Zagster and Rock Ventures Bring Pedal Power to Downtown Detroit

First Bike Sharing Program in Detroit Focuses on Revitalization, Sustainability, Convenience and Cost-Effective Transportation

Zagster, one of the nation’s first bike sharing companies, announced it has partnered with Rock Ventures/Quicken Loans to launch Detroit’s first bike sharing program. Beginning today, Rock Ventures’ 9,200 team members in downtown Detroit can reserve and ride comfortable, city-friendly cruiser bikes, allowing them a healthy, convenient, sustainable and fun way to run errands, grab lunch, get to meetings or just exercise.

“With the success of public bike sharing programs around the world, more and more employers, real estate developers and universities are looking to offer a more customized, convenient and flexible program for tenants and employees,” said Timothy Ericson, co-founder and CEO of Zagster. “Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans have really stepped up to show the world that the Motor City is ready for a new set of wheels.”

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Zagster has successfully launched bike sharing programs in large cities including Chicago, Boston and New York and is now doing so in Detroit’s burgeoning urban core.

Initially, 48 Breezer bikes will be available on-demand to Rock Ventures’ team members, and will be parked outside eight properties in and around Detroit’s central business district: Compuware, M@dison, One Woodward, 1528 Woodward Avenue, Chase Tower, Financial District Garage, 1001 Woodward Garage and Two Detroit Garage. Additional locations may be launched in future months.

After registering on Zagster’s website, riders simply text ‘start’ plus the bike number (e.g. ‘start 46′) to Zagster. A confirmation message with the access code for the lock box is texted back. This action reserves the bike for the remainder of the day or until the bike is returned. Riders text “end” to the same number, which releases the bike for the next rider. Bike reservations last up to 24 hours.

The Breezer Uptown bikes used by Zagster have won numerous awards for their lightweight yet durable frames. They are outfitted with spacious baskets ideal for transporting laptops and computer gear, take-out food or groceries. Riders can park their bikes anywhere they want using the included lock, allowing the ultimate in convenience. When done with their bike, riders simply return the bike back to the Zagster bike rack.

“The launch of Zagster in Detroit is another way we are activating our streets and helping our team members explore Detroit — on two wheels versus four,” said Jay Farner, Quicken Loans’ President and Chief Marketing Officer, adding that the company is sponsoring Zagster memberships for its team members. “Bike sharing fits in with our placemaking initiatives; we hope other downtown companies will follow our lead and consider bringing this perk to their team members.”

About Zagster
Founded in Philadelphia in 2007 as CityRyde and now headquartered in Cambridge, Mass., Zagster is one of the nation’s first bike sharing companies. Zagster is uniquely focused on contracting with property managers, hotels, businesses, and universities across North America to make bike sharing programs available to tenants, employees, guests and students. This highly efficient and unique model allows Zagster to offer services in areas that traditional city-wide bike sharing systems can’t reach. More information about Zagster is available online at www.Zagster.com.

About Rock Ventures
Detroit-based Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity managing a diverse portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures’ flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and third largest overall residential mortgage lender. To learn more visit www.opportunitydetroit.com.

– Newest property adds 275,000 square-feet to real estate holdings at the foot of Campus Martius Park-

 DETROIT, March 19, 2013 – Rock Ventures today grew its real estate footprint in the heart of Detroit’s emerging technology district with the acquisition of the 1001 Woodward office tower.

Located at the corner of Woodward and Michigan Avenues, across from Campus Martius Park, the 23-story 1001 Woodward features 275,000 square-feet of Class-A office space. The building was designed by Detroit-based SmithGroup, and built in 1965 for the First Federal Savings and Loan of Detroit.

1001 Woodward features first floor retail space and is home to GalaxE.Solutions, Meridian Health Plan, the University of Phoenix and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), among others. The property is currently 68 percent occupied. Quicken Loans will lease 65,000 square feet, bringing the occupancy of the building to 87 percent.

Also included in the acquisition is an attached parking structure providing 730 spaces and 15,000 square feet of prime first floor retail space facing Woodward Avenue.

“Detroit has become a key destination for brain economy companies,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. “The acquisition of the 1001 Woodward building allows us to continue to offer premium office space at affordable rates for those looking to join us in the technology district that is gaining more and more momentum each and every day.”

The building acquisition was brokered by Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm and developer for the project. Bedrock will also oversee renovations, managing the property and leasing the space.

With this acquisition, Rock Ventures’ real estate portfolio now totals 2.9 million square feet of commercial and residential space in Detroit’s growing urban core. The group also owns several parking garages and a surface lot totaling 4,250 parking spaces. In addition, the company is currently developing a 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development and a 10-story parking garage.

 

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 About Rock Ventures LLC

Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity managing a diverse portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures’ flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and third largest overall residential mortgage lender.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC

Detroit-based Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC is a full service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. For more information, visit bedrockmgt.com.

– The group’s Detroit real estate portfolio grows to 15 buildings in the
emerging technology corridor –

DetroitShoppe-20130617-002

DETROIT, December 18, 2012 – Rock Ventures today announced the purchase of five additional properties, wrapping up a year in which it acquired eight buildings totaling 630,000 square feet of commercial space.

The newest acquisitions bring Rock Ventures’ downtown Detroit real estate investments to 15 buildings totaling 2.6 million square feet of commercial space, and three parking structures for a combined 3,500 parking spaces.

In addition, Rock Ventures broke ground on a 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development and 10-story parking garage last month, renovated 633,000 square feet of commercial space, and located 45 companies to the city, including Twitter, Chrysler, Metro-West Appraisal, and numerous technology related start-ups. Rock Ventures’ family of companies, including Quicken Loans and Title Source, has brought 7,000-plus people to work in downtown Detroit since August 2010.

“It has been an exciting year of opportunity in Detroit,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans. “Our focus in 2013 will be on the three R’s – residential, rail and retail – all of which are vital in creating the vibrant, thriving urban core that we all envision.”

Rock Ventures’ newest building acquisitions include:

  • 1201 Woodward – Kresge Building: The 54,000 square-foot property built in 1891 was home to the former Kresge store. The nine-story building, located on the northwest corner of Woodward Avenue and State Street, will be renovated to accommodate first floor retail and either office or residential space above. A portion of the first floor currently houses The Detroit Shoppe and Detroit Artist Market pop-up stores.
  • 1217 Woodward: This five-story 30,000 square-foot building is located on the west side of Woodward Avenue, immediately north of the Kresge Building. Built in 1891, the building will be renovated and used for first floor retail and either office or residential space above. A portion of the first floor currently houses Santa’s Wonderland, a seasonal store specifically for children with proceeds benefitting Detroit Goodfellows, ensuring there is “No Kiddie without a Christmas.”
  • 1412 Woodward: Located on the east side of Woodward Avenue between Grand River Avenue and John R Street, this three-story building was built in 1916. The 6,000 square-foot building is currently unoccupied, but will feature first floor retail with office space above.
  • 1301 Broadway – Cary Building Lofts: The 20,000 square-foot building, built in 1906, is located on the west corner of Gratiot Avenue and Broadway Street. The five-story structure will undergo extensive renovations to accommodate first floor retail space with residential space above.
  • 1521 Broadway – Small Plates Building: The 9,300 square-foot building is 100 percent occupied by Small Plates restaurant on the first floor with four residential loft apartments above. The five-story building is located on the west side of Broadway Street between John R and Witherell Street.

The building purchases were brokered by Bedrock Real Estate Services, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm. Bedrock leases, develops and manages all of Rock Ventures’ buildings, and has helped locate more than 65 companies to downtown Detroit since August 2010.

“The need for retail and updated office and residential space in downtown Detroit is keeping Bedrock extremely busy,” said Jim Ketai, Managing Partner at Bedrock, adding that the firm has grown by nearly 60 percent in the past year to keep up with the demand.”

For more information about Bedrock Real Estate Services, please visit www.bedrockmgt.com.

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About Rock Ventures LLC
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures’ flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and fourth largest retail lender.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC is a full service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company, a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai, is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit bedrockmgt.com.

– Purchase brings total real estate holdings in downtown Detroit to nearly 2.5 million commercial square feet –

DETROIT, December 3, 2012 —  Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies and investments, today announced it has added another 333,000 square feet of class-A downtown Detroit office space to its growing real estate portfolio.

The company completed the purchase of the 26-story One Woodward building, located on the corner of Jefferson and Woodward Avenue. Rock Ventures plans to renovate the building in order to accommodate the growing demand for space in the city’s emerging technology district.

Built in 1962, One Woodward was designed by famed architect Minoru Yamasaki, and is considered an early design that ultimately led Yamaski to create the former World Trade Center towers in New York City.

“The One Woodward building is located in the heart of Detroit’s technology core, and provides us more space to further accommodate our growing family of companies and the increasing number of businesses that want to leverage the opportunities made in Detroit,” said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

“We continue to bet big on Detroit, and this purchase reinforces our commitment to the exciting entrepreneurial action on Woodward Avenue,” Gilbert added.

The building is approximately 60 percent occupied, and will exceed 90 percent occupancy next month when Quicken Loans and its affiliates lease a total of eight floors in the building.  Some current tenants include the Detroit Regional Chamber and law firms Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, and Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

Purchase of the One Woodward building was co-brokered by Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions and Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm and developer for the project. Bedrock will also be responsible for overseeing the renovations, managing the property and leasing the space.

Since January 2011, Rock Ventures has purchased 10 buildings totaling nearly 2.5 million square feet of office space, in addition to two parking garages with a total of 3,500 parking spaces.  Last month, the company broke ground on a 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development with 10-story parking garage in downtown Detroit.

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About Rock Ventures LLC:
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures’ flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and fourth largest retail lender.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC:
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC is a full-service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company, a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai, is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit bedrockmgt.com.

DETROIT, November 1, 2012 — Rock Ventures LLC announced today it will build 33,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 1,300 space parking garage in downtown Detroit’s Central Business District.

Construction on the 535,000 square-foot Z-shaped retail and parking development will begin in November 2012, and is expected to be completed by December 2013. The structure will zigzag from the corner of Broadway and East Grand River to the corner of Library and Gratiot, occupying what is currently a surface parking lot. The parking/retail development will be a distinctive structure utilizing color, glass, and original artwork.

Rock Ventures is developing the property to help alleviate the area’s parking shortage in and around downtown Detroit’s Central Business District, and just as important, bring more unique retail and dining options to the area’s fast growing tech and creative corridor and employee base, said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

“Downtown Detroit’s population is growing every day, as new start-ups launch and other companies move downtown. In two years alone, the number of people who work in the Central Business District has increased by more than 10,000 people. These folks need parking, and more places to eat and shop. Our new development will help meet some of this demand,” said Gilbert.

Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate, has moved more than 6,500 team members into the Campus Martius area, many of whom will benefit from the added parking (some are currently being shuttled to their office, decreasing foot traffic vital to urban cores). Since August 2010, more than 60 companies have moved into or launched in Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

George Jackson, President, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, said this kind of development is exactly what the city needs to continue its revival.

“More parking, more retail stores and more restaurants….all of these conveniences and services are part of what is required to create a thriving urban core that people want to live in and visit,” Jackson said. “We are very excited about this new development.”

Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full-service real estate firm and developer for the project, will be responsible for managing the property and leasing the retail space. Bedrock is working with Michigan-based Neumann/Smith Architecture and parking consultants Rich and Associates Inc. to design the structure. Colasanti Construction Services Inc./Sachse Construction, a joint venture, are the construction managers for the project.

Renderings:
Z Parking structure – day rendering: LINK
Z Parking structure – night rendering: LINK

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About Rock Ventures LLC:
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures’ flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation’s largest online home lender and fourth largest retail lender.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC:
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC is a full service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company, a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai, is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit http://www.bedrockmgt.com.

** Note to Editors:
Follow the links for the Rock Ventures Detroit 2.0 Chronology, followed by a listing of the more than 60 companies that have joined Rock Ventures in the past 26 months and have moved to downtown Detroit in a number of Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

DETROIT, April 4, 2012 — There’s a new trending topic in #Detroit, as tech giant Twitter announced today it is opening an office in the city’s growing downtown technology district.  The company’s first Michigan location will be based in the M@dison Building, owned by Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

Based in San Francisco, Twitter is a real-time information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news.  The company’s Detroit office will house a team of employees whose primary focus will be helping marketers and advertising agencies in Detroit leverage Twitter’s Promoted Products suite of advertising products. Twitter expects to hire more employees over time as it grows its Detroit presence.

“Detroit’s emerging mix of automotive and digital cultures made it a natural location for Twitter’s newest office,” said Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of global revenue. “We’re excited to work face-to-face with the city’s most established brands and happy to play a role in downtown Detroit’s digital renaissance.”

By choosing to open a new office in downtown Detroit, Twitter adds to the rapidly growing tech district forming in the heart of the city along the “WEBward Avenue” corridor.  The social media giant joins other expanding firms including Detroit Labs, a mobile app developer; Are You a Human, an alternative to squiggly CAPTCHA verifications; and UpTo, a next generation mobile calendar that allows users to share events with their social network.

Rock Ventures’ full service property management firm, Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, helped recruit Twitter and brokered the company’s lease. Rock Ventures and Bedrock are seeking businesses looking to be part of an innovative, tech-focused urban core where people want to live, work and play.  In the last 18 months, they have helped nearly 40 new-economy companies find a home in downtown Detroit.

“Twitter coming downtown is exactly the kind of innovative company Detroit needs to advance our vision of becoming one of the most exciting high-tech and web-centered corridors of growth and activity found anywhere,” said Gilbert, Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, and Majority Owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

“Twitter chose Detroit because of the city’s growing, young and energetic environment.  This is further proof that the country is starting to wake up and take notice – if you want to create a thriving, growing tech business, downtown Detroit is one of the best places to be,” Gilbert added.

** Note to Editors:  Below is a listing of the companies who have moved to Detroit, and into Rock Ventures owned and leased buildings, since August 2010, which can also be found on the Quicken Loans press room HERE.

About M@dison
M@dison is an entrepreneurial tech hub located at 1555 Broadway Street in downtown Detroit. Originally designed by architect C. Howard Crane and constructed in 1917 as part of the Madison Theater complex, the historical Madison Theatre Building is now a creative center designed to encourage partnership among local entrepreneurs and their budding projects and companies. The building was purchased in January 2011 and has since been renovated and transformed into an open, colorful and collaborative space. The building is 100 percent occupied by companies such as Detroit Venture Partners, Skidmore Studio, Detroit Labs and Doodle Home, which are committed to making Woodward Avenue a technology and web centered corridor of growth and activity known as “WEBward” Avenue.

About Rock Ventures LLC
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC is a full service property management firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company, a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai, is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit http://www.bedrockmgt.com

Dan Gilbert makes announcement during unveiling of m@dison, an entrepreneurial hub of creative and tech start-ups in downtown Detroit

DETROIT, January 30, 2012 – Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate, today announced it will close on the purchase of downtown Detroit’s historic Federal Reserve Building, a 176,000 square-foot building that has sat vacant since 2004.

Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans, and majority owner of the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, made the announcement to media at the m@dison building, an entrepreneurial hub of creative and technology companies committed to ”WEBward”  Avenue, a digital and web centered corridor of growth and activity.  The building, now fully occupied with the city’s brightest budding entrepreneurs, underwent a $12 million renovation, blending state-of-the-art amenities with many of the original features of the 1917 structure.

“Today we unveiled our m@dison building, showing all that is possible when passion and creativity fuse,” said Gilbert, who purchased the mostly deserted building, located steps from Grand Circus Park and the city’s sports venues, in early 2011.

“We also begin 2012 with the purchase of the Detroit’s historic Federal Reserve building. We are excited to get to work and continue the momentum we have built.”

Located at 160 W. Fort Street, the Federal Reserve building was constructed in 1927 as a Classic Revival Style complex.  In 1951, an eight story glass and marble annex was added to the building.  The Federal Reserve Bank moved to a new building in 2004, leaving the Fort Street property empty.

In one year’s time Gilbert’s Rock Ventures has acquired nine buildings, three parking structures and one parking lot in downtown Detroit’s burgeoning tech district. The properties account for nearly 2.1 million square-feet of office space and 3,500 parking spaces.

“Today’s announcement is a great start to what looks to be a very busy and exciting year,” said Matt Cullen, Chief Executive Officer of Rock Ventures. “We have a number of properties in our portfolio that we will be working to renovate and fill with job-creating businesses, while keeping a close eye on the market and making additional building purchases where it makes sense.”

In addition to the Federal Reserve and m@dison Buildings, Gilbert and Rock Ventures has utilized their real estate arm, Bedrock Real Estate Services, and purchased the following buildings:

Chase Tower: Located in the heart of Detroit’s Central Business District, the Chase Tower is just steps from Campus Martius Park.  Built in 1959, the 505,000 square-foot, 14-story building was
acquired in April.  Extensive renovations were made to the building, which became home to more than 1,500 Quicken Loans team members in October 2011.

First National Building: Snaking through an entire city block, the Albert Kahn-designed First National Building was acquired by Gilbert in August 2011.  Built in 1922, the 800,000 square-foot building is currently undergoing significant improvements.  The building’s anchor tenants include the law firm of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn, as well as the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Dime Building: In August, Gilbert also purchased the Dime Building.  Built in 1912 and designed by world famous architect Daniel Burnham, the building features more than 350,000 square feet of office space on 23 stories.  The building underwent an extensive redevelopment in 2002 and is home to Ameriprise and several other companies.

The Wright-Kay Building: Located at 1500 Woodward Avenue, the Wright Kay is one of downtown Detroit’s grand old buildings, constructed in 1891.  The six-story brownstone is slated to offer street-level retail with offices or residential units on the floors above.

The Lane Bryant Building: Built in 1917, the Lane Bryant building featuresnearly 45,000 square feet of space. Once renovated, it will house retail on the ground floor and office space on the floors above. The Lane Bryant Building is located at 1520 Woodward Ave.

The Arts League of Michigan Building: Offering more than 43,000 square feet across six stories, the Arts League of Michigan building will undergo a significant renovation and offer a mix of retail and office space.

1550 Woodward: The 4,000 square-foot one-story building will accommodate a restaurant or new street level retail.

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About Rock Ventures LLC:
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operationalcoordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

About Quicken Loans Inc:
Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest online home lender and a top five retail lender. The company closed a record $30 billion in retail home loan volume across all 50 states in 2011. Quicken Loans generates loan production from five web centers located in Detroit, Ohio and Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010 and 2011. “QuickenLoans.com” has been named “Best of the Web” by Forbes and Money magazines. The company ranked in the Top 10 of FORTUNE magazine’s ”100 Best Companies To Work For” in 2012 and has placed among the
Top 30 companies on FORTUNE’s list for the past nine years.  It ranked in the Top-15 of Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work In Technology” for seven years in a row.

Quicken Loans was named #1 in the Detroit Free Press’ ‘Best Places to Work in Michigan’ List in 2010 and 2011. The company moved its headquarters and 3,700 of its more than 5,000 team members to downtown Detroit. Another 1,000 team members are expected to move to downtown Detroit in mid 2012. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit us on the web at www.quickenloans.com, on Twitter at @QLnews, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuickenLoans.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services:
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, is a full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of  commercial space. The company is a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai. The company is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit www.bedrockmgt.com.

DETROIT, December 27, 2011 – The Detroit 2.0 movement took another step forward today as a group led by Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert announced that it has completed the acquisition of three additional  properties in Downtown Detroit – the historic Wright-Kay brownstone,  as well as the Lane Bryant and the Arts League of Michigan Buildings.

The Wright-Kay Building, located at 1500 Woodward Avenue, at the corner of John R., was constructed in 1891.  The six-story building is slated to offer street-level retail with offices or residential units on the floors above.

The second acquisition, the Lane Bryant Building, is located at 1520 Woodward Ave.  Built in 1917, the building features nearly 45,000 square feet of space.  Once renovated, it will house retail on the ground floor and office space on the floors above.

The last purchase, the Arts League of Michigan Building, is a six-story 43,000 square-foot structure built in 1915 and located at 1528 Woodward Avenue.  It is expected that this building will offer a mix of retail and office space.

These three real estate purchases cap a year-long drive to acquire and renovate buildings in the heart of downtown Detroit.

Since the beginning of 2011, Gilbert’s real estate arm has purchased seven properties, with another building currently under contract expected to close by the end of the year.  In addition, the group has purchased three parking structures and one parking lot.  By the end of the year, Gilbert’s holdings will account for more than 1.8 million square feet of space and nearly 2,750 parking spaces in the heart of downtown Detroit’s growing technology district.

“We are more committed than ever to creating an environment where more and more businesses and their employees will call Detroit their home. In fact, in 2012 we will put on a full-court-press to recruit many of the brightest and best businesses, as well as exciting start-up companies, to downtown,” said Gilbert, also majority owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Gilbert’s current real estate investments are managed by Bedrock Real Estate Services – a joint venture formed in late 2010.

“We’ve been able to both acquire and redevelop new properties at break-neck speed this year, opening the doors for many companies to move downtown in 2011, with an increasing number in the works for 2012,” said Jim Ketai, Bedrock’s managing director.

This year, Gilbert has invested in:

M@dison Theatre Building: Built in 1917, the M@dison Theatre Building had been vacant for years before its purchase in January 2011.  Renovations were undertaken immediately on the five-story C. Howard Crane-designed building to transform the space into a hub of technology and innovation in Detroit. The redesigned M@dison Theatre Building also offers a state-of-the-art public meeting space and rooftop deck overlooking Grand Circus Park and the city’s sports venues.

Chase Tower: Located in the heart of Detroit’s Central Business District, the Chase Tower is just steps from Campus Martius Park.  Built in 1959, the 505,000 square-foot, 14-story building was acquired in April.  Extensive renovations were made to the building, which became home to more than 1,500 Quicken Loans team members in October 2011.

First National Building: Snaking through an entire city block, the Albert Kahn-designed First National Building was acquired by Gilbert in August 2011.  Built in 1922, the 800,000 square-foot building is currently undergoing significant improvements.  The building’s anchor tenants include the law firm of Honigman, Miller, Schwartz and Cohn, as well as the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Dime Building: In August, Gilbert also purchased the Dime Building.  Built in 1912 and designed by world famous architect Daniel Burnham, the building features more than 350,000 square feet of office space on 23 stories.  The building underwent an extensive redevelopment in 2002 and is home to Ameriprise and several other companies.

Rock Ventures also has the building at 1550 Woodward under contract to purchase.  The property, located just south of the Broderick Tower on Woodward, is 4,000 square feet and will be utilized for retail or commercial use.

Many companies have started to call Detroit home since 2010.  These include:

M@dison Theatre Building:

  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying an entire floor
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP):  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG):  The area’s pre-eminent provider of office furniture
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company that recently completed its first feature film, Jinn
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
  • Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings
  • Are You a Human: The answer to frustrating CAPTCHA entries, Are You a Human uses fun games to verify the authenticity of people completing online forms
  • OWN Point of Sale: A complete platform to run your business smarter and build brand loyalty
  • GumShoe: A game where players compete against friends and a community of sleuths to solve mysteries, and earn awards, social cred and the occasional real life cache along the way
  • FLUD: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they’re most interested in
  • hiredMYway : A company disrupting the traditional “job board” concept that provides an exceptionally better value and experience for both job seekers and employers
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
  • Marxent Labs: Creator of ShopWith.It, a new app for social shoppers that makes it easy to take your Facebook friends shopping
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
  • Aria Ventures: A company specializing in developing and funding startup stage ventures

 Dime Building:

  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services

 Chase Tower:

  • Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender
  • In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching Quicken Loans clients with pre-screened agents in their community

First National Building:

  • Tenant announcements planned for early 2012

Compuware Building:

  • Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender
  • Fathead:  The industry leader in authentic, life-like licensed sports and entertainment graphic products
  • Quizzle:  An innovative website that helps consumers get a better understanding of their credit – and have a little fun doing it
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The nation’s largest reverse-only mortgage provider

 Several more companies are expected to announce their move to downtown Detroit in the coming months and throughout 2012.

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About Rock Ventures LLC:

Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

About Quicken Loans Inc:

Quicken Loans Inc. is the nation’s largest online retail mortgage lender and among the five largest overall retail home lenders in the United States. The company closed a record $30 billion in retail home loan volume across all 50 states in 2011. Quicken Loans generates loan production from five web centers located in Detroit, Ohio and Arizona. The company also operates a centralized loan processing facility in Detroit, as well as its San Diego-based One Reverse Mortgage unit. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in customer satisfaction among all home mortgage lenders in the United States by J.D. Power and Associates in 2010 and 2011. “QuickenLoans.com” has been named “Best of the Web” by Forbes and Money magazines. The company also has been named to FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies To Work For” eight consecutive years, ranking as high as #2, and named in the Top-15 of Computerworld magazine’s “100 Best Places to Work In Technology” for seven years in a row. Quicken Loans ranked #1 in the Detroit Free Press’ ‘Best Places to Work in Michigan’ List in 2010 and 2011. The company has moved its headquarters and 3,700 team members to downtown Detroit. For more information about Quicken Loans, please visit us on the web at www.quickenloans.com, on Twitter at @QLnews, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/QuickenLoans.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services:

Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, is a full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company is a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai. The company is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit www.bedrockmgt.com.

Philanthropic partner of Rocket Companies to expand survey to include home repair needs

DETROIT, November 9, 2021 – The Rocket Community Fund today announced a collaboration with Experian that will enable the organization to pivot from its door-to-door outreach by calling 50,000 Detroit homeowners at risk of tax foreclosure through Neighbor to Neighbor, the organization’s flagship housing stability program. Thanks to Experian, this new approach will increase the program’s efficacy while also reducing the time traditionally spent canvassing door-to-door.

The Rocket Community Fund’s annual census of tax delinquent properties will also begin gathering additional data during surveying, so that it may holistically understand the residents’ current needs for home repairs and inform future interventions.

Neighbor to Neighbor reaches out to those at risk of tax foreclosure in order to connect families with available resources, while simultaneously collecting data to support systemic change. Between 2015 and 2019, this annual campaign, other philanthropic investments and the work of critical partners have collectively achieved a 94% reduction in the number of occupied homes entering the Wayne County Tax Auction. The auction was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19.

“The Rocket Community Fund is obsessed with finding a better way to ensure that all Detroiters have access to a stable home,” said Laura Grannemann, Vice President of the Rocket Community Fund. “The ongoing pandemic has pushed us to find new ways of creatively reaching Detroiters in order to support them and collect data around their changing needs. Thanks to the collaboration with Experian, this year’s Neighbor to Neighbor does just that.”

Neighbor to Neighbor traditionally conducts a door-to-door campaign with the goal of aiding residents in obtaining a property tax exemption through the Homeowner Property Tax Assistance Program (HPTAP), now HomeOwners Property Exemption (HOPE). This year’s survey will also include more extensive questions about home repair needs.

In an effort to pivot tactics of community outreach during the pandemic to make it safer and more efficient, the Rocket Community Fund teamed with Experian, who provided contact information associated with residents, many of whom have been financially impacted by the pandemic.

“We recognize the pandemic has taken its toll on consumers across the country, and we’re committed to empowering and protecting those communities that are most impacted,” said Genevieve Juillard, President of Experian Marketing Services and Data Quality. “Working alongside the Rocket Community Fund gives us an opportunity to help and serve these consumers, but more importantly, provide them with the resources needed to have confident, stable housing.”

The Rocket Community Fund will also underwrite the costs for nonprofit partners to hire 20 full-time phone canvassers, who will make $20 per hour over the course of the campaign, which is expected to last 8-12 weeks.

This year’s campaign is part of an ongoing, $500 million joint philanthropic commitment between the Rocket Community Fund and Gilbert Family Foundation. The Rocket Community Fund is the philanthropic partner of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT), while the Gilbert Family Foundation is the personal foundation of Dan and Jennifer Gilbert.

“The Rocket Community Fund and its Neighbor to Neighbor partners continue doing  an outstanding job helping Detroiters stay in their homes by connecting them to property tax exemptions through our HOPE program,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. “This new partnership with Experian will allow us to connect with more residents who need tax relief, and may have home repair needs, as part of our ongoing work to strengthen neighborhoods.”

In 2020, the Rocket Community Fund invested $1 million into the City of Detroit’s 0% interest home repair loan program after 38% of Neighbor to Neighbor respondents indicated their structures needed critical maintenance. The organization is also donating the costs of a call center for the City’s Renew Detroit home repair program.

The 2019 Neighbor to Neighbor survey – the last city-wide canvas the Rocket Community Fund conducted – saw residents identify significant repair needs, with 38% stating their structures need critical maintenance.

The Rocket Community Fund recently launched Neighbor to Neighbor in Cleveland alongside Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and the Cleveland Foundation.

This year, a record 13,000 individuals have enrolled in HOPE. Detroit homeowners with back taxes who have enrolled in HOPE and the Pay as You Stay program (PAYS) are automatically eligible for support from the Detroit Tax Relief Fund, which eliminates property tax debt owed by low-income homeowners. The Detroit Tax Relief Fund is a Gilbert Family Foundation program administered by the Wayne Metro Community Action Agency. This fund has paid off the tax debt of more than 2,000 Detroit families with thousands more to come.

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About Rocket Community Fund

The Rocket Community Fund is a partner company of Rocket Companies, which includes Rocket Mortgage – the nation’s largest mortgage lender. It also coordinates team member volunteerism for Bedrock and other affiliated companies who comprise the Rock Family of Companies. Its strategy aims to support thriving, resilient and inclusive communities through data-driven investments in housing, employment and public life.

Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully brings together all of the assets of the Rocket Mortgage and Rock Family of Companies business – team member talent, technology, policy advocacy, and philanthropic resources – to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit, Cleveland and across the country.

For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.

  • Door-to-door campaign launches in conjunction with five Cleveland CDCs, and will connect residents to digital resources and housing interventions
  • $1.35 million joint commitment between Rocket Community Fund and Cleveland Foundation to support, underwrite Cleveland Neighborhood Progress positions

DETROIT, October 20 2021 – The Rocket Community Fund, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Cleveland Foundation today announced the launch of “Neighbor to Neighbor,” the flagship Rocket Community Fund program that will help bridge Cleveland’s digital divide and connect residents to critical housing resources that will support lasting housing stability.

The philanthropic arm of Rocket Companies (NYSE: RKT) and its affiliated companies, the Rocket Community Fund’s mission is to support inclusive, thriving and resilient communities by making data-driven investments in housing, employment, and public life. Today’s announcement, which comes on the heels of the city of Cleveland and Bedrock’s press conference about the riverfront development proposal in pursuit of the Vision for the Valley, is a continuation of the organization’s commitment to invest in every aspect of Cleveland, including, and especially, its residents.

“Neighbor to Neighbor is a program as well as a promise to Cleveland that we are committed to providing residents with the future they deserve, a future of digital connectivity and housing stability that will enable them to grow their wealth and well-being,” said Laura Grannemann, the Vice President of the Rocket Community Fund and founder of Neighbor to Neighbor. “Digital connectivity and lasting housing stability are the twin pillars that provide physical and economic security, as well as the ability to access job training, education, telemedicine, employment and more. We are excited to work alongside our friends at Cleveland Neighborhood Progress, the Cleveland Foundation and local organizations for years to come.”

Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson, an advocate for building equity and opportunity for all Clevelanders in all neighborhoods throughout his more than thirty years in public service (including the last 16 as mayor), welcomed today’s announcement.

“I appreciate Rocket Community Fund, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Cleveland Foundation for their efforts to address systemic disparities,” said Mayor Jackson. “The Neighbor to Neighbor program is one way to help bridge the digital divide, improve housing stability in our community and improve quality of life for current and future generations.”

Neighbor to Neighbor

At its core, Neighbor to Neighbor is a door-to-door canvassing effort that helps deepen connections between local Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and their neighbors – the residents they serve. Canvassers from neighborhood CDCs educate residents on programs they may be eligible for, as well as ask questions to understand the gaps that exist due to a lack of resources or programming that is symptom-based and not solution-based. Based on these conversations, Neighbor to Neighbor partners and residents will work toward co-developing lasting, sustainable programs that provide long-term solutions to intractable issues.

First launching with five pilot CDCs, the program will expand to 11 CDCs in 2022. The joint $1.35 million commitment between the Cleveland Foundation and Rocket Community Fund will enable Cleveland Neighborhood Progress – a community development intermediary – to begin the process of assembling a team of nearly 50 individuals to implement the Neighbor to Neighbor program.

“Neighbor to Neighbor will allow us to scale our impact in new and innovative ways by allowing us to reach and collaborate with the residents of our communities to bridge the digital divide and address housing inequities,” said Tania Menesse, President and CEO of Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. “We are grateful to the Rocket Community Fund and Cleveland Foundation for investing in us, our residents and our futures.”

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress recently hired a Manager for Organizing and Community Engagement, who will facilitate and manage partnerships with local CDCs and Community Ambassadors, and oversee the Neighbor to Neighbor program in its entirety.

The five pilot CDCs that will be involved with the launch of the program include Bellaire-Puritas Development Corporation, Famicos Foundation, Greater Collinwood Development Corporation, Midtown Cleveland Inc. and Slavic Village Development. Each organization is in process of adding Community Engagement Specialists to their staff as well as identifying candidates for the position of Community Ambassador.

Growing Digital Equity and Bridging the Digital Divide

Today’s announcement aims to shine a light on the digital divide that exists in Cleveland, and provide a path forward over the coming years through existing programs and future initiatives. Cleveland is the only city of more than 100,000 households where more than 30% lack broadband of any type, including cellular data plans. Removing cellular data plans, nearly 46% of Cleveland households lack broadband internet – second to only Detroit.

Canvassers will immediately begin connecting residents to the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB), a federal program that subsidizes the cost of internet and technological devices for eligible households. The EBB provides a monthly $50 discount for internet access and a one-time $100 subsidy for a laptop, desktop computer or tablet. More than one-third of Cleveland households – at least 125,000 in total – are expected qualify for the initiative that has been the single-best digital connectivity intervention nationwide.

The Cleveland Foundation works to build community endowment, address needs through grantmaking and provide leadership on key community issues, including digital literacy and racial equity.

“The digital divide prevents Cleveland residents from accessing meaningful programs, jobs and opportunities – and disproportionately affects our residents of color,” said Leon Wilson, Chief of Digital Innovation and Chief Information Officer for the Cleveland Foundation. “Through Neighbor to Neighbor, we can connect residents to the Emergency Broadband Benefit and develop programs that will provide access to the internet, technology and digital literacy programming that is essential for the jobs of the future.”

Resident feedback will also allow Neighbor to Neighbor partners to understand the needs for broadband infrastructure, neighborhood tech hubs, digital literacy programming and more. The EBB and future programs developed alongside residents will aim to transition Cleveland from one of the least-connected cities in the country to an example of how the power of partnerships and programming can address systemic issues.

Addressing Housing Instability

Property tax delinquency and tax foreclosure has resulted in displacement, blight, a stagnant real estate market, as well as the erosion of generational wealth in Cleveland. In predominately Black neighborhoods, especially in Cleveland’s east side, this is also a racial equity and justice issue.

In Ohio, once a tax delinquent property is foreclosed upon and brought to sheriff’s sale twice with no bidders, the property is then forfeited to the state. However, many neighborhoods have forfeited properties that are still occupied, creating a precarious situation for renters who are still paying rent as well as low-income occupants who have a relationship to the property and are unable to improve its condition. In some neighborhoods, up to 50% of the forfeited homes are occupied.

Neighbor to Neighbor Detroit helped achieve a 94% reduction in the number of occupied homes entering property tax foreclosure. It also helped spin off a related program, Make It Home, which has enabled more than 1,150 renters and other occupants at risk of displacement to become owners of their home.

Cleveland Neighbor to Neighbor partners will provide valuable information about existing programs to assist residents in achieving more stable housing outcomes through their door-to-door outreach efforts. As information is gathered and connections made, partners will work toward designing additional solutions to prevent tax foreclosure, renter evictions and other situations of housing instability.

Today’s $1.35 million commitment is in addition to the Rocket Community Fund’s previous $1 million investment into Cleveland Neighborhood Progress to increase home rehabilitation efforts to mitigate blight and rehab vacant residential units.

Historically, the Rocket Community Fund has invested more than $2 million into Cleveland’s Habitat for Humanity as well as partnered with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy to develop a parcel-by-parcel analysis of all of Cleveland’s 158,000 parcels. In the past decade, Cleveland-based team members of Rocket Companies and its affiliated companies comprising the Rocket Family of Companies have completed more than 18,000 volunteer hours through the Rocket Community Fund, which coordinates volunteerism for the organization.

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About Rocket Community Fund

The Rocket Community Fund is a partner company of Rocket Companies, which includes Rocket Mortgage – the nation’s largest mortgage lender. It also coordinates team member volunteerism for Bedrock and other affiliated companies who comprise the Rock Family of Companies. Its strategy aims to support thriving, resilient and inclusive communities through data-driven investments in housing, employment and public life.

Through its For-More-Than-Profit model, the Rocket Community Fund recognizes that business and community are inextricably linked, and it purposefully brings together all of the assets of the Rocket Mortgage and Rock Family of Companies business – team member talent, technology, policy advocacy, and philanthropic resources – to invest in comprehensive community development in Detroit, Cleveland and across the country.

For more information, visit RocketCommunityFund.org.

About Cleveland Neighborhood Progress

Cleveland Neighborhood Progress is a local community development intermediary with over thirty years of experience investing in community revitalization work in Greater Cleveland. Our missions is to foster inclusive communities of choice and opportunity throughout Cleveland. CNP supports and works in partnership with Cleveland’s network of community development corporations, which collectively provide community and economic development services to all 34 neighborhoods across the city.

About Cleveland Foundation

The Cleveland Foundation’s mission is to enhance the lives of all residents of Greater Cleveland, now and for generations to come, by working together with our donors to build community endowment, address needs through grantmaking, and provide leadership on key community issues.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, please visit ClevelandFoundation.org.