When I moved back home in 2012 after living in Washington, D.C., as a federal consultant for IBM, finding a place to live in Detroit was relatively easy. The city’s rebirth was just beginning and very few people were asking about the best places to live in Detroit. If you really wanted to live downtown, you could handpick your favorite spot.
To give you some perspective, I shared my first apartment when I moved back with a guy named Jacob Smith (who I didn’t know at the time). Jacob and I ended up working together at Ambassador, a Detroit-area startup, and he now works at Castle, a real estate tech company (which, cough cough, is on the re:purpose platform).
Our apartment was on the 25th floor of a building downtown and our rent — for a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom loft — was $580 per person, but we also got a $250 stipend from the city to live downtown. Oh, and that building — it was less than 50% occupied.
Today, renting an apartment and living in downtown Detroit is a different story.
Just three years after signing our initial lease, there’s a 6-month waiting list to get into that same building. Even more incredibly, downtown Detroit is at near 100% occupancy and rent in some buildings has increased by more than 150%.
In other words, the city is experiencing a full-blown renaissance. And now, I’m regularly asked (including at a re:purpose event in NYC this weekend): “Where are the best places to live in Detroit?”
So, I decided to curate a list of what I think are the best downtown Detroit apartments.
Here’s our curated list of the best for living in downtown Detroit:
Best Places to Live - Downtown Detroit
The Malcomson - my current residence
Features: Exposed bricks, brand new appliances, and overlooks Capital Park
Lofts of Merchants Row
Features: Loft with open floor plans, valet parking and located in central downtown
Features: Recently renovated apartments, fitness center, retail on ground floor
Features: Overlooks Comerica Park, 2 - story apartments, and exposed ceilings
Features: Beautiful lobby, brand new apartments, and half the building is an Aloft Hotel
Pro Tip: Late night stop by Cafe D'Mongo's. Great music and atmosphere!
Best Places to Live - Midtown Detroit
Graphic Arts Lofts
Features: Huge windows, 12’ ceilings, and industrial style lofts
Features: Brand new, hot tub and outdoor lounge & spa with a heated deck.
Features: Amazing architecture, walking distance to the DIA, and indoor fountain
55 W. Canfield Lofts
Features: Floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed bricks and within 250 ft of Shinola, Jolly Pumpkin and Run Detroit
Pro Tip: Grab a pizza at Jolly Pumpkins. Sit outside and enjoy the scene on Canfield St.
Best Places to Live - Rivertown Detroit
River Park Lofts
Features: Overlooks the Detroit River, walking distance to Belle Island and the Riverwalk
River Place Apartments
Features: Spacious apartments with walk-in closets, 8-foot windows, and covered parking
Lofts At Rivertown
Features: Exposed brick & ceilings, outdoor pool and walking distance to the Dequindre Cut
Pro Tip: Grab a flight of beers and homemade pretzel at Atwater Brewery