Dan Gilbert's Rock Ventures buys One Woodward Building

Posted on December 3, 2012

Another iconic downtown Detroit building changed hands this week. Much to no one’s surprise, local real estate tycoon Dan Gilbert and his partners completed the purchase of the historic One Woodward tower, located at the corner of Woodward and Jefferson avenues.

“We continue to bet big on Detroit, and this purchase reinforces our commitment to the exciting entrepreneurial action on Woodward Avenue,” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

Previously owned by Lehman Bros., the 26-story Class A office tower was built in 1962 for the Michigan Consolidated Gas Co. under design plans by famed architect Minoru Yamasaki, whose work also includes the former World Trade Center towers in New York City. Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity that coordinates Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies and investments, acquired the 333,000-square-foot building for an alleged $8.5 million, according to anonymous sources quoted by Crain’s Detroit Business.

The transaction was co-brokered by Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions and Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, the real estate arm of Rock Ventures.

Currently the office tower is only 60 percent occupied. Major tenants include the law firms Fraser, Trebilcock, Davis & Dunlap and Kitch, Drutchas, Wagner, Valitutti & Sherbrook, as well as the Detroit Regional Chamber. One Woodward Building will hit 90 percent occupancy within a few weeks, when Quicken Loans and its affiliates lease eight floors in the building to accommodate around 600 new employees.

With this new acquisition, Rock Ventures now owns nearly 2.5 million square feet of commercial space in Detroit, as well as two parking garages with 3,500 parking spaces. One Woodward Building became the tenth major downtown purchase to be added to Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of commercial and residential space, which also includes the First National Building at 660 Woodward Ave., the former Madison Theater (now called The M@dison) at 1555 Broadway St., the Chase Tower at 611 Woodward Ave. and the Chrysler House (formerly known as the Dime Building) at 719 Griswold St.

Veronica Grecu, Commercial Property Executive