Nicole Curtis, Quicken Loans pair to renovate mansion

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News
  • Room-by-room renovations and filming began last week
  • Home was built in 1876 and named for a Detroit merchant

It’s official: “Rehab Addict” Nicole Curtis is teaming up with Detroit-based Quicken Loans to renovate one of the city’s most iconic mansions in Brush Park, the Ransom Gillis house.

In a press release issued this morning, Quicken Loans said room-by-room renovations and filming began last week on the well-known mansion. The process will air as part of an eight-part series this November on HGTV.

“Both Quicken Loans and Nicole Curtis are passionate about the city of Detroit and its exciting, ongoing revitalization,” said Donna Stephens, senior vice president of ad sales for Scripps Networks Interactive, parent company of HGTV, in the news release. “I can’t think of a more meaningful collaboration for Detroit than having these home and finance experts come together on such an impactful project.”

Earlier this year, Curtis — a Lake Orion native and vocal advocate of saving old houses — hinted that she may make the Ransom Gillis house her next project, but today’s announcement confirms that renovations are under way. The project is part of a partnership with the Brush Park Development Company, which was created to rebuild an 8.4 acre area in Brush Park. The partnership was announced in May.

The 1876 Ransom Gillis house is rich with masonry details.

The Ransom Gillis house, built in 1876, is named after a former Detroit merchant. It was built in a Venetian Gothic style and will be restored by community volunteers with Curtis and Quicken Loans at the helm. Gillis lived at the home, located on Alfred Street just north of downtown, a few years before building a house next door, according to the Brush Park Preservation Society. Abandoned sometime in the 1960s or ’70s, the house has essentially sat vacant since 2005.

Quicken Loans Vice President Jay Farner will appear in several episodes, according to the release.

“Brush Park is a vital neighborhood that is about to see a significant investment in revitalization and new construction. Once completed, this area is going to become an anchor for the growth of Detroit’s neighborhoods,” Farner said in the news release. “Communities are built brick-by-brick, through effort and passion. I am proud to say we have all of that here with this community, Nicole and this amazing home.”

The Ransom Gillis is Curtis’ third Detroit project. Her last season of “Rehab Addict” featured the renovations of an English Tudor she bought from the Detroit Land Bank Authority last year. In 2013, she renovated a 1920s duplex on the city’s west side.

The Ransom Gillis house features some quirky Gothic flourishes.