A Financial Adviser’s Advice for Detroit: Be More Like Brooklyn

Will the next Williamsburg copycat be Detroit?

Michael Plummer, founder of Artvest Partners, has the solution for a broken, bankrupt Detroit: Just become Brooklyn! According to Bloomberg, the financial adviser testified in a hearing on September 18 that maintaining the renowned collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), as well as using cheap land and affordable rents to attract struggling artists, could help usher in an artistic renaissance for the struggling city. “Artists are driven by cheap real estate,” he said. But, if the city is forced to sell the DIA’s collection, as some creditors have demanded (see “Creditor Still Wants To Sell Detroit Institute of Arts Collection“), “artists would have no reason to move here.”

Plummer believes Brooklyn is a good model because its renewal was based largely on artists, creatives, and young people being priced out of Manhattan, and seeking shelter in the formerly affordable outer borough. “It is the artistic center of New York,” he went on to say.

While it’s an amusing solution given the compulsive eye rolling many people experience when Brooklyn’s alleged “hipness” is brought up, finding ways to make depressed cities appealing to artists and young people is not a new concept.  Four years ago, Patti Smith penned an Observer piece titled “Is Detroit The New New York?,” in which she advised young people moving to New York in the hopes of “making it” to consider another location.

“New York has closed itself off to the young and struggling,” she wrote. “New York City has been taken away from you … So my advice is: Find a new city.”


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