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Local News

Wednesday, 11 April, 2012 5:57 PM

Dan Gilbert adding Claridge House Apartments to his list of owned buildings in downtown Detroit

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Claridge House Apartments was built in 1906 and has seven floors.

 

by Gloria Rzucidlo
gloria1025@yahoo.com

 

 

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DETROIT -- Dan Gilbert was born in Detroit on Jan. 17, 1962. He graduated from both Michigan State University and Wayne State University. Gilbert became the chairman and founder of Quicken Loans Inc. in 1985. Then, he purchased the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team in 2005. Beginning in August 2010, Gilbert started moving 1,700 of his team members from Livonia, Mich. to the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit. Ever since, he has been purchasing several buildings in the city's central business district.

Gilbert is owner of many buildings and parking lots in the City of Detroit. They are as follows:

The Dime Building, 719 Griswold, is located adjacent to the Penobscot Building in downtown Detroit in the heart of the Financial District. It was built between 1910 and 1912 and called the Dime Savings Bank Bldg. It was later renamed the Commonwealth Building. which housed the Bank of the Commonwealth. It has 23 stories and eight elevators. On June 21, 2011, Gilbert purchased this building.

Chase Tower, 611 Woodward, was built in 1959 and has 14 stories. It was designed by Albert Kahn Associates and is made of lots of marble. It stands on the site of Detroit's first skyscraper called the Hammond Building. This building had three names, National Bank of Detroit, Bank One and finally Chase. In April 2011, Gilbert bought this building.

The Financial District Garage, 730 Shelby, was built in 1991 and expanded in 2005 to house 983 cars. It is located adjacent to the Dime Building.

Claridge House Apartments, 1514 Washington Blvd., is set to become Gilbert's latest acquision. This building was built in 1906 and has seven floors. It was constructed as the Michigan State Telephone Building and later renovated into apartments and refaced. Right now there is a beauty shop on the main level. Sources say he will spend $600,000 to buy the apartment building.

The Lane Bryant Building, 1520 Woodward, was built in 1917 and owned by the Detroit Downtown Authority since 2005. This building has six stories and housed plus-size woman clothing, which was a prominent retail destination back in the day. It was designed by Detroit architect, Charles N. Agree in Early Modern artichitectural style.

The Wright Kay Building, 1500 Woodward, is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Detroit. It was built in 1891 and originally called Schwankovsky Temple of Music. It is located on the corner of Woodward and John R. The F.J. Schwankovsky Company was a retail store of musical instruments. The second floor was a concert ballroom. It is a Queen Anne style building with brick and brownstone trim. This building was the first in Detroit to have an electric elevator. Wright Kay Jewelers operated in the building from 1920-1978. Today, it is a nightclub on the main floor with offices and residential units above. This building is listed on the State of Michigan Historical Register.

Arts League of Michigan, 1528 Woodward, was purchased by Gilbert from the Downtown Detroit Authority in 2006. This center develops, promotes, presents and preserves the African American cultural arts traditions. It offers a wide array of arts programs, services and activities for artists and audiences alike.

The M@dison Building, 1555 Broadway, opened on March 7, 1917 with its first movie starring Mary Pickford in Poor Little Rich Girl. This building was designed by renowned architect, C. Howard Crane with a cost of $500,000. The Madison Theatre was the first theatre to show a full-length talking picture called The Jazz Singer, which opened on Dec. 25, 1927 which was seen by a half-million people in its three-month run. This theatre seated 1806 patrons and had an orchestra pit and was the first large movie theatre in Detroit. The Madison enjoyed success in the 1920's, however by the 1970's and 1980's, Detroit's struggles began to surface. Suburban multiplexes surfaced and televisions appeared to have eaten away all the profits. The theatre was eventually bought by the Michigan Opera Theatre, but they couldn't find the money to restore it, so it was sold to Lawson Realty in 2000. In November 2010, Gilbert bought this building. Today, the Angelina Italian Bistro is on the main floor with offices upstairs.

Municipal Parking Garage, 1206 Woodward, is an underground parking structure with infrastructure already in place to have a building constructed above it.

The First National Building, 660 Woodward, construction began in 1921 and completed in 1930 with 26 stories with two basement levels and 20 elevators. It was designed by Albert Kahn Associates and built with limestone. Gilbert paid $8.1 million and acquired it in July, 2005. The building is shaped like an "S" so that all offices receives great light and ventilation.

Two Detroit Center Parking, was constructed in 2002 and is adjacent to One Detroit Center Building.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago-Detroit Branch, 160 W. Fort, is listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 2008. This building was constructed in 1927. In 1951, an eight-story glass and marble annex was built next to it in modern style designed by Minoru Yamasaki. In 2004, the Federal Reserve moved to its new location on E. Warren Ave. Since then the building on 160 W. Fort St. stood vacant, Gilbert purchased the building on Jan. 30, 2012.

Dan Gilbert is asking the 2,000 recently laid off Yahoo! employees to come work in downtown Detroit. He created a new website called ValleytoDetroit.com for those unemployed workers to upload their resumes. Who knows what else he has up his sleeve?

Related Story: The future of Detroit's Belle Isle Aquarium is very bright

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

It was constructed as the Michigan State Telephone Building and later renovated into apartments and refaced.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Gilbert purchased the former Detroit Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago building on January 30, 2012.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

This building was constructed in 1927. An eight-story glass and marble annex was added in 1951.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

On June 21, 2011, Gilbert purchased the Dime Building.

 

PHOTO BY GLORIA RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

It was built between 1910 and 1912 and called the Dime Savings Bank Building.

 

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Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.

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