Rock Ventures to break ground on 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development in downtown Detroit

Project includes 10-story parking garage in downtown Detroit

Published On: Nov 01 2012 01:33:31 PM EDT   Updated On: Nov 01 2012 11:05:49 PM EDT
DETROIT -

Rock Ventures LLC has announced 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.

---Artist rendering of parking structure

"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.

"It looks like before it's over, Dan Gilbert is going to own all of downtown Detroit and I'm not upset about that," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing. "I've known him a long time and he's a friend, a great entrepreneur and he's a great booster for the city of Detroit."

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."