Forbes: Quicken Loans Founder’s Billionaire Quest to Rebuild Detroit

Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert has built an empire in his home city of Detroit, but the billionaire real estate mogul is far from finished, according to an article from Forbes.

With an empire worth $4.2 billion, including the second-largest mortgage lender in the nation—also the parent company of One Reverse Mortgage—the Cleveland Cavaliers, casinos in four U.S. cities and 110 other smaller companies, Gilbert is “bankrolling the revival of Detroit, the posted city for all that’s gone wrong in urban America,” writes Forbes in a profile piece on the Quicken Loans head. 

As part of his efforts to overhaul the Motor City from its recession-stricken depths, Gilbert has become one of the city’s single-largest commercial landowners, purchasing more than 60 properties downtown at a total cost of $1.3 billion.

Not only has the purchase enabled Gilbert to move 12,000 of his employees into the properties, but he has also been able to persuade other companies such as Chrysler, Microsoft and Twitter to follow suit. Some 40% of his tenants are his own companies, including Quicken Loans, Title Source and Rock Gaming.

“He’s dramatically sped up the redevelopment of downtown,” said Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in the article.

Some go the notable projects under Gilbert’s direction include a city center replete with the Quicken Loans Sports Zone, where workers from nearby “Gilbert-owned” office towers can take a break from work to play volleyball and basketball; as well as a reborn Campus Martius park that offers outdoor opportunities for live music, lunching at outdoor cafes and a sandy beach that didn’t exist even a couple of years ago. 

The billionaire entrepreneur’s influence is so vast, locals even refer to the city center as “Gilbertville.”

Read more at Forbes.

Written by Jason Oliva

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