DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit real estate mogul Dan Gilbert has bought up five more buildings in downtown Detroit.
Jim Ketai is a spokesman for Gilbert’s Rock Ventures and says the buy brings the number of buildings owned by the company to 15.
“A lot of these buildings were owned by lenders or people that had sat on them a long time and they hadn’t been kept up over all these years, ” said Ketai. “They do need a lot of investment … we might be getting some good buys on them but it’s because we have to put a lot of money into them.”
Among the new purchases: the Kresge building in Detroit, building which is now hosting temporary “pop up” Christmas shops.
“It’s to create our own unique Detroit, and Detroit has this great historical significance, you know, the buildings are beautiful.”
Ketai said the goal is to bring back the vibrant but in a different way noting that he thinks it’s more about the technological companies making their base in Detroit.
Ketai says while it now contains temporary holiday shops, they’re hoping to attract a more permanent retailer.
“We would like to … find a permanent retailer to go in there and we have every confidence that we will but the concept would be to have unique type restaurants or retailers where you would find in an urban location, you wouldn’t just necessarily just go to in the suburbs,” he said.
The other purchases include the Cary Lofts Building and the Small Plates Building.