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Dan Gilbert talks transformational development, jobs, Amazon bid

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We’re going vertical

A housing tower part of the $830 million Monroe Block development

Dan Gilbert talked to the media today about four downtown projects totaling $2.1 billion, all of which will be helped out by MiThrive tax incentives. The projects will create 24,000 jobs—15,000 in construction and an estimated 9,000 permanent jobs—and will change the skyline of Detroit.

The four projects are the Hudson’s site ($900 million), the Book Tower and Building ($313 million), the Monroe Blocks ($830 million), and the expansion of One Campus Martius ($95 million).

Combined, these projects will 3.2 million square feet of office, residential, and retail space in downtown Detroit, along with 2,000 parking spaces.

All four of these projects will be completed in the next five years, with One Campus Martius likely to be the first one finished.

The Hudson’s site will have 1 million square feet of office, retail, residential, and event space.
Bedrock Detroit
An aerial view of the Book Tower in Detroit. The facade is white with a green roof and multiple windows.
The Book Tower renovation will include office, retail, residential, and potentially a high-end hotel.
The Monroe Blocks will add a 35-story office tower, plus residential and public space.
310,000 square feet of office space will be added to One Campus Martius in the coming years.

Mayor Mike Duggan said the projects needed to go through five more steps before they get fully underway:

  • The Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority
  • Two Community Benefits Committees
  • The State Treasurer
  • City Council
  • The Michigan Strategic Fund

Also announced was a job training program for all these construction jobs heading into Detroit. Randolph Career and Technical Center is planning on training the workforce for many skilled labor union jobs.

Gilbert noted the public private partnerships that have to take place for these projects to take off and to get everyone moving in the same direction.

Gilbert was asked about the Amazon bid, which is drawing a lot of curiosity and attention as Detroit is seen as a dark horse compared to other cities. Gilbert is leading the team to lure Amazon and their 50,000 jobs to Detroit. Gilbert said, “Detroit is a legit contender to win over Amazon.” They won’t reveal too much about the specifics of their bid, since they don’t want other cities to know. They do have teams working hard to address all of the issues going forward.

“Momentum breeds momentum,” he says.

Book Tower

1260 W. Washington Blvd., Detroit, Michigan 48226