Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wyandotte: Demographics of a Downriver City

Wyandotte, Michigan is one of my favorite cities Downriver.  It has affordable housing, charming older homes, good schools, great riverfront parks, and a thriving downtown.

City of Wyandotte photo
Wyandotte is in a great location, next to the Detroit River.  It is a little over five square miles.  There is a mix of houses, from early 20th century to recent construction.  The city had an incentive program to improve your home, not sure if it is still in effect, but many credit it with refurbishing a declining housing stock.  You can get from downtown Wyandotte to downtown Detroit in a little over 30 minutes.

Wyandotte hosts a popular art fair during the summer.

Downtown Wyandotte is full of small retail and restaurants/bars, mostly along or branching off of Jefferson Avenue.  They have a great Third Fridays event which brings a lot of people downtown for the night, but it is an area that is doing well.  There aren't many vacant storefronts and it is just hip enough to bring in a young crowd without scaring off older customers.

The city had a great tax incentive program to improve your home.  I'm not sure if it is still in effect, but many credit it with refurbishing a declining housing stock.  

On a somewhat negative note, I was surprised to find out that the city's population has actually declined by about 9% since 2000, currently at about 25,500 people (as of 2012).  Since I can see visible signs of the city being better than in 2000, and had no idea there was a population decline, this took me aback.  I even went to several sources to make sure it was true.  It is.

Grand old homes such as this are plentiful in Wyandotte.
Median age of the residents is 40.4 years, much younger than the Michigan average of 45.5.  Household income is slightly above the state average, at $50,009 compared to $48,669.  Still, 10.7% of residents live below the poverty line, although that is significantly lower than the state average.  Wyandotte is 94.7% White/Caucasian.

As for the housing stock, the median value of homes there is around $110,000 (don't forget that Michigan is much more affordable than California or New York or most of the country in general).  There are a good amount of multi-family units, especially duplexes and triplexes.  Real estate investors are looking at a healthy environment for flipping or rental units.

Mayor Peterson is not afraid to wear a silly hat for the right reasons.
News-Herald photo
One other thing I like about the city is that Mayor Joe Peterson is a really fun guy.  If you ever get a chance to walk downtown Wyandotte with him, you will see that he knows everybody there (and isn't afraid to yell greetings across Jefferson Avenue) and that there is an unlimited amount of corny jokes one elected official can say to residents and business owners.  The man provides an enthusiastic spirit and is an unabashed cheerleader for his city.


United States Census

City of Wyandotte official website