GM, Dan Gilbert may partner on development near RenCen

Posted on December 19, 2016

Detroit – General Motors Co. and Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Detroit are in talks to develop to GM-owned riverfront property next to the Renaissance Center.

The land, about 10 acres, is east of the automaker’s headquarters and is currently surface parking. A spokeswoman for Bedrock Detroit, Gilbert’s real estate arm, confirmed Friday that it seeks to partner with GM subsidiary Riverfront Holdings Inc. on a plan to redevelop the parking lots into a mixed-use development of residential, office and retail.

“We are still in early stages of planning and will release more details once we have finalized our planning,” according to a written statement released by Bedrock Friday. Details about the size of the project and timeline were not released.

The potential project comes at a time when Detroit is making steady progress in creating a downtown riverfront that is a popular recreation area, a commercial district and an upscale neighborhood.

The riverfront was mainly an industrial and warehouse district for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. Now, more than 3 million people a year use the RiverWalk, the pedestrian/bike path that runs along the river from Belle Isle to Rosa Parks Boulevard. It’s one of downtown’s most popular attractions.

This year, several key projects will bolster the upscale housing scene along the river’s edge. One of those developments is Orleans Landing, the $65 million, 7.7-acre housing and retail complex being built one block from the Detroit River.

The RiverWalk and the Dequindre Cut pedestrian/bicycle paths are part of the $1 billion invested along the riverfront from 2003 to 2013, according a study by the nonprofit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy. Another $1 billion of investment is expected by 2023, the study said.

Louis Aguilar , The Detroit News .