 vs. 6 percent) and larger concentration of college educated individuals in the area than even the United States (8 vs. 4 percent).

Those living downtown are moving into a number of new housing units. Between 2010 and 2014 there were 1,258 new housing units and 1,754 renovated units. The report also found that there was near full-occupancy in Downtown and Midtown (98 and 97 percent respectively).

Downtown also accounts for 40 percent of the employment in the city, with 60 percent of the jobs in the area paying wages greater than $40,000 annually. This is a 14 percent increase since 2002.

This growth in jobs has led to a drop commercial vacancy. It fell from 27.3 percent in 2010 to 16 percent in 2014.

"For Detroit's resurgence as a global economic leader to continue, investors and stakeholders need quality data to facilitate informed decision making. 7.2 provides valuable insight and highlights the significant investments and vitality bolstering downtown, while underscoring the need for further improvements," said Rodrick Miller, president & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, in a release.

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