Detroit's Latest Entrepreneurial Efforts Get A Boost From WeWork, Dan Gilbert
The city of Detroit, unlike almost any other in the United States, was hard hit during the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Auto related jobs were destroyed, the government was forced to raise billions of dollars of debt and the city itself was forced to file for bankruptcy.
The American spirit however can't be hurt and Detroit has earned the reputation of being called a "comeback city."
President and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber, Sandy Baruah, told CNBC back in March that at least $3.4 billion in investment and developments were announced in the city since 2013. Hundreds of restaurants and retail establishments have opened.
"There's economic opportunity here," she said. "We are seeing people come back into the city to work, live and play."
In fact, for every 100,000 residents in the Detroit metropolitan area, there are nearly 984 small businesses. Sixty-seven percent of small-business owners surveyed said they started their business not out of necessity, but because the opportunity to do so now exists.
WeWork The Latest To Join Detroit
WeWork, a provider of co-working space for individuals and companies, is the latest company flocking to Detroit.
According to the Detroit Free Press, WeWork will open two locations in downtown Detroit, which adds to the city's growing reputation of being friendly and supportive of startups and growing businesses.
WeWork's facilities in Detroit will span seven floors in Dan Gilbert's 1449 Woodward building and three floors in Gilbert's 1001 Woodward tower for a total of 82,000 square feet.
Gilbert is the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans and has been one of the marquee faces of the city's downtown rebirth over the last six years.
"We've been looking for space in Detroit for a while," Miguel McKelvey, one of WeWork's founders told the Detroit Free Press. "There's just such a great energy developing there. Now is the right time to get in and be a part of that, and the history of innovation is something we're interested in connecting to."
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