Billionaire Dan Gilbert, one of the 'Good Billionaires' has already bet $5.6 billion on Detroit's future, but money can't solve his biggest challenge

Billionaire Dan Gilberts House Franklin, MI
Dan Gilbert’s House – One of the ‘Good Billionaires’

Billionaire Rundown – The Chairman and Founder of Quicken Loans Inc. and Rock Financial, as well as the majority owner of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers. Now Dan Gilbert, is building a Detroit empire.

  • Dan Gilbert moved his mortgage company, Quicken Loans, to downtown Detroit in 2010 and founded his real-estate firm Bedrock a year later, when the city was just a few years from bankruptcy.
  • Bedrock has invested or allocated a total of $5.6 billion across 100 or so properties in downtown Detroit and nearby neighborhoods, and said it has 98% occupancy of office and residential properties.
  • Gilbert’s family of companies employs 17,000 people and is the largest employer and taxpayer in Detroit. Its level of influence on a major American city is unprecedented.
  • With this influence comes critics skeptical of Gilbert’s ability or desire to transform the city in a way that’s inclusive of its majority-black and working-class populations — a criticism he’s responded to with increased outreach and partnerships.
  • Getting the lasting support of the community is an ongoing challenge for Gilbert, and one that will take much more than money to solve.
  • This article is part of Business Insider’s ongoing series on Better Capitalism.

Over the past eight years, as media reports, films, and books churned out “ruins porn,” portraying Detroit as a hollowed-out dystopia, Gilbert and his real-estate firm, Bedrock, were buying swaths of property at bargain prices and pumping in billions of dollars.

Right now there are about 100 properties in Bedrock’s Detroit portfolio. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock has invested and allocated a total of $5.6 billion into the city. Rock Ventures, Gilbert’s umbrella company of more than 100 businesses, accounts for 17,000 jobs in Detroit, making it the city’s largest employer, minority employer, and taxpayer.

Read much more at…
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