Inside a bustling Bangladeshi restaurant in Hamtramck on a recent Tuesday night, Councilman Mohammed Hassan gestured towards a window overlooking Conant Avenue.
"This used to be a ghost town here," said Hassan of the commercial street outside Aladdin Sweets & Cafe that is filled with businesses owned by Bangladeshi immigrants. Today, "there's not even one store empty."
Bangladeshi-Americans like Hassan and other Muslim groups in Hamtramck say they've helped revitalize the aging city historically known as a center of Polish Catholic life. Today, less than 9% of the city's 22,000 residents are of Polish descent and now whites make up only about one-third of the city, according to the latest U.S. Census figures. Emerging groups such as Yemeni-Americans and Bangladeshi Americans combined make up a majority of residents.