Announcement of major Gilbert retail plan for Downtown Detroit coming

Posted on November 14, 2012

Rock Ventures is a couple weeks away from announcing major retail plans for downtown Detroit, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business.

The report notes that retail developments, which will include national vendors and local boutiques, will be in and around the downtown Detroit buildings owned by Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, who manages the properties through Bedrock Real Estate Services.

Gilbert has been alluding to a sort of retail renaissance downtown for months, mentioning among other things a desire for an Apple retail location.

While acquiring real estate downtown, which now totals some 3 million square feet, including 1 million square feet of parking space, Gilbert has been met with the commercial/residential Catch-22 of retailers wanting more foot traffic, and new residents being attracted to more retail; though he seems to be content to approaching this with what he calls a “big bang” – that is, getting residents and retailers to all come downtown at the same time.

Earlier this month, Rock Ventures announced plans to build a 535,000-square-foot, Z-shaped parking garage and retail development that will zig zag from the corner of Broadway and East Grand River to the corner of Gratiot and Library. The structure will have 33,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and 1,300 parking spaces. The project is scheduled to begin this month and be complete in December 2013.

Crain’s Detroit Business notes that Bedrock Real Estate Services also has helped bringing temporary pop-up shops for the holidays, such as outdoor retailer Moosejaw, which is be open at 1275 Woodward Ave. through Dec. 22. Somerset Collection CityLoft, which brings upscale pop-up vendors from its mall location in Troy, is returning for another holiday shopping installment at 1261 Woodward Ave.