All kinds of chatter circulating around town about renovations/activations happening in the downtown area.
The Free Press reported this morning that Dan Gilbert of Quicken Loans and Detroit Venture Partners fame has purchased the Dime Building (a beauty designed by Daniel Burnham). The Free Press has not reported too many details in terms of what Gilbert is planning to do with the Dime, but you can bet it probably has something to do with the work Detroit Venture Partners is doing– the venture capital firm that Gilbert, Josh Linkner and Brian Hermelin started last year. In speaking engagements throughout last year, both Gilbert and Linkner have said repeatedly that the plan is to create a Silicon Valley in Detroit by supporting the startup of early to mid-stage tech companies. In doing so, they invest in the companies, house them in the incubation space at the Madison Building (adjacent to the Broderick Tower) and then move the companies to larger space as they begin to grow. It seems reasonable that the space purchased in the Dime Building could support that movement. But, again, nothing has been confirmed. Just throwing out some thoughts here.
Separately, just up the street at the David Whitney Building, there were reports at the end of May that Roxbury Group, a local development firm, is working with another investment firm in Farmington Hills to get an $80m project off the ground that would have it renovated as a boutique hotel. Reports show that other similar hotels in Detroit like the Book-Cadillac and DoubleTree are doing well financially, which makes a strong case for the development of the David Whitney Building.
Investor confidence is up. Buildings are being rehabbed. Businesses are being cultivated. Bring it on, Detroit.