We Discovered Detroit’s Architectural Heritage At ULI 2018


ULI Spring Meeting had a record-breaking 4,000 attendees! Everyone attended from leading developers and investors to architects, consultants, and planners. Every sector was represented, including residential, retail, office, industrial, and hotel/resort development. Our team explored the city of Detroit on ULI’s tours and discovered Detroit as a culturally rich, architecturally beautiful city.

Once America’s great city, Detroit has struggled with poverty, corruption, cronyism, and bad politics. It even filed for bankruptcy back in 2013. But, times are changing for Detroit. Our Director of Economic Research, Ali Wolf, wrote about how Detroit is evolving and revitalizing itself.

Beavers at the Detroit River?

A beaver from the Detroit River checked in for market updates at the CDC blue council at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle.  I learned about the efforts to protect habitat for urban wildlife in the Detroit River International Wildlife refuge.

“I’d never been to Detroit and was surprised to see the amazing architectural heritage of the city.  I stayed in the historical Indian Village neighborhood which has retained a wealth of beautiful Tudor Revival and Renaissance Revival homes.” Scott Davis, Senior Vice President

Detroit’s Deep, Rich History

“When I initially signed up for the Spring Meeting in Detroit, I was excited to learn more about one of the few cities in the U.S. I had not yet visited.  I hoped that I would like it more than its checkered reputation would suggest.  During my time there, however, I quickly grew to love Detroit way more than expected.  It has a deep, rich history, with beautiful old buildings and a story on every corner, and a lovely waterfront with views of the Canadian skyline.

I did two tours – one of Ford’s massive Rouge Factory in Dearborn, where I got to see the inner-workings of the most impressive manufacturing facility I have ever seen, and one of density in Detroit’s suburbs, where I got to really experience way more than those that stayed only Downtown (the walkable town of Birmingham was surprisingly interesting).  All of these elements, combined with Midwestern friendliness, made my trip to this year’s ULI Meeting particularly special – I can’t wait to go back!” Adam McAbee, Vice President

If you were not able to attend, ULI’s next Fall Meeting will be October 8-11 in Boston, MA and the next Spring Meeting will be April 16-18, 2019 in Nashville, TN. See the full schedule here. We hope to see you at both of them!