New Job! I’m moving to Detroit!

The day after I finished my Masters’ thesis, I had a job offer.  I’m going to by a Systems Engineer for LG!

As a systems engineer, I’ll be working with the clients (Ford, Chrysler, GM) to develop battery packs for their new generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.  As I’m rather early in my career, management thinks it best if I started doing FEM (Finite Element Mesh) heat/stress/fluid dynamic simulations and material analysis work.  I’ve been to a few INCOSE (International Council on Systems Engineering) conferences, and like what the other Systems Engineers do.  I’m really excited for this job.

This job is in Troy, Michigan.  I’m moving there Thursday, and going to start hunting for apartments.  For now, I’ll be renting a room daily of an ad I found on air BNB.  I’m very close to work.  I get a single room, but have to share a bathroom.

From news stories and the urbanization class I took in undergrad, I’ve heard Detroit is in serious decline.  In some neighbourhoods, the occupancy rate is only 10%; this means 90% of the houses are abandoned.  However, reading recent accounts, Downtown and Midtown are becoming really hip areas.  Detroit is also trying to rebrand itself as a place to host a startup.  Check out this video.

I’ve been to Detroit before, but I haven’t spent much time in the hip areas.   It’s 1950esque architecture makes it quite a beautiful city. One major problem with Detroit is the walkability of the city. The city has huge roads and very little public transit, effectively making the city unwalkable. Recently, the city has been given a grant to improve public transit by buying 50 new buses. The new buses and the completion of the M1 streetcar should make Detroit feel less like a ghost town and more like a international city.

Does this look like a small town to you?

I’m currently looking for places to live. I’ve been suggested Royal Oak and Ferndale because it is only a 10-15 minute drive away, and all the yuppies live there. At Slightly further away, I could live with the hipsters in Midtown or in Downtown.  Midtown is known for having lots of students and art.  Downtown is known for being a typical land of corporate skyscrapers.

Moving to a new city (especially a cheap one) is exciting because I can choose where I want to live and who I want to associate with. I’m leaning towards Royal Oak, but I’ve heard that Midtown is quite walkable, which is appealing to me.

I’m also considering being nomadic for a few months; living out my suitcase, and getting sublets for a month at a time. The goal would be to sample living in different parts of the city before settling down and moving in. This is exciting and would keep things new, but it may be extremely time consuming, and potentially a bad use of funds.

That being said, I’ve looked at a few rental ads, and rent is much cheaper than Toronto.  There have been auctions which are pricing some ridiculously nice houses for $1000.  The caveat being, it is NOT in move-in condition, it is in a high-crime/deserted neighbourhood, and you MUST get the house up to code within 6 months AND move in.  They don’t want people flipping houses, they want people to move back to the city.

Would you pay $1000 for this?


Perhaps I’ll buy a project house and fix it up myself!

2 Replies to “New Job! I’m moving to Detroit!”

  1. i always enjoy reading your blogs adam. hope detroit is nice to you and you find a place to setting in soon. i’m sure my brother can help if you have any question.

    ps post something about the girls of detroit if you can…cause you know, sex sells and always makes things more interesting 😉

  2. Whoa Adam, what a exciting new adventure you have ahead of you!! I wish you the best of luck!! People here in Toronto will definitely miss you!! and loving your blog =)

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