How bad is the economy and how far have property values fallen in Southeast Michigan, an area now beset by depression conditions? A good indication came earlier this month when the Pontiac Silverdome and its 127 acres of land, home to the Detroit Lions from 1975 to 2002, was sold to a Toronto-based company for $583,000.
The Pontiac Silverdome and its 127 adjacent acres could become home to a Major League Soccer team now that the city has accepted a bid of $583,000 from a Toronto-based real estate company to buy the facility.
The Silverdome was built in 1975 at a cost of $55 million. That’s $226 million in today’s terms. It was sold for a mere 0.25% of that figure. The selling price is less than the value of three houses and one acre of land in my neighborhood (or at least what I thought the value to be before this happened).
The city of Pontiac had previously received much larger offers, $17 million and $20 million. But, in each case, the deals fell through when the buyers were unable to obtain financing.
The city of Detroit now has 30% unemployment and state-wide unemployment is 15.1%. And that’s using the government’s low-ball U3 calculation method. Southeast Michigan is truly experiencing 1930s depression-like conditions.
In 2008, political candidates came to Michigan and dismissed the economic worries of its voters with the claim that Michigan was experiencing a “one-state recession.” By the end of the year, it was clear that Michigan was actually the canary in the coal mine for the national economy. America should be praying that Michigan isn’t still the harbinger of worse economic conditions to come.