Dan Gilbert buys sixth Capitol Park property

Louis Aguilar
The Detroit News

Dan Gilbert's Bedrock Real Estate Services bought its sixth property in downtown Detroit's Capitol Park, a block-long triangle that's attracted more than $100 million in investment since 2009.

Uses for the newly purchased building at 1250 Griswold haven’t been decided, said Dan Gilbert’s spokeswoman.

Bedrock's latest acquisition is at 1250 Griswold, a three-story building last used as a recording studio. Uses for the building haven't been decided, said Gilbert's spokeswoman on Friday, but it will feed into the big plan for Capitol Park to become "the heart of a new art and design experience."

That's how the area was described last year by a private and public coalition called Opportunity Detroit, which outlines a broad planing vision for downtown.

Capitol Park was identified as one of six distinct districts within downtown.

Capitol Park is an intimate block bounded by Shelby, Griswold and State. It has a large triangular open area in the middle. Fewer than a dozen buildings, many of them historical, surround the open commons.

Most of the buildings have changed ownership in the past few years and are undergoing major renovations. Some are being overhauled into upscale apartments and office space. Three are part of an $85 million redevelopment plan that's getting taxpayer subsidies.

The goal of turning the block into an artsy center is beginning to take shape. A new international artists residency program called Passenger is just gearing up. So, too, is the Detroit Institute of Music Education. The projects are in two buildings owned by Gilbert.

Gilbert's Capitol Park properties now include fivebuildings and one empty lot. His latest acquisition was listed for $750,000, according to commercial real estate database CoStar. A Gilbert spokeswoman wouldn't confirm the sales price Friday.

Capitol Park, like most of downtown, also is envisioned as an area for high-end residential. That, too, is starting to becoming a reality.

A renovated Albert Kahn-designed building now called The Albert recently opened as market-rate apartments. The building is not owned by Gilbert.

Prior to the renovations, that building was home to senior citizens who relied on federal Section 8 housing vouchers. The Albert charges some of the highest rents downtown based on dollars per square foot. The seniors who relied on federal aid were given a year to find somewhere else to live.

Gilbert is founder of online mortgage lender Quicken Loans Inc., which is based downtown. Entities affiliated with Gilbert control more than 60 downtown properties, ranging from historical skyscrapers to parking garages.


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