A vibrant Detroit would make it easier for Ann Arbor companies to attract talented young professionals
A healthy Detroit would have direct benefits for Ann Arbor area companies, especially technology firms that are battling competitors in Silicon Valley, Chicago and Boston to attract the best possible talent.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
But Ann Arbor is not a major metropolitan city — and, like it or not, many young professionals want to live in an area where they have access to a vibrant, major urban environment.
That’s why Chicago attracts 11 percent of Michigan’s top college graduates. It’s a cool place to live.
“This isn’t going to be popular, but Ann Arbor is kind of a suburb of Detroit,” said Bruce McCully, founder of Ann Arbor-based information technology consultancy Dynamic Edge. “We may live in our own little world because of the university and a lot of effort that goes into creating jobs and new technology along with the university. However, if Detroit fails, so does Ann Arbor.”
There’s a reason why “when you go to the airport, you don’t go to Ann Arbor Metro Airport,” McCully added. Which is why “it’s worth the time and investment” to rebuild Detroit.
A revitalized Detroit would lift the entire region’s image, which means those companies will have access to better talent. With better talent, they’ll be more likely to reap profits, reinvest in the community and add more jobs.
“For the region to work, Detroit needs to work,” said Lou Glazer, president of Ann Arbor-based think tank Michigan Future.