WXYZ // Detroit 20/20: People Making the Move from New York City to Detroit

WXYZ // From New York City to the Motor City, people are making the Motown move. WATCH THE VIDEO SEGMENT HERE.

One of those companies is The Galapagos Art Space, a performance center and cultural stable in Brooklyn for nearly 20 years. Now, the space is in Detroit.

“In New York, we had a building that was 9,000 square feet,” Executive Director Robert Elmes said. “Here, this structure, this series of buildings, 300,000 square feet.”

If you want to compare numbers, Elmes, who’s also designing a new space in Highland Park, said his average rent in New York was about $18,000 a month. In Detroit, he purchased the entire property for $25,000.

Set to open next summer, Elmes said he’s looking forward to developing Detroit artists, and having a thriving business in the city.

Philip Kafka is a New Yorker who’s quickly becoming a Detroiter too. He’s hoping the same for Katoi, his New York-styled Thai restaurant sent to open on Michigan Ave. in Corktown this year.

Kafka is also the man behind several billboards saying, “Detroit Is Now Hiring,” in Brooklyn. It’s a campaign that quickly went graffiti, with, “Move To Detroit,” spray-painted on walls and bridges throughout the New York borough.

While business owners who moved here from New York say they will always have a piece of the city in them, for now, they are pure Michigan.

This article originally ran live on July 20, 2015 on WXYZ Channel 7 News & online.

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