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Thread: Hamtramck

  1. #1
    Shollin Guest

    Default Hamtramck

    With the talk about Hamtown Farms, it got me thinking of Hamtramck. With so many people wanting walk ability, why hasn't Hamtramck become a trendy place for the coveted "young professionals?" I was surprised to see Hamtramck still has a population density of over 10,000. The neighborhoods are still intact for the most part and it still has a workable business district. The city still has strong Polish roots but also has seen an influx in immigrants. It still has some old Polish restaurants and bakeries and now more ethnic restaurants as well. It seems to have everything that the people who move to Royal Oak want except with real character and culture. I know crime is high, but it isn't as bad as nearby Highland Park or most of Detroit. It's not that far from Wayne State and is closer to downtown than Ferndale or Royal Oak. I've also read about it's budding art and music scene yet I don't hear about much development. Joseph Campau, Caniff, an even Conant have potential. Property is also dirt cheap. Why no gentrification? It seems to have become a gateway for immigrants.

  2. #2

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    Try parking there sometime. Most of the residential streets off campau have no driveways and the alleys quickly become useless when it snows, rendering the garages pointless. The east side of conant has more driveways. The housing stock is MUCH lower quality than royal oak or ferndale, very cheaply built, plus there is a city income tax

  3. #3

    Default

    Many young professionals do not want to live in ethnic enclaves.
    What makes things attractive for ethnic groups is not that same as what makes a neighborhood attractive to young professionals. Ethnic groups like Hamtramck because its a bargain. Young professionals equate affordability to unstable places. Young professionals care less about dollar stores and ethnic groceries than they care about starbucks or whole foods. In short, while Hamtramck is very cool to a large population of city dwellers, young professionals would rather not live there. Heck they might have to share a flat with someone with ESL!

  4. #4

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    I loved living in Hamtramck. It's true about the parking. If they built a nice 5 or 6 story apartment building and devoted a few lots to parking in the "northern" section of the city, they could then have a mini trolley running to and from the businesses. I think that might attract more yuppies.

  5. #5
    GUSHI Guest

    Default

    The housing stock by saint florian is actually nicer then aaloft of the house in ro
    Quote Originally Posted by rb336 View Post
    Try parking there sometime. Most of the residential streets off campau have no driveways and the alleys quickly become useless when it snows, rendering the garages pointless. The east side of conant has more driveways. The housing stock is MUCH lower quality than royal oak or ferndale, very cheaply built, plus there is a city income tax

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GUSHI View Post
    The housing stock by saint florian is actually nicer then aaloft of the house in ro
    Depends on who you ask. I don't agree with that.

  7. #7
    Shollin Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitPlanner View Post
    Many young professionals do not want to live in ethnic enclaves.
    What makes things attractive for ethnic groups is not that same as what makes a neighborhood attractive to young professionals. Ethnic groups like Hamtramck because its a bargain. Young professionals equate affordability to unstable places. Young professionals care less about dollar stores and ethnic groceries than they care about starbucks or whole foods. In short, while Hamtramck is very cool to a large population of city dwellers, young professionals would rather not live there. Heck they might have to share a flat with someone with ESL!
    What your saying is the yuppies who buy these lofts in Royal Oak just want the illusion of being in an urban setting? They talk about how they want walk ability, urbanization, culture, and diversity, but doesn't Hamtramck have that? Ferndale was anything but a trendy place in the 80's and into 90's. Midtown didn't have a Starbucks or Whole Foods till the yuppies started to move in. Why can't new lofts be built on Joseph Campau?

    I also have to LOL at the lack of driveways comment. Chicago and New York outside of maybe Staten Island and Queens lacks driveways. I read on here how walk ability is so wonderful and then read about a lack of driveways.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shollin View Post
    What your saying is the yuppies who buy these lofts in Royal Oak just want the illusion of being in an urban setting? They talk about how they want walk ability, urbanization, culture, and diversity, but doesn't Hamtramck have that? Ferndale was anything but a trendy place in the 80's and into 90's. Midtown didn't have a Starbucks or Whole Foods till the yuppies started to move in. Why can't new lofts be built on Joseph Campau?
    Exactly. The whole premise behind the young professional lifestyle is to go for the high end cookie cutter. Unless kielbasa and paan become fashionable, I can't see the area attracting a lot of loft dwellers. Without a market, the developers are going to shy away from creating large numbers of lofts.

  9. #9
    Shollin Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DetroitPlanner View Post
    Exactly. The whole premise behind the young professional lifestyle is to go for the high end cookie cutter. Unless kielbasa and paan become fashionable, I can't see the area attracting a lot of loft dwellers. Without a market, the developers are going to shy away from creating large numbers of lofts.
    Midtown didn't have a market. Ferndale and Royal Oak were dying suburbs. The lofts came before Whole Foods and Starbucks. I guess I hear yuppies talking about how they want culture, diversity, and walk ability, but the areas most dense and most diverse city doesn't appeal to them.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shollin View Post
    Midtown didn't have a market. Ferndale and Royal Oak were dying suburbs. The lofts came before Whole Foods and Starbucks. I guess I hear yuppies talking about how they want culture, diversity, and walk ability, but the areas most dense and most diverse city doesn't appeal to them.
    As a representative of this demographic subset, I have a lot to say about this but will hold back because I'm curious to see where the conversation goes. For now, let me offer that there is a big distinction among the yuppies who live in Midtown/Downtown vs. Royal Oak vs. Birmingham vs. Plymouth vs. Novi.

    Awareness of these differences is important in understanding what's driving this people who are similar in age/education/income but very disparate in what they value in living space.

  11. #11

    Default

    These young professionals are gonna need a driveway for their cars because there is no way they would want to take DDOT. Give them a useful, safe public transportation system and they won't need their cars. But these yuppies and hipsters from the city have in their mind that DDOT is unreliable and unsafe.

  12. #12

    Default

    It's located in the middle of a cesspool and is slowly being overrun. Full of empty churches and closed stores. Filled with transients waiting for the next bus to the burbs. It no longer has roots.

    Chene St. ghetto to the south, Carpenter Rd slum to the north, Highland Park ruins to the west and East Detroit battle ground to the east. This is going to attract students, professionals, artists etc.? Who in their right mind would take the chance?

  13. #13

    Default

    I would say it is unappealing to the yuppies because most of its population is very poor, there are high crime rates relative to the burbs, its crowded and shabby looking, and the overwhelming majority of houses and commercial buildings lack architectural significance. Much of the infrastructure is aging, and unlike midtown and downtown, is not being upgraded. The buildings along Jos Comp are drab and featureless, and except for certain side streets there is very little vegetation. Overall it feels pretty slummy, and although I agree it has a lot of potential, it needs so much investment, it is unlikely to ever catch up with downtown/midtown.

  14. #14

    Default

    I currently live in Warren, but my finances are now in enough order that I can look at moving in the not so distant future. My goal has to been to either move in Detroit, or at least closer to it. There is a lot going on in the creative community in Detroit that I want to be near.

    What I've found, so far, is that my friends (all in their early 20s) are much more willing to live in Midtown or even Corktown or Mexicantown than they are Hamtramck. When I bring the possibility of Hamtrack, they're like "I don't know...." They somehow see Hamtramck as riskier, even though according to City Data those areas have about identical crime indexes. It's almost like if you can't see the skyscrapers, people freak out and feel like they're too far from the "safe" part of Detroit. Yet, personally, I feel safer at ground level in Hamtramck because there tends be more people out and about on a regular basis - not that this perception truly means all that much. And in Hamtramck, you really are close to Midtown and I-75 runs right through the west side if you drive a lot.

    Although this doesn't apply to my friends, I feel half of the reason affluent people flocked more to - say - Corktown rather than Hamtramck is because Corktown bottomed out enough that you could start remaking it to be whatever you wanted. You could realistically make parts of it a "yuppie paradise" in 5-10 years, with all which that entails. Hamtramck is still too dense for that, and has strong ethnic presences. The other reason is that Corktown and most of the other gentrifying neighborhoods are right outside of downtown (as much as you can use the word gentrification - this isn't Williamsburg yet!), which people like for entertainment and safety reasons.

    Personally speaking, Hamtramck is my favorite neighborhood south of 8 Mile. In fact, my great-grandma used to live there. I think it has the best food you can buy in Metro Detroit for the price, a strong melting pot culture, great history, some interesting creative stuff (look at all the hubbub over those big time graffiti artists that came into town), and etc. Unfortunately, there are definitely some crime issues, and you get the sense that the neighborhood could be trending downwards. Hamtramck needs some new investments from outsiders in the near future, because that thread it's been hanging on by seems to be getting awfully thin.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shollin View Post
    Midtown didn't have a market. Ferndale and Royal Oak were dying suburbs. The lofts came before Whole Foods and Starbucks. I guess I hear yuppies talking about how they want culture, diversity, and walk ability, but the areas most dense and most diverse city doesn't appeal to them.
    When were Ferndale and RO ever dying suburbs? By whatever standard you're going to use to define them as dying what exactly would you consider Hamtramck to be in its current condition?

    I think some people have a way too rosy view of Hamtramck.
    I've noticed an increasing amount of uncivil/brutish behavior. I use to say that Hamtramck is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. It's increasingly becoming a place that I don't even want to vist.

    Whenever I'm in Hamtramck what strikes me is the amount of litter. Whether it's Joesph Campau, many of the neighborhoods or parks there just doesn't seem to be enough civic pride in keeping the city clean.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rjk
    Whenever I'm in Hamtramck what strikes me is the amount of litter. Whether it's Joesph Campau, many of the neighborhoods or parks there just doesn't seem to be enough civic pride in keeping the city clean.


    The last time I was in Hamtramck, a middle-aged lady dumped her empty bottle of juice on the sidewalk from the passenger side of a van. Immediately, a younger lady started berating her for littering. It almost turned into a fight. "How are you going to tell me what to do?" the middle-aged lady yelled.

  17. #17
    Shollin Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rjk View Post
    When were Ferndale and RO ever dying suburbs? By whatever standard you're going to use to define them as dying what exactly would you consider Hamtramck to be in its current condition?

    I think some people have a way too rosy view of Hamtramck.
    I've noticed an increasing amount of uncivil/brutish behavior. I use to say that Hamtramck is a nice place to visit but I wouldn't want to live there. It's increasingly becoming a place that I don't even want to vist.

    Whenever I'm in Hamtramck what strikes me is the amount of litter. Whether it's Joesph Campau, many of the neighborhoods or parks there just doesn't seem to be enough civic pride in keeping the city clean.
    The 80's. When I was younger it was never hip to live in Ferndale, and if memory serves me correctly, downtown Royal Oak was just a bunch of shuttered warehouses and small factories. They both continue to lose population and Ferndale's population loss is outpacing Hamtramck's loss. You're missing the whole point. It's about the potential. Someone realized the potential of the abandoned warehouses in Royal Oak and created a yuppie utopia. Before that it wasn't a desirable suburb. Hamtramck has the potential.

  18. #18

    Default

    I can't answer OP's question but just had to pop in to say that I love Hamtramck! It's a great city. I came very close to moving there a few years ago.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nain rouge View Post


    The last time I was in Hamtramck, a middle-aged lady dumped her empty bottle of juice on the sidewalk from the passenger side of a van. Immediately, a younger lady started berating her for littering. It almost turned into a fight. "How are you going to tell me what to do?" the middle-aged lady yelled.
    A month ago I was picking up some garbage near the Pope John Paul statue when I saw a 2 year old girl throw some litter on the ground. Her mother was staring right at her and wasn't bothered in the slightest by it. I was tempted to say something but I figured that type of person is going to be receptive to criticism. I'm sure the return comment would have been along the line of FU. You're not going to win that battle.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shollin View Post
    The 80's. When I was younger it was never hip to live in Ferndale, and if memory serves me correctly, downtown Royal Oak was just a bunch of shuttered warehouses and small factories. They both continue to lose population and Ferndale's population loss is outpacing Hamtramck's loss. You're missing the whole point. It's about the potential. Someone realized the potential of the abandoned warehouses in Royal Oak and created a yuppie utopia. Before that it wasn't a desirable suburb. Hamtramck has the potential.
    Places like Incognito and Noir Leather started up in the early 80's. Downtown RO was more family friendly businesses like clothing stores prior to it evolving in the 80's/early 90's into an entertainment district. It was never abandoned warehouses and little factories. RO was never as bad as Hamtramck is right now.

    Ferndale's success came in large part from RO's success. Many of the businesses that were priced out of the rent increases in RO made their way down to Ferndale.

  21. #21

    Default

    I've been here for more than half a decade now. I live in one of the lousier parts of town, and it felt risky to me at first too, at least compared to Woodbridge where I was. But I grew to love it. Good food, good bars, and driving convenient to everywhere. And bar none this is the cheapest apartment district in metro Detroit. Six years now - no crime, no bugs, cheap rent. Granted, I'm in my thirties and don't look the young and vulnerable type. But life here has been good to me, and I respect how well Hamtramck has fared in comparison to it's neighbors. It speaks to committed and passionate , if not always wise and practical, leadership and community voices. Though the litter is a nightmare.

  22. #22

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Shollin View Post
    The 80's. When I was younger it was never hip to live in Ferndale, and if memory serves me correctly, downtown Royal Oak was just a bunch of shuttered warehouses and small factories. They both continue to lose population and Ferndale's population loss is outpacing Hamtramck's loss. You're missing the whole point. It's about the potential. Someone realized the potential of the abandoned warehouses in Royal Oak and created a yuppie utopia. Before that it wasn't a desirable suburb. Hamtramck has the potential.
    What? Little factories and warehouses? Yeah, those line Main and Washington. The reason Royal Oak and Ferndale has been losing population is because these were baby boomer suburbs. Their schools filled in the 50s to the 70s. But now, baby boomers have moved out to 100 Mile and Van Dyke and left their parents here, only to come back on Friday and Saturday nights. However, those children of the baby boomers, such as myself, are starting to move back into these communities, albeit at slow place. Downtown Royal Oak used to serve the Royal Oak community. It was, before the 90s, never a destination downtown like it is today.

  23. #23

    Default

    Hamtramck needs is "Noir Leather" moment. That aside, I love living in Hamtramck because its a destination in and of itself, and you can get anywhere, downtown or Royal Oak fast. We can ride our bicycles to Eastern Market.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Hamtramck

    Quote Originally Posted by rb336 View Post
    Try parking there sometime. Most of the residential streets off campau have no driveways and the alleys quickly become useless when it snows, rendering the garages pointless. The east side of conant has more driveways. The housing stock is MUCH lower quality than royal oak or ferndale, very cheaply built, plus there is a city income tax
    I have to say that I disagree with the person who said that the houses are of much lower quality than RO or Ferndale. I bought a house in Hamtramck last year after an exhaustive search and, even though my house turns 100 years old this year it is rock solid. I bought this house because it was the best quality of all the ones I had looked at, including houses in Royal Oak that were 3x the price. Yes, hamtramck is an old neighborhood. The houses are old. There is always work to be done on 100 year old houses. But the underlying quality of craftsmanship is unbeaten.

  25. #25

    Default

    And yes, parking can be an issue...but it's the city folks. I assume people know about the parking when they house hunt in Hamtramck.

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