The Next Chapter for Detroit - Challenges of coming back from backruptcy

Despite filing for bankruptcy protection, the city of Detroit still faces some major financial challenges. Although bankruptcy will help the city reduce its debt and provide more flexibility negotiating with creditors, the leaders of the city must still figure out a way to increase revenue and attract investors in order for the city to survive.

When the city of Detroit initially filed for bankruptcy, city leaders from other parts of the country were very surprised. Although they knew that Detroit was having financial problems, they never thought in a million years that the city would file for bankruptcy. Some were also watching closely because they were wondering if bankruptcy might be a good option for their city. So far however Detroit is the only major city to file bankruptcy this year.

So now that the bankruptcy paperwork has been filed and approved, what is the next step for Detroit?
One of the first things city leaders will have to do is convince business owners and developers that Detroit is still a good city to invest in. They may be able to convince them by outlining how the bankruptcy plan will help the city get the funds it needs to focus on commercial growth and development. If allocated correctly, these extra funds could be used to create tax incentive packages designed to attract new business. In addition, these extra funds can also be used to re-start development projects that had previously been put on the back burner due to lack of money.

In order to start attracting new business development again, the city of Detroit needs to really focus on developing existing parcels of land and upgrading existing office buildings. There are currently many underdeveloped areas in the city, which would be ideal locations for a wide range of retail and commercial projects. One of these areas is midtown, which is currently attracting a lot of students and young professionals. The city needs to re-invest money in this area, in order to continue building upon this momentum.

Along with the growing development in the midtown area, a large number of creative based businesses (i.e., advertising firms, marketing agencies, etc.) in recent months have been leaving the suburbs and moving into the downtown corridor. This is definitely good news for the city, because there hasn’t been any significant business growth in the downtown corridor for years.

Another issue the city of Detroit must address in order to attract future business development, is the rising percentage of crime. Unfortunately, Detroit still ranks in the top ten when it comes to serious crimes such as assault and murder.

Hopefully Detroit will be able to rebuild itself, and prove that there is “financial life” after bankruptcy.

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