While the rest of the country remains focused on Detroit's bankruptcy travails, the big story in the city itself is the group of private investors who are attempting an ambitious urban turnaround. Led by Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans Inc., they are trying to rebuild everything—retail, housing, start-ups, transit and even street life—in the seven-square-mile downtown area. Their theory is that a thriving core will lift the rest of the 130-square-mile city out of its economic torpor. Shikha Dalmia warns that the challenge for the new mayor, Mike Duggan, will be to let this grand experiment in private social engineering proceed without getting carried away by grand plans of those purporting to act in its interest.
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