Lessenberry: Joel Landy Believed In Detroit Before It Was Cool To Be A Believer
Joel Landy is a man who deliberately chose to live where nobody once wanted to live, who is single-handedly creating a new form of community, writes Jack Lessenberry in this week's Metro Times.
"Not the failed Detroit of the last decades. Not some imitation gentrified Detroit that some suburban young 'urban pioneers' say they are creating, in lofts they live in until the girls get pregnant and they scoot for the suburbs.
"Landy's world is something different, and if you think he is a soft touch or a silly ancient hippie, notice the surveillance cameras, discreetly planted razor wire and alarm systems. He has proudly sent 17 (by his count) rip-off artists to jail for intruding on his turf."
And now, after years of work trying to improve Midtown, Joel Landy believes that Detroit's much-predicted renaissance is here at long last.
"I'm seeing it," he told Lessenberry. "This time it's real. Every day, 20 or 30 people are moving here and looking for housing downtown."