New York hipsters are being encouraged to move to Detroit

Promotional billboards are popping up throughout the city

TRD New York /
Apr.April 05, 2015 11:00 AM

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.

 

Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(Image by Wolfgang & Hite via Dezeen)

Hudson Yards megadevelopment inspires a new line of sex toys

Cammeby's International Group founder Rubin Schron and, from top: 194-05 67th Avenue, 189-15 73rd Avenue and 64-05 186th Lane (Credit: Google Maps)

Ruby Schron lands $500M refi for sprawling Queens apartment portfolio

Wendy Silverstein (Credit: Getty Images)

Wendy Silverstein, co-head of WeWork’s real-estate fund, is out

Corcoran CEO Pam Liebman and president of sales Bill Cunningham 

Corcoran shakeup: Bill Cunningham out; Gary Malin now COO

Battle of the boroughs: Tallying the city’s top law firms by real estate loans

Battle of the boroughs: Tallying the city’s top law firms by real estate loans

Playboy CEO Ben Kohn and Adam Hochfelder with 510 West 42nd Street (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Exposed: Playboy has left the Playboy Club New York

From left: RPG CEO Bruce Teitelbaum, L&L MAG CEO MaryAnne Gilmartin, 44-02 Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City and Douglas Durst (Credit: Google Maps)

Durst deadlocked with owners of prime LIC site

205 Park Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Developer files plans for mixed-use project facing BQE

arrow_forward_ios