More players join buying spree in downtown Detroit

Posted on August 2, 2016

It’s not just Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock that wants to buy big downtown buildings. A top-notch skyscraper on West Jefferson near Cobo Center was just bought by a national developer headquartered in Southfield. The empty Free Press building is under contract by a group led by a local entrepreneur. The neo-gothic Buhl Building is believed to be under contract by an out-of-state firm.

The three structures are among the dwindling number of big buildings currently for sale in Detroit’s central business district — “big” as in at least 100,000 square feet of space. If the trio of sales go through, it leaves only three other big downtown buildings on the market. In fact, the total number of downtown buildings of any size on the market is a dozen, according to CoStar Group Inc., a national commercial real estate database.

That is a dramatic turnaround, and the low number can be attributed to the arrival of billionaire Dan Gilbert in 2010. That’s when Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans Inc., moved the online mortgage firm downtown from Livonia. Since then, Gilbert’s Bedrock has gone on an uninterrupted shopping spree of downtown real estate, accumulating more than 90 properties, the vast majority in the central business district.

Continue reading the full article here on The Detroit News.