Oakland Co. leaders, bankers tour investment options in Pontiac - KMSP-TV

Oakland Co. leaders, bankers tour investment options in Pontiac

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(WJBK) -

Pontiac is experiencing a rebirth. Sheriff deputies cut response time to it's lowest ever, violent crime has dropped 33 percent from 2010 and the former emergency manager balanced its books.

Now developers are buying in.
 
"On the residential end here in Pontiac we're 100 percent occupied in all the units we have available and our residential rates are moving up every month," says Kyle Westberg, from West Construction Services.
 
Kyle Westburg developed Lafayette Lofts, the market next door and brought in Anytime Fitness beneath them. It was the first stop in a tour for bankers led by Oakland Co. Treasurer Andy Meisner, along with new mayor Deirdre Waterman.
 
"I invest about a billion dollar portfolio on behalf of Oakland County tax payers, and part of that strategy for me is to make sure that the banks and credit unions that we're investing with are being good partners with Oakland County," says Meisner.
 
That means investing in Pontiac, which many entrepreneurs are doing.

"We've had engineering firms come in, IT firms come in and now we have some more retail that's starting to pop up downtown," says Westberg.
 
"When I close my eyes and think about what Pontiac could be I see a small Chicago, and I think that can be just several years in the making if we get these banks and credit unions doing what they should be do, which is giving our entrepreneurs a fair shake at lending opportunities," says Meisner.
 
So Pontiac is safer, bankers and investors are pouring more money into the city but some will tell you it's coming at a great cost.
 
"Nobody's talking about the loss of the vote in the city of Pontiac," says Councilman Kermit Williams. He says he's thrilled that Pontiac is on the cusp of a comeback, but says elected leaders still are not in control of the city. When the emergency manager left in August he made a new position called the city administrator and gave it all the financial authority he had while in office.

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