Quicken Loans founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert has agreed to buy two more downtown buildings on Woodward Avenue, adding to his portfolio of real estate as he tries to shape a new entrepreneurial zone in the heart of the city.
Gilbert and his partners will acquire two city-owned unused commercial structures at 1520 and 1528 Woodward, just south of Grand Circus Park. The city took control of the buildings during the run-up to Super Bowl XL in 2006 and has been marketing them without success ever since.
Documents from the Detroit Downtown Development Authority reveal that Quicken will pay $337,500 each for the buildings. A closing on the deal is expected no later than Dec. 20.
Meeting with reporters and editors this week, Gilbert said he is acquiring so much real estate so that he can offer creative space to digital start-up firms as a way of nurturing an entrepreneurial hub downtown.
DDA documents indicate that Quicken hopes to redevelop the two newest buildings on Woodward as creative office environments similar to what Gilbert is doing with the Madison Theatre building, which is expected to open in a few weeks as a site for new entrepreneurial firms.