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Thursday, June 19, 2008

GENERAL MOTORS RIVER DAYS

With the bar exam about a month and a half away, I have been unable to sufficiently perform my duties at detroitarmy.com. Based on your opinion of lawyers, the bar exam may or may not be a legitimate excuse, but whether it is or isn't, is neither here nor there. It is what it is. If my staff ever grows larger than one (myself) and about 2/3 of a person (my much appreciated contributing writers), large commitments such as this hopefully won't take such a toll on the frequency of information provided.

Anyway, while I am presently unable to spend the amount of time on each story that they deserve, I have to mention that the GM River Days Festival begins tomorrow, and ends with the 50th Annual Target Fireworks on Monday June 23. There will be plenty to do over the four days, as new and improved waterfront activities have been added to last year's already lengthy list. It's always fun to be down by the river on a beautiful day, even if the national musical acts aren't very impressive (Hey, I love some old school Brian McKnight just as much as the next guy, and needless to say, B Mcknight worked miracles with the ladies during my high school days, but that doesn't by any means give justification for him being the headlining act).

Below I've provided a few informational links regarding the GM River Days Festival...

Detroit River Days Official Site
Waterfront Comes Alive for GM River Days
TellusDetroit.com

Detroit Army

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

DETROIT 2.0-QUICKEN WILL MOVE TO DETROIT

Originally Posted 11/12/07
Updated 6/3/08

In case you aren't aware of the situation that has been unfolding with Quicken over the last two years, I will fill you in. Over the last 2 years, Quicken Loans owner Dan Gilbert has been deciding where he wants to move his headquarters. Quicken is the center of Gilbert's empire and is an internet driven mortgage company that wrote $18 billion in loans throughout 2006. The company has outgrown its current space in Livonia, which I'm sure is a really fun city to work in, and Gilbert was rumored to be contemplating whether to move to Detroit, Cleveland (where he has an office and owns the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA), or to stay in Livonia.

The fact that Gilbert had already decided to move to Detroit is possibly the worst kept secret in town. The only problem was that while he openly gave quotes to the paper about when he was going to make a decision, he continuously did not meet his own deadlines.

Many outside problems factored into this, including the massive credit crunch within which this country is currently embattled. Gilbert swears that Quicken is not being hurt by the credit problems as much as many other large lenders, but when he told the local papers that he was going to make a decision on where to move Quicken's headquarters August 1 and we began to move into November, his actions did not seem to coincide with his words.

Ok enough background. Let's get to extremely exciting events that are taking place today and were reported yesterday. Gilbert has made a decision to move his Quicken headquarters to DETROIT! (you will notice throughout this blog that I, for the most part, refuse to use exclamation points as I find them one of the cheesiest forms of punctuations available. I am making an exception here). Not only is he moving his Quicken headquarters to downtown Detroit, but he is also moving employees from all of his companies including fathead (you know the company that sells those huge posters of pro athletes that you stick on the wall, which if you are a 10 year old boy, or think like one, are one of the coolest inventions of all time), Eprize, and Title Source, among others. This means that Detroit will be gaining 4,000 daily workers through this deal.

Not only that, but Gilbert plans on developing both the old Hudson's site and the old Statler site (See articles for details on the sites). One of the sites would be used for his headquarters, and one would be developed as a combination of retail, condos, and a technology park.

Needless to say, this is an amazing day for the city of Detroit. Gilbert is going as far as calling this project "Detroit 2.0." I'll believe it all when I see it with my own eyes, but Gilbert is no dummy. He also thinks highly of himself and his dream is to be remembered as the savior of our grand city. If he can pull this off, his dream may come true.

For Details on the deal, the links to both the Detroit News Story and Detroit Free Press Story are below.

Quicken Moving Downtown (Detroit News)
Quicken Moving Downtown (Detroit Free Press)

6/3/08 Update

In the recent months since the announcement that Quicken Loans would be moving to downtown Detroit, there has been much speculation that because of the country's credit crunch and a sputtering economy, Dan Gilbert most likely would not end up following through with his highly anticipated plans. In all honesty, with the country's economy at a stand still and Michigan's economy in the midst of a recession, I wouldn't be surprised if the move didn't end up taking place.

Yet, a Detroit Free Press report written by John Gallagher on June 2, along with the revelation that Dan Gilbert is one of the individuals behind the privately funded light rail plan along Woodward, leaves Detroiter's with a sense of encouragement regarding the chances that Quicken ends up moving downtown after all.

Although the most recent report does not offer much more information about the move than what we were told in November, the article's re-emphasis on Gilbert's commitment to moving Quicken to Detroit is positive.

The report had this to say:

"Offered his choice of two prime sites downtown for his new corporate headquarters, Quicken Loans Chairman and founder Dan Gilbert is planning to develop both sites in what looms as a major boost for the downtown market.
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"Several people close to the planning told the Free Press that Gilbert will pick one parcel for his headquarters site later this year but also is actively planning to build a mixed-used office, retail and possibly residential tower on the remaining parcel."

Source: (John Gallagher/Quicken to build on two sites in downtown Detroit

We'll keep you updated on future developments...
Detroit Army