The history of tenements or apartment buildings in this country date back to 1839 in New York City and by the 1860's tenement squares were popping up all over the place. In more urban areas, apartments close to the downtown area have the benefits of proximity to jobs and/or public transportation. Also, in areas that are limited in space, they can house more people on a plot of land as many are multi leveled. I suppose, Detroit is no New York City, in that respect as there are very few high rise apartment buildings in the neighborhoods, the vast majority being two or three leveled...
In my travels around the inner city neighborhoods, I didn't see any new construction of apartment complexes being built. Again, I'm not saying there were none, just that I didn't come by any... In fact, there was very little new residential construction period of any kind or new commercial or industrial construction, for that matter. That really shouldn't surprise anyone because the city is declining in production/population. Very near the inner downtown area there is a very small area where apartment complexes sprung up over twenty years ago, but besides that, I know of not any... These apartments are nice but not exceeding so and were very expensive when I worked the downtown area, then.
(gee, wish I had recognized that car in the parking lot before my nephew took the picture!!! I very much suspect that this could be drug related, either waiting for a pick-up or drop-off. It's a damn good thing these people didn't likely notice the picture being taken, as if they did, well.... that is how careful one must be in these neighborhoods!)
The population in Detroit has almost halved since 1950. Perhaps, it's not done deflating? Will it likely half again in the next 50 years? I don't know, but we'll take a look at the history of Detroit's demographics to see if there are any clues, as to what may happen. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, however trends do exist and unless something changes are very likely to continue. One thing is certain, these apartment buildings were built during the build up or production years of incline. They were heated with cheap fossil fuels and I'm going to strongly suggest most were not heated with coal, as they are not that old. They were heated with oil.