The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Quicken Loans' founder and CEO Dan Gilbert has purchased the iconic Book Tower building today. Sources tell the Free Press that Gilbert is buying the long-vacant Book Tower for $30 million. This price buys Gilbert three buildings on Washington Boulevard: Book Tower, the Book Building and a third, much smaller 2-floor structure on State Street. Bedrock's statement on the sale says that the Book Tower will soon become "a game-changing, mixed-use development that will bring jobs, energy and new life to these properties while expanding revitalization efforts further west of Woodward Avenue to Washington Boulevard."
As we reported in 2013, the Louis Kamper-designed Book Tower has long awaited redevelopment. With 38 stories, the downtown landmark is one of the last great skyscrapers to dodge the wrecking ball, remaining undeveloped and vacant for over six years after its last tenant, Bookie's Tavern, found space elsewhere. The building was most recently owned by AKNO Enterprises of Vancouver, British Columbia, who bought in 2009. The Book began construction in 1916 as an addition to the smaller (13 story) Book Building. The Italian Renaissance-style building is 475 feet tall with its trademark green copper roof. We're looking forward to seeing what Gilbert will do with the place. Our crystal ball—not to mention every development story in the last 18 months and the Bedrock press release—tells us it'll be mixed-use space, with retail and pricey apartments for the downtown set.
·Dan Gilbert buys Detroit's Book Tower skyscraper [Detroit Free Press]
·Public Hearing May Spell Action for The Book Tower [Curbed Detroit]
·Book Tower [The Skycraper Center]