If you work for one of the original five companies that participated in the successful Live Downtown program, you do not have to go “over the pond” to see or participate in the Summer Olympics.
These Olympics will highlight the fun factors of living and working Downtown and celebrate the first anniversary of the Live Downtown Program. Detroit’s version of the games will feature Olympians from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware, DTE Energy, Quicken Loans and Strategic Staffing Solutions. Each of these companies has stepped up to offer cash incentives to help employees lease, buy, or improve a residence Downtown.
In its first year more than 150 individual applications have closed meaning people actually have bought, leased, renewed or improved a home, apartment or condo within the Live Downtown boundaries. This has resulted in an estimated 300 more people living Downtown. There are an additional 50 applications have been pre-approved for the incentives and another 50 applications are in the pipeline.
One result of the increased demand for Downtown residences is the highest occupancy rate Detroit has seen in decades with most residential buildings at 90 plus percent occupied.
The Live Downtown Olympics were announced this week in conjunction with Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan’s celebration of the completion of its final phase of relocating 3,400 workers from Southfield to Detroit, bringing total Blue Cross employment to more than 6,400 in five downtown buildings.
The week-long Olympics will take place July 23-27 and will feature fun competitive activities from softball and tug of war to singing Karaoke and competitive eating at participating downtown establishments — there will be some sort of punch card or scoring system to eat your way to more points for your team. The big winner in all of this, however, is Downtown Detroit. These friendly games are an extension of the collaboration and camaraderie that is increasingly the hallmark of the many successes coming out of Michigan’s largest and arguably most important urban core.
The Opening Ceremony will be held at 11:00 am in Cadillac Square on Monday, July 23.