Royal Oak, a stable Detroit Streetcar suburb

Click here to view the full Royal Oak album on Flickr
I am only evaluating the mostly pre-WWII section of Royal Oak, which is everything south of 12 Mile Ave. This includes the Royal Oak Dwtn and large neighborhoods surrounding it.

Royal Oak developed initially in the early 20th century as a suburb after Detroit boomed as a major industrial city. Low-medium density housing surround its traditional street-side shopping district which run between Washington and Troy. In the 2000s City leaders poured significant effort in revitalizing downtown with new businesses, restaurants, bars and high end stores. Significant mixed-use in-fill also filled downtown.

While already a stable upper middle class community, the City could improve with added density and urban in-fill along its commercial corridors (Main & 11th Street) out of downtown. 


* Best transit access runs along Woodland Avenue on Royal Oak western border.
* Very good street connectivity in Royal Oak.
* Pretty good bike infrastructure with several streets of bike lanes and a fair amount of Detroit’s bike share stations around downtown.
* Good economic and generational diversity.
* Diverse array of rentals 1-bedrooms range anywhere from 800K-1.6K; 2-bedrooms between 1.3K-3K. 3-bedrooms generally in the 2-3Ks. Same with for-sale properties -bedroom condos sell between 250-325K, 2&3-bedrooms anywhere between 250K-550K.
* Nice array of small-medium high amenity parks spread through the City.
* Extensive Downtown for a historic suburb spanning several streets between Washington and Troy. Dwtn hosts a great array of neighborhood businesses, restaurants & bars, several historic theaters, a cinema, a dwtn post office
* Royal Oak also hosts several supermarkets & drug stores but not larger retailers.
* Dwtn hosts great urban fabric and streetscape. Outside of dwtn the commercial streets of Main or Eleven mile are semi-autocentric. Still have sidewalks but plenty of auto centric buildings.
* Nice array of pretty well schools within walking distance to most residents.
* Decent historic architecture but very high quality urban infill. 


* Pretty easy access to Dwtn via the car but about a 45 minute transit ride.
* Racial diversity is pretty limited.
* Density is not great and more akin to a 1950 suburb, but that’s Detroit for you.
* Outside of Downtown, not a lot of pedestrian activity.

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