T Nation

Moving to Detroit. Need Info


I'll be moving to Detroit in January/February and have a few questions. I'll be working in downtown Detroit and am looking for a place to rent. I've had a few people recommend living in Canton, Plymouth, and Grosse Pointe Park. I've yet to meet someone that says to live in downtown. The consensus seems to be to move into the suburbs.

Are there any other suburbs anyone recommends that keeps my commute under 30 minutes? Are there any places to rent anyone recommends? Any tips for living up north for someone coming from Miami, FL? Lastly, the obligatory question, any gym recommendations?


Plymouth and Canton are both nice areas, although probably more than 30 mins out. Grosse Pointe is east side is nice also but probably pricey. Livonia, is close, and pretty crime free. Royal oak and Ferndale are also close and have an eclectic night life. Avoid fringe areas like Redford, Ecorse and Highland park.

There are some nice areas in Detroit such as Rosedale Park, but you really need to know the area to find them.

Can't tell you much about gyms since I live about 45 miles from the big D.

It's going to be a huge culture shock that's for sure, especially moving here at that time of year. Michigan winters can be brutal for the uninitiated.


I'd move to Royal Oak. Especially if you're still on the younger side. My cousin is renting a spot right by the main strip. He can walk to many of the bars and check out the night life. Plus there's a nice gym near by. I've seen some big guys out side pulling sleds. Definitely not a pansy ass gym.


for gym recommendations. Powerhouse gyms are your best bets. I go to one in Clinton Twp. near Mt. Clemens and Roseville. (Which is about 30-35 min away from Detroit. Yet in the winter time this is probably a bit longer drive.


I live in Canton...very nice. There's a couple gyms around too and it's only 20 miles outside of Detroit.


I'm going to add Royal Oak, Livonia, and Ferndale to my list of cities to research. Does anyone have any apartments/rentals they would recommend? I'm looking on renting for 6-12 months before I decide what I really want to do.

I'm trying to look for areas near downtown which are a quick drive because I might be on call due to my job. I'm looking at about 30 minutes as the max time I'd be willing to drive.

I agree with the culture shock. I'll be going from being the majority to being a minority in Michigan, lol. I've also only seen snow once, that was earlier this year while traveling through Europe.

It's going to be quite the adventure.


Royal Oak would be a good choice. Downtown Royal Oak is only eleven miles from the point of origin which is down by the river in downtown Detroit and I-75 is the eastern border of RO. I've made it from RO to the river in 15 minutes. Ferndale is even closer but it can get kind of trashy the closer you get to eight mile.

Canton and Plymouth are way out west. January going into February is the coldest part of the winter and the farther you go inland from the lake the colder it gets.


I honestly did not know Detroit had nice areas, but from what people are saying it does appearently... interesting.


The suburbs.


If you wanted to live close, Royal Oak is nice and at least when I lived there the schools were nice. However that was 20 years ago...Noir Leather was cool then too :-p

You could honestly expand your distance to about 60 miles. Brighton (stupid snobs), Howell (green and gold forever) - a lot of people work in Detroit and the traffic isn't as bad as other big cities to get in. However you are looking at a min. 60 min. drive even if it is a pretty easy highway commute. And yes it gets cold as Hell (which is pretty close to Brighton and Howell by the way) in the winter.


Do you mean minority because of ethnicity or because you'll be tan? I take it your Latino?

Royal oak and Ferndale are fairly diverse, Livonia not so much. Ferndale is a bit rougher than Royal oak. Royal oak is the current "hip" place to be.

You definitely don't want to be too far out, ie Plymouth/Canton when the snow comes if your not used to it.


I live in Pinckney (5 miles from Hell), which is south of Howell and SW of Brighton, No WAY I would drive to Detroit to work from here. When I worked in Livonia it took me 50 minutes on a good day.


Whoa, whoa,whoa...There is a job in Detroit?
The recovery is ON!!


Latino, I guess. I'm first generation, my parents come from the communist paradise that is Cuba. I don't care though it'll fun to be the "exotic" one for a change.

I agree, I don't want to be too far because of the snow. I don't know the first thing about driving in the snow or dealing with snow in general.

Royal Oak and Grosse Pointe both seem like top candidates right now. I just need to find a decent rental to crash for 6-12 months. I'll then think of buying.


Good point, it has been a while since I lived up north. I don't remember it being "that" bad, but I also routinely take road trips from Texas back up north so you could say I don't mind driving. OP if you want to stay under 30 minutes though, Livingston county is going to be WAY too far out. And as Testy1 said, further out you go, more rural, less developed roads, more snow with less removal, colder and would be a pretty substantial cultural difference. Outside of the immediate suburbs and 4x4 is your friend.

Then again...would you really want to take advice from someone from Pinckney? :-p


I currently live in Royal Oak on 14 mile and Coolidge. I don't live downtown though, but I'm pretty much within 30 minutes of everywhere in Detroit. Grocery store, restaraunts, target, kohls, home depot, etc are all about 1 mile from my place. Downtown Detroit is somewhere b/w 15-30 minutes depending on the traffic. It's nice b/c you can decide to take I-75 or Woodward all the way downtown. Woodward being a pretty constant 20-25 minutes downtown. I-75 is hit or miss depending on weather, accidents, events, etc.

I'm in Public Accounting so I'm driving all over Detroit area (within 1.5 hours of my apartment) and I'll tell you it's the best location traveling wise. I'm always going the opposite direction as the busy traffic. If you live on the west side (Livonia, Novi, Canton) you will hit monster traffic going into the city in the morning and coming home at night. Your commute will be a good 45mins to an hour. More if the weather is bad. East side of I-75 (warren, etc) are ok. They are not as nice as RO/West Bloomfield/Birmingham, but are cheaper to live in.

For the gym, I workout at Lifetime Fitness. I got a good deal for 40 bucks a month and it's open 24 hours. Its about 5 miles north of RO. There are other smaller gyms around too, but I like the idea of the pool, 24 hours, and free aerobic classes if I want to change things up. Plus they do free fitness assessments (bf%, strength, flexibility, VO2 max, etc.) and I can use my membership at any Gold or lower level Lifetime fitness.


Ouch! I'm not "from" Pinckney I just reside there, but it is a wonderful small town. I'm from Wixom/Walled Lake. Pretty bad when you have to move to Pinckney because there are less rednecks than Walled Lake, but I guess that's why I didn't move to Howell.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


My brother lived in Royal Oak and loved it, he's in Auburn Hills now but his commute takes him to Dearborn and not Downtown. His wife works downtown though but I can only imagine that her commute blows.

Since you're Cuban, you're going to get more ass than a toilet seat. Especially if you have an accent.


Say hello to my little friend.


Lifetime Michigander here....so far at least...

I would opt for Ferndale over Royal Oak. It is very close to downtown (15 min tops) and it is next door to Royal Oak. You have access to dowtown Detroit, Royal Oak and Birmingham (both nice burbs, good nightlife, especially in Royal Oak) and Ferndale has a decent nightlife for being in Michigan.

Its much, much more affordable than Royal Oak, and its nearly as safe. You shouldn't have any issues.

Gross Point is overpriced and boring/snobby. Canton is suburban hell. Boring and spaced out. Plymouth is snooty, pricey, and the cops are power crazed maniacs. Think Smallville.

I'd say Ferndale over everything. And it borders Royal Oak.