Rock Ventures Group Caps Year of Real Estate Investments in Downtown Detroit with Three Purchases - Wright-Kay, Lane Bryant and Arts League of Michigan Buildings add to growing WEBward revitalization -

DETROIT, Dec. 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Detroit 2.0 movement took another step forward today as a group led by Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert announced that it has completed the acquisition of three additional properties in Downtown Detroit – the historic Wright-Kay brownstone, as well as the Lane Bryant and the Arts League of Michigan Buildings.

The Wright-Kay Building, located at 1500 Woodward Avenue, at the corner of John R., was constructed in 1891.  The six-story building is slated to offer street-level retail with offices or residential units on the floors above.

The second acquisition, the Lane Bryant Building, is located at 1520 Woodward Ave.  Built in 1917, the building features nearly 45,000 square feet of space.  Once renovated, it will house retail on the ground floor and office space on the floors above.

The last purchase, the Arts League of Michigan Building, is a six-story 43,000 square-foot structure built in 1915 and located at 1528 Woodward Avenue.  It is expected that this building will offer a mix of retail and office space.

These three real estate purchases cap a year-long drive to acquire and renovate buildings in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Since the beginning of 2011, Gilbert's real estate arm has purchased seven properties, with another building currently under contract expected to close by the end of the year.  In addition, the group has purchased three parking structures and one parking lot.  By the end of the year, Gilbert's holdings will account for more than 1.8 million square feet of space and nearly 2,750 parking spaces in the heart of downtown Detroit's growing technology district. 

"We are more committed than ever to creating an environment where more and more businesses and their employees will call Detroit their home. In fact, in 2012 we will put on a full-court-press to recruit many of the brightest and best businesses, as well as exciting start-up companies, to downtown," said Gilbert, also majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.   

Gilbert's current real estate investments are managed by Bedrock Real Estate Services - a joint venture formed in late 2010.

"We've been able to both acquire and redevelop new properties at break-neck speed this year, opening the doors for many companies to move downtown in 2011, with an increasing number in the works for 2012," said Jim Ketai, Bedrock's managing director.

This year, Gilbert has invested in:

M@dison Theatre Building: Built in 1917, the M@dison Theatre Building had been vacant for years before its purchase in January 2011.  Renovations were undertaken immediately on the five-story C. Howard Crane-designed building to transform the space into a hub of technology and innovation in Detroit. The redesigned M@dison Theatre Building also offers a state-of-the-art public meeting space and rooftop deck overlooking Grand Circus Park and the city's sports venues.

Chase Tower: Located in the heart of Detroit's Central Business District, the Chase Tower is just steps from Campus Martius Park.  Built in 1959, the 505,000 square-foot, 14-story building was acquired in April.  Extensive renovations were made to the building, which became home to more than 1,500 Quicken Loans team members in October 2011. 

First National Building: Snaking through an entire city block, the Albert Kahn-designed First National Building was acquired by Gilbert in August 2011.  Built in 1922, the 800,000 square-foot building is currently undergoing significant improvements.  The building's anchor tenants include the law firm of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn, as well as the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Dime Building: In August, Gilbert also purchased the Dime Building.  Built in 1912 and designed by world famous architect Daniel Burnham, the building features more than 350,000 square feet of office space on 23 stories.  The building underwent an extensive redevelopment in 2002 and is home to Ameriprise and several other companies.

Rock Ventures also has the building at 1550 Woodward under contract to purchase.  The property, located just south of the Broderick Tower on Woodward, is 4,000 square feet and will be utilized for retail or commercial use.

Many companies have started to call Detroit home since 2010.  These include:

M@dison Theatre Building:

  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying an entire floor
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP):  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG):  The area's pre-eminent provider of office furniture
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company that recently completed its first feature film, Jinn
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
  • Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings
  • 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
  • OWN Point of Sale: A complete platform to run your business smarter and build brand loyalty
  • GumShoe: A game where players compete against friends and a community of sleuths to solve mysteries, and earn awards, social cred and the occasional real life cache along the way
  • FLUD: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they're most interested in
  • hiredMYway : A company disrupting the traditional "job board" concept that provides an exceptionally better value and experience for both job seekers and employers
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
  • Marxent Labs: Creator of ShopWith.It, a new app for social shoppers that makes it easy to take your Facebook friends shopping
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
  • Aria Ventures: A company specializing in developing and funding startup stage ventures

Dime Building:

  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services

Chase Tower:

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

First National Building:

  • Tenant announcements planned for early 2012

Compuware Building:

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Fathead:  The industry leader in authentic, life-like licensed sports and entertainment graphic products
  • Quizzle:  An innovative website that helps consumers get a better understanding of their credit – and have a little fun doing it
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The nation's largest reverse-only mortgage provider

Several more companies are expected to announce their move to downtown Detroit in the coming months and throughout 2012. 

About Rock Ventures LLC:
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

About Quicken Loans Inc:
Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation's largest online retail mortgage lender and among the five largest overall retail home lenders in the United States. The company closed a record $30 billion in retail home loan volume across all 50 states in 2011. Quicken Loans generates loan production from five web centers located in Detroit, Ohio and Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010 and 2011. "QuickenLoans.com" has been named "Best of the Web" by Forbes and Money magazines. The company also has been named to FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies To Work For" eight consecutive years, ranking as high as #2, and named in the Top-15 of Computerworld magazine's "100 Best Places to Work In Technology" for seven years in a row. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in the Detroit Free Press' 'Best Places to Work in Michigan' List in 2010 and 2011. The company has moved its headquarters and 3,700 team members to downtown Detroit. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit us on the web at www.quickenloans.com, on Twitter at @QLnews, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuickenLoans.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services:
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, is a full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company is a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai. The company is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit www.bedrockmgt.com.

SOURCE Quicken Loans



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