To most people in Cleveland Ohio July 8th, 2010 was a dark day. The Chosen One, The Second Coming, Their King announced he was leaving them and made his decision public (you can watch it here). LeBron James was pretty much responsible for somewhere between 48 to 150 million dollars in revenue per year to the city of Cleveland according to The Wall Street Journal. As an entrepreneur who has been affected both negatively and positively by circumstances outside of my control I can only imagine the utter terror a lot of businesses felt after LeBron’s decision…but since I’m from Detroit his decision may have changed my great city’s future forever.
Dan Gilbert who’s proving to possibly be the savior of Detroit became a partial owner of the NBA team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, a couple years after LeBron James was drafted. This move worried a lot of Detroiters as our fear was Mr. Gilbert along with his amazing vision may start to forget about us here in his lonely hometown. Well that all changed the day that LeBron decided to take his talents to Miami. Let’s fast forward to Spring/Summer 2013…
Before the first day of Spring in 2013 Dan Gilbert acquired 8 buildings in Downtown Detroit brining his total to a whopping 19! In a word AMAZING. These buildings are not in desolate areas that people aren’t going to want to visit and patronize, they are in the heart of Detroit. Mr. Gilbert has already moved close to 7,000 of his employees of Quicken Loans downtown. His combined holdings strategically surround the core of downtown Detroit and will make it a no-brainer for those deciding whether to move downtown or not.
What does all this have to do with real estate? Detroit is the anchor of southeast Michigan. With a flourishing downtown, al of the surrounding suburbs will see a positive uptick in real estate values. Even more important to Michigan’s economy long the possibility of start-ups making Detroit their destination of choice. This will bring excitement and much needed bodies to the city itself. We’ve had a declining population in Detroit for decades, Dan Gilbert and his magic may be just what we need as a city, state, and community to bring The D not only back to it’s former glory but to infinity and beyond.