In 2013, Kyle Hoff was grinding it out in a lower-rung job at a Chicago architecture firm when a friend from graduate school convinced him to move to Detroit. The week he arrived, the Motor City, saddled with about $19 billion in debt, filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. Hoff started to wonder about his choice—as a young designer, he had just left a good, solid job for a less certain one with a start-up, in a city with equally wobbly prospects.
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