2014

Detroit Leaders Launch Opportunity Detroit's Placemaking and Retail Vision for City's Urban Core - Bold, aggressive plan to create top urban center -

DETROIT, March 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock Ventures, joined by the Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) and Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, today shared a visionary placemaking and retail plan for Detroit's urban core with more than 400 business, community and civic leaders and key stakeholders.

This bold and aggressive plan is part of the Opportunity Detroit initiative to encourage people to live, work, play and invest in the city of Detroit. Powered by Rock Ventures, it combines more than seven months of research and engagement with key Detroit public and private stakeholders and incorporates the best thinking of four top urban consulting firms:  Project for Public Spaces, Shook Kelly, Gibbs Planning Group and Terremark Partners.

"Downtown Detroit's geographic location and particularly the half mile from the Detroit River to Grand Circus Park is the most concentrated diversity of urban assets and placemaking opportunities anywhere in the world," said Fred Kent, Founder of Project for Public Spaces. "From the riverfront, gaming, gourmet dining, sports, culture and entertainment to new retail, Detroit has a winning combination of attractions to reclaim its rightful place as a great American city on the international stage."

Placemaking is about creating activity and vibrant, exciting places using a multi-faceted approach to the planning, design and management of public spaces. In Detroit it is about getting as many people out on the street experiencing and enjoying the various assets the city's urban core has to offer.

The plan is centered on creating six distinct and unique destinations that draw people to the region, give them an experience that will make them want to return frequently and where they will want to spend more time.  Woodward Avenue becomes a major boulevard connecting these great destinations.

George W. Jackson, Jr., president and CEO of Detroit Economic Growth Corporation said, "We know what works from our successes promoting places such as the Paradise Valley Cultural and Entertainment District. You start with a well-designed public space, encourage organized activities there, and thoughtfully redevelop key buildings around that space to create a neighborhood with an authentic and memorable identity. This is a great time to replicate that success in several other Downtown places, and we are pleased that we have the public-private collaborations to do it."

Much of the groundwork for this latest bold effort was laid in the past few years by the corporate, foundation, education and health care organizations that continue to reinvest in the city. It also ties together the threads created by Rock Ventures' purchase of 22 buildings, 3 million square feet of commercial real estate, and nearly $1 billion invested in the Central Business District since 2010.

"Detroit stakeholders need to know this vision is real," said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. "It is a wildly-exciting, incredibly well-thought out plan that will be activated immediately.  Residents, office workers and visitors will experience a dramatically different Detroit in two years. We are committed to impacting the outcome and we are relentless in getting every Detroiter to join us in this campaign."

About Downtown Detroit Partnership
Downtown Detroit Partnership is a private/public partnership of corporate and civic leaders that supports, advocates and develops programs and initiatives designed to create a clean, safe, beautiful, inviting, vibrant and economically viable Downtown Detroit community. www.downtowndetroit.org

About Project for Public Spaces (PPS)  
Project for Public Spaces (PPS), based in New York City, is a nonprofit planning, design and educational organization dedicated to helping people create and sustain public spaces that build stronger communities. Their pioneering placemaking approach helps citizens transform their public spaces into vital places that highlight local assets, spur rejuvenation and serve common needs. PPS was founded in 1975 to expand on the work of William (Holly) Whyte, the author of The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Since then, PPS has completed projects in more than 2,500 communities in 40 countries and all 50 U.S. states. Partnering with public and private organizations, federal, state and municipal agencies, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations and civic groups, they improve communities by fostering successful public spaces. In its broadest application, placemaking is a catalyst for building healthy, sustainable and economically viable cities of the future. www.pps.org

About Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC)
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit. DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its 40 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. Among them: the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit. www.downtowndetroit.org

About Rock Ventures
Detroit-based Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity managing a diverse portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures' flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home lender and third largest overall residential mortgage lender. www.opportunitydetroit.com

Rock Ventures' Opportunity Detroit Chronology and Tenant List

The following is an Opportunity Detroit timeline followed by a listing of the more than 80 companies who in the past 30 months have moved to downtown Detroit in a number of Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

Opportunity Detroit Timeline

January 2007: Dan Gilbert founds Bizdom, a non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit.

January 2009: Gilbert and other business leaders invest in M-1 RAIL, a 6.8-mile light-rail system that will link key neighborhoods to Detroit's riverfront, the business district, and educational, cultural, entertainment and medical institutions along Woodward Avenue.

July 2009: Quicken Loans announces it will relocate its headquarters to the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit in 2010.

August 2010: Quicken Loans and five of its sister companies move 1,700 team members into the Compuware building in downtown Detroit.

November 2010: Gilbert, together with entrepreneurs Josh Linkner and Brian Hermelin, launch Detroit Venture Partners, a Detroit-based venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies to be located in the city.

January 2011: Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate purchases Detroit's historical Madison Theatre Building and begins transforming it into a collaborative tech hub to encourage partnership among local entrepreneurs.

April 2011: Rock Ventures acquires the 13-story Chase Tower located in Detroit's downtown central business district and immediately begins renovation to reflect Quicken Loans' culture.

April 2011: Rock Ventures buys Two Detroit Center, a 1,095-space parking garage located in the central business district.

May 2011: Skidmore Studio, a graphic design firm located in a nearby suburb, announces it will become the anchor tenant in the Madison Building when it opens in Fall 2011.

June 2011: Quicken Loans hires 200 interns to work in the Detroit office to expose students to the city and help end Detroit's "brain drain."

July 2011: Earvin "Magic" Johnson joins Detroit Venture Partners to help fund start-up tech companies.

July 2011: Quicken Loans and four other downtown Detroit companies unveil the "Live Downtown" program, which offers financial incentives to team members who live in the city.

July 2011: Quicken Loans sponsors the debut of Somerset Collection's CityLoft, a pop-up shop open the last weekend of each month in downtown Detroit with mini-versions of upscale stores, to bring retail back to downtown Detroit.

August 2011: Rock Ventures purchases Detroit's First National Building to house more team members as well as other businesses.

August 2011: Rock Ventures acquires its fourth building, the 101-year-old Dime Building located in downtown Detroit, along with the Financial District Garage, a 983-space parking structure adjacent to the Dime Building.

August 2011: Rock Ventures purchases the Madison Parking Lot on Broadway, adjacent to the Madison Theatre Building.

September 2011: Quicken Loans hosts a job fair to fill 500 positions in Detroit within the Family of Companies, 2,500 people line up around the building to apply.

October 2011: An additional 2,000 Quicken Loans team members move into the newly renovated Chase Tower.

December 2011: Rock Ventures completes the acquisition of three additional properties in Downtown Detroit – the historic Wright-Kay brownstone, the Lane Bryant Building and the Arts League of Michigan Building.

January 2012: Rock Ventures adds two more buildings to its real estate portfolio - the Historic Federal Reserve Building, and 1550 Woodward Avenue, a one-story building to be utilized for retail or commercial use.

February 2012: To encourage Detroit's "brain gain," the Quicken Loans Family of Companies announces it will hire 600 paid interns - 500 to work in Detroit to discover all the great things the City has to offer.

April 2012: The Quicken Loans Family of Companies begins a recruiting campaign to hire more than 1,400 team members, and launches Valley to Detroit, a campaign aimed to bring laid off Yahoo technology professionals to Detroit from Silicon Valley.

April 2012: Rock Ventures and Chrysler hold a press conference to announce that Chrysler will lease the top two floors of Rock Ventures' Dime Building and rename the building Chrysler House.

June 2012: Quicken Loans partners with other Detroit businesses to create "IT in the D," a program to give local university students real-world experience to prepare them for tech jobs in Detroit.

July 2012: Title Source, the largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation, begins move of 1,500 team members to downtown Detroit's First National Building.

October 2012: Rock Connections, a strategic marketing company that provides experienced communications specialists, robust analytics, and targeted selling strategies, moves 115 team members into the Chase Tower Building in downtown Detroit's growing tech hub.

October 2012: Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans launch "Opportunity Detroit" with a national commercial narrated by Kid Rock on the Fox television network during the fourth game of the World Series.

November 2012: Rock Ventures breaks ground on 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development with 10-story parking garage in downtown Detroit.

December 2012: Rock Ventures purchases One Woodward, the 26-story, 333,000 square-foot building located in Detroit's Central Business District.

December 2012: Metro-West Appraisal, the nation's largest independent residential real estate appraisal company, announces it will move its national headquarters to downtown Detroit's Chrysler House in March 2013.

December 2012: Rock Ventures adds five buildings to its real estate portfolio - 1201 Woodward (Kresge Building), 1217 Woodward, 1412 Woodward, 1301 Broadway (Cary Building Lofts) and 1521 Broadway (Small Plates Building) for a total of 120,000 square feet of space.

January 2013: Rock Gaming, Rock Ventures' Detroit-based gaming partnership announced one of its affiliated companies, Athens Acquisition LLC, has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority interest in Greektown Superholdings Inc., owner of the Greektown Casino-Hotel located in downtown Detroit The acquisition is pending Michigan Gaming Control Board approval.

February 2013: The Roasting Plant, a unique and innovative coffee shop, opens in the Rock Ventures-owned First National Building.  The Detroit location marks the first outside of New York City for the company.

March 2013: Rock Ventures acquires the 23-story 1001 Woodward office tower, located in the heart of Detroit's emerging tech district. The building was built in 1965 for the First Federal Savings and Loan of Detroit and features 275,000 square-feet of Class-A office space.

March 2013: Rock Ventures, The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP), and the Detroit Economic Growth Corp. (DEGC) announces an extraordinary placemaking plan for Detroit's urban core.  As part of the plan, Rock Ventures launches Opportunity Detroit's international design competition for a new signature project that will sit on the historic Hudson's Department Store site. 

March 2013:  Rock Ventures acquires the historic 12-story Albert Kahn-designed Vinton Building.  Built in 1917, the 44,000 square foot building was added to the Michigan Register of Historic Places in 1982 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

March 2013:  Rock Ventures signs master lease agreements with the Schostak Brothers and Farbman Group to manage more than 60,000 square feet of first floor retail along the Woodward Corridor in downtown Detroit. The properties include 12 storefronts along the 1200 and 1400 blocks of Woodward Avenue.

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Businesses located to downtown Detroit by Rock Ventures since August 2010

More than 80 companies have located in Rock Ventures-owned buildings in downtown Detroit over the past 30 months:

M@dison Building

  • 50,000 square feet
  • 100 percent occupied

 

  • Twitter: A real-time information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news
  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying 9,780 square feet of space
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP):  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
  • Stik.com: A website that brings the word-of-mouth referral process online
  • Chez Zara: A full-service espresso bar that specializes in exceptional espresso drinks and organic teas
  • Bizdom: A non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit and Cleveland (Bizdom Detroit was previously housed in Wayne State University's Tech Town)
  • Are You a Human: The answer to frustrating CAPTCHA entries, Are You a Human uses fun games to verify the authenticity of people completing online forms
  • Doodle Home: A virtual studio for interior designers to run their business more efficiently
  • Uber: Provides on-demand luxury car service through a smartphone app
  • TextsFromLastNight (Detroit office): An accidental startup born out of a viral sensation, now one of the leading user-generated content sites for 20-somethings
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage venture capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
  • Rockbot: A social jukebox app that lets you be the DJ at your favorite bars, restaurants, gyms, and stores
  • LevelEleven: Developed SalesContestBuilder, a hybrid of a Facebook, fantasy football, and online gaming, to create goal-based competitions
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company whose first feature film, Jinn, is now in post-production
  • Cup of Zup: Uniquely amusing pop-culture e-newsletter and website
  • Quikly: Short-term deals exclusively for college students
  • Wedit: A fun, easy, and affordable way to capture, edit, and share wedding memories through the use of HD Flip cameras
  • Tapjoy:  A mobile ad network that lets you discover apps and get in-app rewards when you engage with ads
  • Thrillist Detroit: Free weekly email that finds the best of what's new in your neighborhood and on the web
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG):  The area's pre-eminent provider of office furniture
  • Apigee:  Enables businesses and developers to deliver well-designed, scalable APIs and apps, drive developer adoption, and extract business value from their API ecosystem
  • Dandelion Detroit: A venture philanthropy consultancy and civic innovation lab
  • 1st & Goal Recruiting: Provides advanced statistical analytics and performance prediction for college football recruiting
  • Rapt.fm: A website that allows you to have real-time rap battles around the world
  • Backstitch: Provides a clean and consistent experience for managing your personal web
  • Whip Hand Cosmetics: Cosmetic company that celebrates today's modern women while being manufactured in Detroit, Michigan
  • Brys & Edgewood: A company that produces DIY fondant kits and cupcake kits that are easy enough for anyone to make at home
  • Chalkfly: An office and school supply company that is rooted in giving back to teachers across the nation while providing customers with quality office supplies, innovative technology, and exceptional service
  • SKUServe: Cloud-based international foreign language translation and interpreters marketplace
  • GuidesMob: A mobile app company that creates college guides for iPhones and Androids
  • TubeMogul:  The leader in programmatic brand marketing
  • Grand Circus: A technology company providing world-class tech and entrepreneurship training.

Chase Tower

  • 505,000 square feet
  • 100 percent occupied

 

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching clients with pre-screened real estate agents in their local community across the country

First National Building

  • 800,000 square feet
  • 93 percent occupied

 

  • Title Source: The largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation
  • Aerotek: A leading staffing agency that matches qualified candidates with top companies worldwide
  • Roasting Plant:  New York-based coffee company with unique Javabot roasting technology
  • Papa Joes Gourmet Market & Catering: A gourmet market that will include delivery and table service, as well as a full liquor license.
  • Salon Detroit:  A hair and nail salon
  • Campus Commandos: An advertising agency helping brands market their products and services to college students

Chrysler House

  • Former Dime Building
  • 330,000 square feet
  • 89 percent occupied

 

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Chrysler Group LLC: Automotive company that produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products
  • Rock Connections:  A strategic marketing company that provides experienced communications specialists, robust analytics, and targeted selling strategies
  • Metro-West Appraisal: The nation's largest independent residential real estate appraisal company
  • Just Baked: Specialty cupcake shop and bakery
  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services
  • Allied Printing Company: Provides printing, information management, and warehouse & fulfillment services
  • Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello PLC: Provides world-class legal service
  • Professional Movers.com: Moving company that specializes in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses
  • Elite Fire Safety: A one-stop-shop for fire safety needs
  • EverStaff: Recruits the most skilled and qualified professionals for organizations of all sizes
  • FNC Holding Company: Provides insight into the property backing a loan with its data and analytic solutions
  • GSI: A company specializing in security, network and system integration
  • Metro Consulting:  A full service civil engineering and land surveying consultancy
  • Reliance One: A full service staffing firm
  • SCI Marketview: A lead management company for automotive dealers
  • Corby Energy: Providing construction, engineering and support services to utilities and related businesses
  • Core Merchant: Easy and convenient credit payment solutions for businesses
  • Young and Sons, Drying and Restoration Specialists: A full-service 24-hour drying and restoration service
  • RSIG Security-Midwest, Inc and Actron Integrated Security  (AIS) Systems: Providing  the highest quality security solution for its partners
  • Qstride, Inc.:  A leading analytics solutions provider that helps companies turn data into business intelligence
  • Diamond Recovery Property Restoration: A full-service emergency restoration company
  • P.I.C. Maintenance, Inc.: Specializing in commercial facility maintenance and janitorial services
  • Harmony Point CTC:  IT workforce development company trains students for high skill, high demand, high wage technology jobs.
  • Lindemann Miller Siderius LLP: A law firm specializing in the representation of insurers and reinsurers in coverage disputes.
  • RAM Construction: The oldest and most experienced waterproofing and restoration contractor in the United States.
  • Just Topped: Specialty ice cream shop

One Woodward

  • 333,000 square feet
  • 60 percent occupied (90 percent when Quicken Loans moves into the space it is currently building out)

 

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender

1001 Woodward

  • 275,000 square feet
  • 68 percent occupied (87 percent when Quicken Loans moves into the space it is currently building out)

 

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender

1528 Woodward

  • Former Arts League Building
  • 45,146 square feet


  • Sachse Construction: Offering premium commercial construction services nationwide

1500 Woodward

  • Former Wright Kay Building
  • 19,000 square feet

 

  • Neumann/Smith Architecture:  Specializing in architecture and interior design
  • Avalon Films:  A boutique, full-service production company, with affiliate offices in Los Angeles, New York City, and Toronto. Their creative philosophy is that great work starts with a great idea.

Lofts of Merchant Row (master lease)

  • 45,000 square feet of first floor retail space
  • 9 store fronts
  • 1200 and 1400 blocks Woodward Avenue (on the west side of the street, between Grand River and State Street)

 

  • Moosejaw: The quirky national outdoor retailer selling outdoor gear and apparel

Woodward Lofts (master lease)

  • 15,000 square feet of first floor retail space
  • 3 store fronts
  • 1400 block Woodward Avenue (on the east side of the street, between Grand River and John R)

Rock Ventures-related companies leasing space in downtown Detroit:

Compuware Building

  • 1,088,000 square feet
  • Rock Ventures-related businesses leases four floors (244,000 square feet)

 

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Rock Ventures: An umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate
  • Fathead: The Real.Big. brand of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics products
  • Bedrock Real Estate Services: Rock Ventures' full service real estate firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space
  • Rockbridge Growth Equity: A Detroit-based private equity firm that invests in mid-stage financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media & entertainment industries
  • Rock Gaming: A gaming partnership formed with an initial focus to develop full-service casinos in two of Ohio's largest cities, as well as to explore other potential gaming opportunities elsewhere
  • Rock Companies: A real estate investment, development, construction and management company focusing on commercial, residential single and multi-family investments in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio
  • Quizzle: Website that gives consumers a complete understanding of their credit so they can make better financial decisions
  • BodyPartChart:  Over-sized graphics that can be used to explain illnesses and procedures and bring new life to dull medical offices and classrooms

One Detroit Center

  • 957,355 square feet
  • Rock Ventures leases three floors (75,000 square feet)

 

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The largest reverse-only mortgage lender in America and second largest retail provider of reverse mortgage home loans

 

SOURCE Rock Ventures



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http://www.opportunitydetroit.com

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