Atlantic Cities Calls Dan Gilbert “Downtown Detroit’s Biggest Booster”

I’ve said this before and I want to repeat it now.

Quicken Loans helps folks finance their homes. That’s what we do. You probably knew that if you know about Quicken Loans.

But, did you know that Quicken Loans is actively part of Detroit’s revival and resurgance?

Did you know that the Quicken Loans marketing team is tasked with marketing Detroit as a great place to work, play and live? It’s part of our mission here. I wrote about that previously here, but to reiterate, this is why we write so much about Detroit here on the Zing blog.

We all are dedicated to bringing Detroit back to its days as the Paris of the Midwest. It’s not a crazy dream. It’s a goal that will take several years and a lot of people and investment, but it’s an attainable goal.

So, that said, I was happy to read today that Atlantic Cities wrote a super great article about Dan Gilbert, calling him downtown Detroit’s biggest booster. I kinda sorta have to agree.

 I’ve had my doubts over the years. Growing up here in the city, I’ve had my share of disappointments and broken promises of renaissance and revival in “the next five years.” Everyone was always going to fix my beloved hometown in five years. But those five years came and went. Usually nothing changed. Unless you consider change means getting worse.

But today I have to say that, downtown at least, things seem different. There’s a different optimism in the air and there are a lot more people down here than just a few years ago. The lofts downtown are all pretty much full. The buildings are filling up with workers, thanks in a big part to the vision of Dan Gilbert.

Which is the reason Atlantic Cities called him Detroit’s biggest booster. Here’s some of the article, for your reading enjoyment:

How are you getting others to follow you downtown?We created this non-profit academy that trains entrepreneurs called Bizdom U, and another way is through a venture fund we started called Detroit Venture Partners that Magic Johnson, myself and two other local Detroit guys partnered on to fund companies and startup businesses with a big Detroit bent and a Detroit bias. We will invest in other businesses, but primarily it is Detroit companies. And funding Detroit-based ventures for startup businesses. And then we’ve got our real estate piece of it. One of the things people don’t realize about Detroit is that a lot of young people are moving back to downtown, but the inventory is very, very low. Occupancy is at about 98 percent. You can’t find a lot of lofts and apartments and places to live in, so there’s a huge opportunity for real estate developers to actually build residential because there’s just not the inventory. A lot of people think, ‘oh there must be so many vacant places. There isn’t. So we’re looking to do stuff there and partnering with developers on that front as well.

Why do you love Detroit?

I was born here and raised here. My father was born here, my grandfather was born here. I find myself in a fortunate position to be able to, I think, contribute to help leading the city back. And I feel like that’s a great thing to do for the city, but it’s also a great thing to do for our business. We have a “doing good by doing well” strategy here. And the investment in Detroit is one that’s significant and growing, and we’re doing it again so we can help tie all the threads here in Detroit and bring back the kind of downtown that people envision or even maybe have never seen here. We’re also trying to make good investments, and we’ve got values of property that are low by any historical standards. So we’re very excited about it. We think it’s just the beginning. We’ve got about 4,000-plus people we’ve moved down here in the last 18 months. And were going to continue to move more down here and bring in more businesses and do everything we can with a bunch of other people who’ve been working very hard even before we got here and try to make Detroit the comeback city of this decade.

 So here’s to Detroit’s bright future. Here’s to Dan Gilbert for leading the drive forward. Nice to read positive stuff like this. Thanks to the Atlantic Journal for the nice read.

And you, my dear Zing readers, can browse the full article here.

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