Dan Gilbert buys warehouse in shadow of Ford train depot
Detroit — Dan Gilbert's Bedrock has purchased a warehouse in the shadow of the former Michigan Central Station that Ford Motor Co. is overhauling as its future center for automotive mobility.
The five-story, 138,000-square-foot building at 1800 18th St. is west of the former train station just past the train viaduct on Vernor Highway. That makes this purchase Bedrock's first foray in the area of southwest Detroit often called Mexicantown. The viaduct is often considered the dividing line between the Corktown and Mexicantown neighborhoods. Even more specific, the stretch of 18th Street where the warehouse is located is also part of the Hubbard-Richard historic district within the Mexicantown area.
Bedrock confirmed it bought the building late last year. The purchase price hasn't been disclosed. The company issued this statement late Tuesday: “As investment ramps up in Detroit’s Corktown neighborhood, Bedrock is excited to have acquired the property at 1800 18th St., which we feel has great potential, especially given its proximity to Ford’s Michigan Central Station. We look forward to determining our development vision for the property.”
The 105-year-old train station is the heart of the automaker's planned $740 million mobility-focused campus around Michigan Avenue. The company has already started a $350 million overhaul of the train station. Ford aims to bring 5,000 employees by 2022 to the historic building.
Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties, including new construction of ground up developments in downtown Detroit and Cleveland totaling more than 18 million square feet, according to the company.
Bedrock bought the 18th Street warehouse from Robert Elmes, who originally intended to convert the space into an artist-incubator space. Elmes, an artist, purchased the building in 2013 for $500,000, public records show.