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Rock Ventures Continues Investment in Downtown Detroit with Purchase of One Woodward Building

- Purchase brings total real estate holdings in downtown Detroit to nearly 2.5 million commercial square feet -

DETROIT, Dec. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies and investments, today announced it has added another 333,000 square feet of class-A downtown Detroit office space to its growing real estate portfolio.   

The company completed the purchase of the 26-story One Woodward building, located on the corner of Jefferson and Woodward Avenue. Rock Ventures plans to renovate the building in order to accommodate the growing demand for space in the city's emerging technology district.

Built in 1962, One Woodward was designed by famed architect Minoru Yamasaki, and is considered an early design that ultimately led Yamaski to create the former World Trade Center towers in New York City.

"The One Woodward building is located in the heart of Detroit's technology core, and provides us more space to further accommodate our growing family of companies and the increasing number of businesses that want to leverage the opportunities made in Detroit," said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

"We continue to bet big on Detroit, and this purchase reinforces our commitment to the exciting entrepreneurial action on Woodward Avenue," Gilbert added.

The building is approximately 60 percent occupied, and will exceed 90 percent occupancy next month when Quicken Loans and its affiliates lease a total of eight floors in the building.  Some current tenants include the Detroit Regional Chamber and law firms Fraser Trebilcock Davis & Dunlap, and Kitch Drutchas Wagner Valitutti & Sherbrook.

Purchase of the One Woodward building was co-brokered by Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions and Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures' full-service real estate firm and developer for the project. Bedrock will also be responsible for overseeing the renovations, managing the property and leasing the space.

Since January 2011, Rock Ventures has purchased 10 buildings totaling nearly 2.5 million square feet of office space, in addition to two parking garages with a total of 3,500 parking spaces.  Last month, the company broke ground on a 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development with 10-story parking garage in downtown Detroit.

About Rock Ventures LLC:
Rock Ventures LLC is an umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate. Rock Ventures' flagship company is Quicken Loans, the nation's largest online home lender and fourth largest retail lender.

About Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC:
Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC is a full-service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space. The company, a partnership between Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert and veteran real estate developer Jim Ketai, is based in downtown Detroit. For more information, visit


** Note to Editors: 
Below is Rock Ventures Detroit 2.0 Chronology, followed by a listing of the more than 60 companies who in the past 27 months have moved to downtown Detroit in a number of Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

Detroit 2.0


January 2007: Dan Gilbert founds Bizdom, a non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit.

January 2009: Gilbert and other business leaders invest in M-1 RAIL, a 6.8-mile light-rail system that will link key neighborhoods to Detroit's riverfront, the business district, and educational, cultural, entertainment and medical institutions along Woodward Avenue.

July 2009: Quicken Loans announces it will relocate its headquarters to the Compuware Building in downtown Detroit in 2010.

August 2010: Quicken Loans and five of its sister companies move 1,700 team members into the Compuware building in downtown Detroit.

November 2010: Gilbert, together with entrepreneurs Josh Linkner and Brian Hermelin, launch Detroit Venture Partners, a Detroit-based venture capital firm that invests in seed and early-stage technology companies to be located in the city.

January 2011: Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance and integration of Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate purchases Detroit's historical Madison Theatre Building and begins transforming it into a collaborative tech hub to encourage partnership among local entrepreneurs.

April 2011: Rock Ventures acquires the 13-story Chase Tower located in Detroit's downtown central business district and immediately begins renovation to reflect Quicken Loans' culture.

April 2011: Rock Ventures buys Two Detroit Center, a 1,095-space parking garage located in the central business district.

May 2011: Skidmore Studio, a graphic design firm located in a nearby suburb, announces it will become the anchor tenant in the Madison Building when it opens in Fall 2011.

June 2011: Quicken Loans hires 200 interns to work in the Detroit office to expose students to the city and help end Detroit's "brain drain."

July 2011: Earvin "Magic" Johnson joins Detroit Venture Partners to help fund start-up tech companies.

July 2011: Quicken Loans and four other downtown Detroit companies unveil the "Live Downtown" program, which offers financial incentives to team members who live in the city.

July 2011: Quicken Loans sponsors the debut of Somerset Collection's CityLoft, a pop-up shop open the last weekend of each month in downtown Detroit with mini-versions of upscale stores, to bring retail back to downtown Detroit.

August 2011: Rock Ventures purchases Detroit's First National Building to house more team members as well as other businesses.

August 2011: Rock Ventures acquires its fourth building, the 101-year-old Dime Building located in downtown Detroit, and the Financial District Garage, a 983-space parking structure adjacent to the Dime Building.

August 2011: Rock Ventures purchases the Madison Parking Lot on Broadway, adjacent to the Madison Theatre Building.

September 2011: Quicken Loans hosts a job fair to fill 500 positions in Detroit within the Family of Companies, 2,500 line up around the building to apply.

October 2011: An additional 2,000 Quicken Loans team members move into the newly renovated Chase Tower.

December 2011: Rock Ventures completes the acquisition of three additional properties in Downtown Detroit – the historic Wright-Kay brownstone, the Lane Bryant and the Arts League of Michigan Buildings.

January 2012: Rock Ventures adds two more buildings to its real estate portfolio - the Historic Federal Reserve Building, and 1550 Woodward Avenue, a one-story building to be utilized for retail or commercial use.

February 2012: To encourage Detroit's "brain gain," the Quicken Loans Family of Companies announces it will hire 600 paid interns - 500 to work in Detroit to discover all the great things the City has to offer.

April 2012: The Quicken Loans Family of Companies begins a recruiting campaign to hire more than 1,400 team members, and launches Valley to Detroit, a campaign aimed to bring laid off Yahoo technology professionals to Detroit from Silicon Valley.

April 2012: Rock Ventures and Chrysler hold a press conference to announce that Chrysler will lease the top two floors of Rock Ventures' Dime Building and rename the building Chrysler House.

June 2012: Quicken Loans partners with other Detroit businesses to create "IT in the D," a program to give local university students real-world experience to prepare them for tech jobs in Detroit.

July 2012: Title Source, the largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation, begins move of 1,500 team members to downtown Detroit's First National Building.

October 2012: Rock Connections, a strategic marketing company that provides experienced communications specialists, robust analytics, and targeted selling strategies, moves 115 team members into the Chase Tower Building in downtown Detroit's growing tech hub.

October 2012: Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans launch "Opportunity Detroit" with a national commercial narrated by Kid Rock on the Fox television network during the fourth game of the World Series.

November 2012: Rock Ventures breaks ground on 33,000 square-foot specialty retail development with 10-story parking garage in downtown Detroit.

December 2012: Rock Ventures purchases One Woodward, the 26-story, 333,000 square-foot building located in Detroit's Central Business District.


Companies that have joined Rock Ventures in Downtown Detroit since August 2010

More than 60 companies have opened in Rock Ventures-owned buildings in downtown Detroit over the past 27 months:

M@dison Building

- 50,000 square feet
- 100 percent occupied

  • Twitter: A real-time information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news
  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying 9,780 square feet of space
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP):  A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events
  • A website that brings the word-of-mouth referral process online
  • Chez Zara: A full-service espresso bar that specializes in exceptional espresso drinks and organic teas
  • Bizdom: A non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit and Cleveland (Bizdom Detroit was previously housed in Wayne State University's Tech Town)
  • Are You a Human: The answer to frustrating CAPTCHA entries, Are You a Human uses fun games to verify the authenticity of people completing online forms
  • Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings
  • TextsFromLastNight (Detroit office): An accidental startup born out of a viral sensation, now one of the leading user-generated content sites for 20-somethings
  • FLUD: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they're most interested in
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage venture capital firm investing in web and digital technologies
  • Roqbot: A social jukebox app that lets you be the DJ at your favorite bars, restaurants, gyms, and stores
  • LevelEleven: Developed SalesContestBuilder, a hybrid of a Facebook, fantasy football, and online gaming, to create goal-based competitions
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company whose first feature film, Jinn, is now in post-production
  • Quikkly: Short-term deals exclusively for college students
  • Wedit: A fun, easy, and affordable way to capture, edit, and share wedding memories through the use of HD Flip cameras
  • Tapjoy:  A mobile ad network that lets you discover apps and get in-app rewards when you engage with ads
  • Thrillist Detroit: Free weekly email that finds the best of what's new in your neighborhood and on the web
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG):  The area's pre-eminent provider of office furniture
  • Apigee:  Enables businesses and developers to deliver well-designed, scalable APIs and apps, drive developer adoption, and extract business value from their API ecosystem
  • Dandelion Detroit: A venture philanthropy consultancy and civic innovation lab
  • 1st & Goal Recruiting: Provides advanced statistical analytics and performance prediction for college football recruiting
  • A website that allows you to have real-time rap battles around the world
  • Backstitch: Provides a clean and consistent experience for managing your personal web
  • Whip Hand Cosmetics: Cosmetic company that celebrates today's modern women while being manufactured in Detroit, Michigan
  • Brys & Edgewood: A company that produces DIY fondant kits and cupcake kits that are easy enough for anyone to make at home
  • Chalkfly: An office and school supply company that is rooted in giving back to teachers across the nation while providing customers with quality office supplies, innovative technology, and exceptional service
  • eBabEx: Cloud-based international foreign language translation and interpreters marketplace
  • GuidesMob: A mobile app company that creates college guides for iPhones and Androids

Chase Tower

- 505,000 square feet
- 100 percent occupied

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching clients with pre-screened real estate agents in their local community across the country
  • Rock Connections:  A strategic marketing company that provides experienced communications specialists, robust analytics, and targeted selling strategies

First National Building

- 800,000 square feet
- 93 percent occupied

  • Title Source: The largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation
  • Aerotek: A leading staffing agency that matches qualified candidates with top companies worldwide
  • Roasting Plant:  New York-based coffee company with unique Javabot roasting technology (opening in December 2012)

Chrysler House

- Former Dime Building
- 320,000 square feet
- 92 percent occupied

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Chrysler Group LLC: Automotive company that produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products
  • Just Baked: Specialty cupcake shop and bakery
  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services
  • Allied Printing Company: Provides printing, information management, and warehouse & fulfillment services
  • Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello PLC: Provides world-class legal service
  • Professional Moving company that specializes in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses
  • Elite Fire Safety: A one-stop-shop for fire safety needs
  • EverStaff: Recruits the most skilled and qualified professionals for organizations of all sizes
  • FNC Holding Company: Provides insight into the property backing a loan with its data and analytic solutions
  • GSI: A company specializing in security, network and system integration
  • Metro Consulting:  A full service civil engineering and land surveying consultancy
  • Reliance One: A full service staffing firm
  • SCI Marketview: A lead management company for automotive dealers
  • Corby Energy: Providing construction, engineering and support services to utilities and related businesses
  • Campus Commandos: Connects clients with the college demographic through the use of student brand ambassadors
  • Core Merchant: Easy and convenient credit payment solutions for businesses

One Woodward

- 333,000 square feet
- 60 percent occupied (90 percent when Quicken Loans moves in)

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender

1528 Woodward

- Former Arts League Building
- 45,146 square feet

  • Sachse Construction: Offering premium commercial construction services nationwide


Rock Ventures companies also lease space in the following downtown Detroit buildings:


- 1,088,000 square feet
- Rock Ventures leases four floors

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • Rock Ventures: An umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate
  • Fathead: The Real.Big. brand of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics products
  • Bedrock Real Estate Services: Rock Ventures' full service real estate firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space
  • Rockbridge Growth Equity: A Detroit-based private equity firm that invests in mid-stage financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media & entertainment industries
  • Rock Gaming: A gaming partnership formed with an initial focus to develop full-service casinos in two of Ohio's largest cities, as well as to explore other potential gaming opportunities elsewhere
  • Rock Companies: A real estate investment, development, construction and management company focusing on commercial, residential single and multi-family investments in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio
  • Quizzle: Website that gives consumers a complete understanding of their credit so they can make better financial decisions
  • Cup of Zup: Uniquely amusing pop-culture e-newsletter and website
  • BodyPartChart:  Over-sized graphics that can be used to explain illnesses and procedures and bring new life to dull medical offices and classrooms

One Detroit Center

- 957,355 square feet
- Rock Ventures leases three floors

  • Quicken Loans: The nation's largest online mortgage lender
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The largest reverse-only mortgage lender in America and second largest retail provider of reverse mortgage home loans


SOURCE Rock Ventures

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