Detroit Free Press Building (Donna Terek / The Detroit News)
Detroit — The former Detroit Free Press and David Stott buildings downtown were purchased by a Shanghai-based development group that intends to turn the old newspaper building into residential and ground-floor retail.
The new Chinese owner is the DDI Group, which is described as a “major international investor” by Ryan Snoek, regional manager for Luke Investments, who helped finalize the deal earlier this week.
“This is their first time they have invested in Detroit,” Snoek said. The two buildings were bought during an online auction about a month ago. One of the other bidders was major downtown property owner Dan Gilbert and his Rock Ventures firm, Snoek added.
The DDI Group paid about $9.4 million for the David Stott building, 1150 Griswold, and $4.2 million for the Free Press building, 321 W. Lafayette.
The abandoned newspaper building may be converted into 150 residential units in a renovation that could cost an estimated $40 million to $50 million, Snoek said.
The new owners intend to continue renovations of the David Stott building, Snoek said, which will be marketed as office space.