DETROIT (WJBK) - In a meeting of the billionaires club, Dan Gilbert hosted Stephen Ross at the Detroit Film Theatre where the real estate developer announced a $27 million investment into the city to help rebuild neighborhoods.
Downtown Detroit and the neighborhoods is a tale of two cities for now but investors putting their money where the people are to help change that.
"I never thought Detroit would get in the position it was when I left. But the energy and excitement being generated in the city right now is tremendous," Ross said.
Ross is a well-known New York City real estate developer, he also owns the Miami Dolphins and is a native Detroiter. As Mayor Mike Duggan puts it, it took a lot of work to get Ross to this point.
"I went and saw Steven Ross two years ago in New York and he said I just don't see it. I sat with him a year ago and he said I don't see it. For this year for him to say this is great I'm coming home to invest. It tells you how the city's going and it sends a signal to a lot of other investors when Stephen Ross comes back, we're going to have a lot of other people come back too: Duggan said.
The message has been received. Ross added $7.5 million of his own money, plus there's $10 million from the Ford Foundation and another $10 million from a development company called The Platform, bringing the total to $27.5 million destined for areas outside downtown.
Neighborhoods like Brightmoor, for example, that could use some TLC. Matthew Solano has lived in Brightmoor for 2 years. We asked him what he would like to see done with the money.
"Please continue to clean the neighborhood up - get rid of these old houses. Put something new and fresh here. We need things like speed bumps and these roads fixed. The community center around the corner, put money in things like that to keep people active," Solano said.
The city is working with investors to determine the best way to make their dollar go as far as possible.