Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock buys huge Corktown property

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

The billionaire Dan Gilbert, who is a major force in downtown real estate, has bought a huge Corktown-area property that includes three buildings and two surface lots centered around West Fort Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard.

The purchase signals that Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services continues to look beyond the central business district and into adjoining neighborhoods, specifically Corktown to the west and Brush Park to the north.

On Wednesday, Gilbert’s Bedrock announced its purchase of the Corktown-area properties centered around a four-story loft-style office building at 1702 W. Fort. The sale also includes two warehouses and two lots. The properties total about 178,500 square feet. The properties front both West Fort and West Lafayette, between Rosa Parks Boulevard and 10th Street.

The main building, near the corner of West Fort and Rosa Parks, was the former home of Display Group Ltd, which makes event props, rental office furniture and other products. An entity affiliated to the president of Display Group, Rick Portwood, was the owner of the properties bought by Bedrock. The sale price wasn’t disclosed and public records have not yet recorded the purchase, according to city and county documents. The properties were listed for $5.9 million, said Al Iafrate, senior vice president of L. Mason Capitani Inc., a commercial real estate firm that brokered the sale.

The buildings will be used for “key mixed-use space,” according to the Bedrock press release sent Wednesday morning.

Current tenants at the main building, called the Corktown Lofts, include Pluto Post Productions and the studios of photographer and artist Lisa Spindler. But much of the space in the buildings is vacant, Iafrate said. The Display Group moved in late 2014 to one of the former Packard Plant buildings.

“This acquisition presents creative redevelopment opportunities for us in a vibrant, growing area,” said Jim Ketai, managing partner and CEO of Bedrock Real Estate, in the written release. “Anyone who has visited Corktown recently has experienced its wonderful energy. We have already received interest from potential new tenants looking to locate their offices downtown in this type of open, collaborative space.”

The properties are a few blocks south of the Quicken Loans Technology Center at 1401 Rosa Parks. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested nearly $2.2 billion in more than 80 properties downtown.


Twitter: LouisAguilar_DN