The portfolio of Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate just got a little bigger, with three buildings on Woodward purchased today.
The development is called Lofts @ Woodward. It’s three buildings right next to each other from 1424-1448 Woodward, between Grand River Avenue and John R. Contained within are three first-floor retail spaces and 61 residential units totaling approximately 105,000 square feet.
Oh, and there’s also a surface parking lot located behind the buildings on Farmer Street which contains 28 parking spaces as part of the deal.
The buildings are in prime location near many of the investments the Quicken Loans founder has made, including the M@dison Block, and will be wired up with Rocket Fiber, the new Internet service provider Gilbert recently invested in.
Some of the Bedrock tenants in that downtown Detroit area range from retail store John Varvatos to restaurant Wright & Company as well as Gas Station TV, Google for Entrepreneurs, Microsoft Ventures and a small Twitter office.
The structures were built between 1896 and1910, and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are not many buildings from that era left in the city.
There is some cool history behind the three buildings. To note, in the picture above, the Ferguson is on the left, Healy in the center, and Beck on the right. From the current Lofts@Woodward Center site:
The Ferguson Building was constructed as a six-story building in 1896. It was built at the request of Mr. Eralsey Ferguson, who stipulated in his will, that a five-story retail building be constructed on Woodward Avenue. The building was completed in 1897 at a cost of nearly $100,000.
The Ferguson Building was a speculative commercial building with a variety of tenants over the years. It was home to architects, dentists, insurance agents, dress makers, doctors and a photographer. A variety of upscale tenants occupied the building from the 1920’s thru 1940’s. These tenants included Russek’s Ladies Wear, I Miller Salon, Goetz & Mittleman, Sol Lachman, and Meyer Jewelry Company. Winkelman’s also leased the building from 1956 to 1987.
The D.J. Healy building was built in 1910. The building was built by Daniel J. Healy and housed his operation of the sale of ostrich feathers and dry goods. The store closed in 1962 but the building was subsequently leased out to various tenants, including Marianne’s (a clothing store).
The Beck building was constructed sometime around 1905 and renovated in 1936 to become the A. S. Beck Shoe Store. It was a very modern design at the time that included stylized neon lettering on the street level and deco lettering at the top of the building. Prior to the renovation and occupancy by A. S. Beck Shoe Store, the building was home to a studio photographer, clothier, jewelers, and a milliner. After A. S. Beck Shoe Store vacated the building, Pepper’s Shoes was the tenant, followed by Marianne Plus and connecting their space in the Beck building to the Healy building space they were occupying.
This brings the Bedrock/Gilbert downtown property count to more than 85.
In a statement, Jim Ketai, Managing Partner and CEO of Bedrock Real Estate Services said:
“The acquisition of the Lofts @ Woodward Center will allow us to add to a strong mix of retail and residential space along Woodward Avenue, which is crucial for Detroit’s sustained growth as a one-of-a-kind destination. These buildings are in a prime location along the future route of the M-1 RAIL, within walking distance to many unique restaurants, retailers and exciting technology companies.”
Speaking of M-1 Rail, it has been a hot topic as of late as it is getting closer to completion. There are numerous calls by residents in the area to extend the service later into the night than the initially planned 10 p.m. on weeknights and midnight on weekends (with special hours for special events).
No purchase price was disclosed for the deal.