Twitter Opens Downtown Detroit Office in Rock Ventures' M@dison Building

Apr 04, 2012, 10:00 ET from Rock Ventures LLC

DETROIT, April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- There's a new trending topic in #Detroit, as tech giant Twitter announced today it is opening an office in the city's growing downtown technology district.  The company's first Michigan location will be based in the M@dison Building, owned by Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

Based in San Francisco, Twitter is a real-time information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news.  The company's Detroit office will house a team of employees whose primary focus will be helping marketers and advertising agencies in Detroit leverage Twitter's Promoted Products suite of advertising products. Twitter expects to hire more employees over time as it grows its Detroit presence.

"Detroit's emerging mix of automotive and digital cultures made it a natural location for Twitter's newest office," said Adam Bain, Twitter's president of global revenue. "We're excited to work face-to-face with the city's most established brands and happy to play a role in downtown Detroit's digital renaissance."

By choosing to open a new office in downtown Detroit, Twitter adds to the rapidly growing tech district forming in the heart of the city along the "WEBward Avenue" corridor.  The social media giant joins other expanding firms including Detroit Labs, a mobile app developer; Are You a Human, an alternative to squiggly CAPTCHA verifications; and UpTo, a next generation mobile calendar that allows users to share events with their social network.

Rock Ventures' full service property management firm, Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, helped recruit Twitter and brokered the company's lease. Rock Ventures and Bedrock are seeking businesses looking to be part of an innovative, tech-focused urban core where people want to live, work and play.  In the last 18 months, they have helped nearly 40 new-economy companies find a home in downtown Detroit.

"Twitter coming downtown is exactly the kind of innovative company Detroit needs to advance our vision of becoming one of the most exciting high-tech and web-centered corridors of growth and activity found anywhere," said Gilbert, Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, and Majority Owner of the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

"Twitter chose Detroit because of the city's growing, young and energetic environment.  This is further proof that the country is starting to wake up and take notice – if you want to create a thriving, growing tech business, downtown Detroit is one of the best places to be," Gilbert added. 

** Note to Editors:  Below is a listing of the companies who have moved to Detroit, and into Rock Ventures owned and leased buildings, since August 2010, which can also be found on the Quicken Loans press room HERE.

About M@dison
M@dison is an entrepreneurial tech hub located at 1555 Broadway Street in downtown Detroit. Originally designed by architect C. Howard Crane and constructed in 1917 as part of the Madison Theater complex, the historical Madison Theatre Building is now a creative center designed to encourage partnership among local entrepreneurs and their budding projects and companies. The building was purchased in January 2011 and has since been renovated and transformed into an open, colorful and collaborative space. The building is 100 percent occupied by companies such as Detroit Venture Partners, Skidmore Studio, Detroit Labs and Doodle Home, which are committed to making Woodward Avenue a technology and web centered corridor of growth and activity known as "WEBward" Avenue. 

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 Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC
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, a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai, is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit

Companies that have joined Rock Ventures in Downtown Detroit since August 2010
To date, nearly 40 companies have moved to Detroit in a number of Rock Ventures-owned buildings throughout the city.  These businesses include:

M@dison Building:

  • 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
  • Aria Ventures: A company specializing in developing and funding startup ventures
  • Bizdom: A non-profit incubator program for budding entrepreneurs in Detroit and Cleveland (Bizdom was previously housed in Wayne State University's Tech Town)
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP):  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
  • Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company whose first feature film, Jinn, is now in post-production
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG):  The area's pre-eminent provider of office furniture
  • FLUD: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they're most interested in
  • 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
  • hiredMYway : A company disrupting the traditional "job board" concept that provides an exceptionally better value and experience for both job seekers and employers
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage venture capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
  • Marxent Labs: Creator of ShopWith.It, a new app for social shoppers that makes it easy to take your Facebook friends shopping
  • OWN Point of Sale: A complete platform to run your business smarter and build brand loyalty
  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying an entire floor in the building
  • Teach the World to Read: Evidence-based literacy instruction to assist learners of all ages in reaching their highest potential in reading
  • TextFromLastNight (Detroit office): An accidental startup born out of a viral sensation, now one of the leading user-generated content sites for 20-somethings
  • Thrillist Detroit: Free daily email that finds the best of what's new in your neighborhood and on the web
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
  • Vineyard Capital: An investment firm for later-stage private companies, partnering with various groups throughout the Midwest
  • 313 Ventures: Stock trader-turned-angel investor, partaking in the rebuild of Detroit, one deal at a time

Dime Building:

  • Corby Energy: Providing construction, engineering and support services to utilities and related businesses
  • Just Baked: Specialty cupcake shop and bakery
  • Lawrence Technological University (satellite classroom):  The university's College of Architecture and Design is offering a semester long urban design class in Detroit
  • Metro Consulting:  A full service civil engineering and land surveying consultancy
  • Professional Moving company that specializes in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses
  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services
  • Reliance One: A full service staffing firm

 Chase Tower:

  • In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching Quicken Loans clients with pre-screened agents in their community
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The largest reverse-only mortgage lender in America and second largest retail provider of reverse mortgage home loans
  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender

First National Building:

  • Aerotek: A leading staffing agency that matches qualified candidates with top companies worldwide
  • (TBA): Large tenant announcement planned for mid-2012

Compuware: (Rock Ventures leases four floors)

  • Bedrock Real Estate Services: Rock Ventures' full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space
  • Fathead: The Real.Big. brand of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics products
  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Quizzle: Website that gives consumers a complete understanding of their credit so they can make better financial decisions
  • 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 Ventures: An umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate

SOURCE Rock Ventures LLC