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Book Tower. Daily Detroit photo

For about $30 million, Dan Gilbert is getting a gem of a building.

Built in two stages, the Book Building (1916) and then the tower (1926) is one of Detroit’s most iconic structures, with high detail high into the sky. He also is acquiring the two-story building on the same block in the deal, first reported by the Detroit Free Press.

All in all, it’s a purchase of 517,000 square feet and brings Gilbert’s downtown holdings to more than 80 properties. That’s 13 million square feet of real estate the magnate now owns.

The 38 story Louis Kamper structure has amazing detail not seen almost anywhere else in the city.

Book Tower from Washington Boulevard. Daily Detroit photo.
Book Tower from Washington Boulevard. Daily Detroit photo.

“This project is going to be one of the most exciting redevelopments in our entire Detroit real estate portfolio,” Gilbert said in a statement. “We will bring this beautiful, world-class iconic landmark back to life in a manner that will make all Detroiters and visitors proud. We can’t wait to get started.”

The building has seen better days, and some key features – like a beautiful glass ceiling for the atrium – were covered up in a series of renovations. Gilbert seems to spare little expense in his rehabs, so it’ll be interesting to see what comes out.

Bedrock Real Estate, the entity that bought the building, describes the development as “a game-changing, mixed-use development that will bring jobs, energy and new life to these properties while expanding revitalization efforts further west of Woodward Avenue to Washington Boulevard.”

Detail over Book Tower Washington entrance. Daily Detroit photo.
Detail over Book Tower Washington entrance. Daily Detroit photo.

The structure was built in an era where structural columns were much closer together; in fact, the tower floor plates are only in the neighborhood of 5,000 square feet, which might be better suited for residential than commercial use. Whatever they decide to do with it, past estimates put renovation cost north of $100 million.

But what an amazing apartment that’d be!

We decided to share some pictures from today of the building that has been vacant since 2009. He certainly has a lot to work with. Enjoy.

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