Riding the Motor City struggle bus

Detroit’s “renaissance” has been foretold by the perpetual optimists for decades now, they said. In the 80s, it was the People Mover, a light-rail project that would connect downtown to the suburbs. The finished People Mover is a one-way monorail that runs in a 3-mile loop around downtown.

I was reminded of something similar Thomas Nardone, the leader of the Mower Gang, told me. Lots of young people move back to Detroit, but who wants to raise a family here?

But even if the optimists are wrong about the bright future of Detroit, one feels like the traditionalists are fighting a losing battle.

The state of Michigan just announced a $450 million bond project to build a new hockey arena for Detroit Red Wings, along with an additional $200 million to develop the surrounding area.

The bar sits in the middle of the proposed redevelopment zone.

As far as pressing priorities for Michigan and its beleaguered Detroit go, a taxpayer-backed hockey stadium doesn’t seem like it should be at the top of the list. But that’s Detroit for you.