Transplanted in Duluth

Joe Jurewicz, PE, LEED AP 
MSA Professional Services, Inc.

Being a Duluthian is a description of choice, one that means a little something different to each and every resident of this historic city on Lake Superior. Some of us are natives and some of us, like myself, are transplants. I reflect on this because as the wind gets crisp, I recall the chuckles that I encounter when I tell people I moved from Miami to Duluth. Sometimes the chuckle is encountered by some other expressions, but the point is made. The question I repeatedly get is “What in the world made you come to Duluth?” 
The answer is – many things. Duluth has its strengths and weaknesses, just like anywhere else. For me, finding reasonable housing was a challenge and showed me one of Duluth’s weaknesses.  Don’t get me wrong, the housing market within the city has character and charm, but it also lacks affordable, updated homes.  Fortunately our city leaders have noticed the necessity to add to the housing available to residents.  Programs have been started that are looking at repurposing vintage properties in Duluth such as the Lester Park Golf Course and developers are building and expanding throughout our great city.  Not to mention programs like Build Up Duluth are available to provide potential homeowners generous incentives to build on vacant lots in the East and Central Hillside neighborhoods. 
I’ve found my home in Duluth. In this city, I can walk from my house to Lester Park and stroll the trails along Amity Creek. Duluth is truly the best outdoor city and the expanding trail network is only making it better for everyone. I can enjoy a beer and watch the port traffic in Canal Park. I spend 10 minutes getting to work in the morning and after work, I can catch up with fellow Fusers at events that take just minutes to get to. Duluth offers great opportunities to those willing to seek them out and I for one feel very privileged to be able to call Duluth my home and revel in all of the strengths our community has to offer. 
So, what makes someone from Miami come to Duluth? I think my native friends have it backwards. What makes someone from Miami not want to come Duluth?