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Reviving Detroit from the ground up

May 22, 2013

In an opinion piece, John Bare, vice president of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and executive-in-residence at Georgia Tech's Institute for Leadership and Entrepreneurship wrote: "When others dismissed Detroit as a falling knife unworthy of investment, David Egner saw something else. Egner imagined Detroit regenerating from within, with damaged civic tissue repairing itself to foster new life and commerce. As president of a foundation named for a patriarch who emigrated to Michigan 130 years ago and immediately launched a business, he was in a position to test his idea. The secret, Egner figured, is harnessing the collective power of what he calls "anchor institutions": in this case, Wayne State University, Henry Ford Health System and Detroit Medical Center. Through what emerged as the Midtown Project, Egner's Hudson-Webber Foundation, alongside other funders, is finding ways to hitch the fortunes of these institutions to the fortunes of the surrounding neighborhoods."