Who is Dan Gilbert? Some people who may not know him might wonder who this man is. Just to give you an idea who Dan Gilbert is, he is the founder and chairman of mortgage lending giant ‘Quick Loans’. Now, does that name ring a bell?
According to New York Times, the multi-billionaire Dan Gilbert is in the middle of one of the “most ambitious” privately financed urban reclamation projects in American history.
New York Times stated, “After years of decay, he’s trying to revitalize two square miles in the heart of Detroit. Gilbert has already sunk $1 billion into the project, bought some 3 million square feet of real estate, and he’s only just getting started.”
Although it may have benefited the city, but this is Gilbert’s personal project. He grew up outside of Detroit, but his parents and relatives had talked about how great the city of Detroit was back in their heydays, but now they are seeing it going down – the state of the city is getting worse.
With his investment is on the way, people wonder if his billion-dollar gamble would pay off. If it goes well, then he can really make a huge profit, in fact, there is a possibility that he will succeed despite the odds.
With the city of Detroit in bad shape, Gilbert along with his partners were given almost free reign to carry out their vision. Detroit city’s mayor, Dave Bing, have informed The New York Times that his job is to take down as many barriers as they possibly could and get out of the way.
Gilbert owns a real estate company called, Bedrock. He renovates buildings and aggressively courts tenants. Just some additional facts about Gilbert, he has brought 80 startups into buildings he owned and moved 7600 employees of his downtown. Those who have worked with Gilbert are enthusiastic.
Andrew Yang, who is the Founder of Venture for America said, “We have 12 people working for Detroit startups and organizations with another 15 or so on the way this year.” He had acknowledged Dan Gilbert regarding his efforts to revitalize the city. Gilbert, who single-handedly turned it into an environment where things seemed possible. Like King Midas, everything he touched turns to gold. It is great what you can do with both will and resources, Gilbert has plenty of both. With his efforts and vision, this has given rise to Detroit’s new vision for the city and its people.
Now, Detroit is known for its dicey reputation, so Gilbert has built a command center in one of his company’s buildings to watch live video feeds. Keeping watch of the people’s safety and welfare. He also participated in massive public works projects such as the light rail system underwritten by him and other business leaders.
With all his projects, if he succeeds and manages to boost the property values, this would mean him making huge profits. This is further illustrated in his purchase of The Dime Building. The designer of the building was Daniel Burnham, the architect of the iconic Flatiron Building.
It is an understatement to say that Gilbert’s job is difficult, due to the fact that the city of Detroit has been a poster child for poor management, corruption, decline. This is one big challenge he has to face.
There are areas in the city that are empty and burned out and have as many as 8000 abandoned homes every year. Even during rush hour, the streets of downtown seemed to be a bit empty. In addition to the decline, the population has also declined and spread thinly over a massive area. It has $14 billion in debt and finances were as bad that the state of Michigan has appointed an emergency manager.
There are a lot of things to consider if the city of Detroit has to recover. So if Gilbert may manage this project, there are things he has to contend with. Detroit needs dedicated people who has a love for their city. It might take time for the city to flourish, but it will get there.