The Real Deal New York

New York hipsters are being encouraged to move to Detroit

Promotional billboards are popping up throughout the city
By Business Insider | April 05, 2015 11:00AM

New York residents may have noticed new billboards throughout the city encouraging them to move to Detroit. There’s one in Soho, another at the Ace Hotel in Midtown, and the other two billboards are in Bushwick. One example reads, “Detroit: Just west of Bushwick” while another says, “Detroit: Be left alone” below a rainbow.

“I think Detroit is a compelling place for people to be moving,” explained Philip Kafka of Prince Media Co., the boutique billboard company behind the campaign, to Business Insider. “I can do things there as a young guy that I could never imagine doing in New York or any other major market in the US.”

Kafka is currently opening a Thai restaurant along with a few partners in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood which will be called KATOI, and is trying to get people to work there. “We plan to hire between 15 and 20 people,” one of the co-partners in KATOI, Courtney Henriette, told Metro Times. “We are looking for general kitchen and service staff.”

And while part of the campaign is to drum up awareness for the upcoming restaurant, New York-based Kafka said another, separate campaign is to encourage people — particularly artists and young creatives — to move to the financially troubled city. Kafka himself owns property in Detroit, and believes it is on the rise.

“Every time people find a neighborhood in New York, ‘the man’ moves there,” he told us. “You always have to keep moving east or west. Bushwick was east of Williamsburg, which was east of the Lower East Side, and so on.”

Detroit, he says, is merely going a little west instead. Kafka also insists that the scene is becoming more hip and appealing to millennials.

“Detroit is a lot more spread out than New York, so it’s hard to see what’s happening,” he said. “But once it’s connected and people see what Detroit is about, it’s new and unexpected.”

“It also has a great history, and we can never ignore that,” Kafka added.

Henriette agrees, and told Metro News that the right kind of New Yorkers will “recognize the value in Detroit.”

Time will tell whether the romantic billboards will encourage a new wave of residents to uproot from their tiny, overpriced apartments and make their way to Detroit, but for now at least it has it’s own hashtag #movetodetroit.

  • Realest Minority

    some amazing deals in the D-town


    let Detroit be Detroit

  • ragingagainst

    Yes, all hipsters should move to Detroit.

  • An exodus of bearded, tattooed, effeminate, out-of-shape, passive-aggressive man-children to Detroit is a party worth paying for.

  • Longtime_Detroiter

    Thanks for the offer, but we really don’t really want them. We’ve got more than enough to keep us busy now.

    • Marc

      May you be blessed with more of them. Eventually mommy & daddy will stop paying for their douche lifestyle in NYC & will head your way. Sorry about that :)

  • Steven Dutch

    As if Detroit doesn’t have enough problems.

  • Disqustd

    Not sure if serious.

  • lovefullife

    give jobs to detroit, asshole

  • BH

    You don’t have to move to Detroit to invest in it. I would like to know if the partners opening the restaurant plan on moving there?

  • huntermike989

    more robbery victims….

  • miloslav veytsman

    thats so shortsighted…..why not Somalia?

  • Guest

    detroit doesnt need anymore beards…it looks like a civil war reenactment or an amish barn raising.

  • wolfy

    detroit doesnt need anymore beards…it looks like a civil war reenactment or an amish barn raising.

  • Really?

    Of course he wants a bunch of New Yorkers to come work for Detroit wages and take jobs tha could be given to people from the inner city. You can keep your New Yorkers and your little restaurant.

  • Rustled Jimmies

    Go home Brooklyn. We DO NOT want you

  • BISAlum2014

    We welcome all. The renaissance is real.

  • Bob

    Hipsters have already crippled the economic prosperity that once filled Grand Rapids. I can’t imagine what their presence will do to one of the most economically crippled regions in the country. Perhaps you could encourage them to move east of the Atlantic Ocean? Everyone wins that way.

  • Max

    The irony is this Kafta character is talking about running away from the man. In this scenario, he is the man. I’m paying 300$ a mo for a loft. Don’t move here and gentrify that shit.