Those of us who wondered why billionaire and developer Dan Gilbert had onlypurchased one Detroit building this year after his real estate shopping spree of 2012 are now ruefully putting our foots in our mouths.
Crain’s Detroit Business reports Gilbert has purchased the Vinton Building, located at 600 Woodward Ave. on the corner of W Congress Street.
According to the news outlet, the building was sold in December to a limited liability corporation listing Jim Ketai. Ketai is a managing partner with Bedrock Real Estate Services, the real-estate arm of Gilbert’s Rock Ventures.
Gilbert’s company did not immediately return a request for comment. For more on the Vinton Building, see Crain’s.
This news report comes on the heels of an announcement for an event scheduled for Thursday, where Gilbert will join others involved in downtown Detroit development to talk about placemaking and a retail strategy for the Woodward Corridor. Speakers from the Downtown Detroit Partnership, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, City of Detroit and Project for Public Spaces will also present at the 1 p.m. gathering at City Theater.
Last week, Rock Ventures announced Gilbert had purchased 1001 Woodward Ave. The building, located at Michigan Avenue by Campus Martius Park, will be 87 percent occupied with the addition of Quicken Loans offices and has first-floor retail space.
The Vinton is on the same block as the First National Building, which Gilbert purchased in 2011.
Gilbert doesn’t just purchase downtown real estate. The Quicken Loans founder owns sports teams and a casino in Ohio and is attempting to purchase the Greektown Casino in Detroit as well. One of Michigan’s richest residents, he’s also building a development from the ground up and planning to solicit ideas for the former Hudson’s department store site through a design contest.
He seems to be pursuing revitalization efforts in Detroit with a vengeance, whether putting money and power behind the plannedWoodward Avenue light rail line orcollaborating with Kid Rock on a marketing campaign for the city.
Click through the slideshow to get the rundown of all the schemes hatched and buildings bought by Gilbert last year.