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Quicken Loans Starts Construction on 66,000 Sq. Ft. Technology/Data Center Outside Detroit’s CBD

22 May 2014, 1:52 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Quicken Loans Technology Center - Corktown, Detroit

Quicken Loans Technology Center – Corktown, Detroit

The site of a former industrial building sitting at the corner of Rosa Parks Boulevard and Porter Street in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit is being redeveloped into a new technology center by online mortgage lender Quicken Loans Inc. and its affiliate Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC.

According to Crain’s Detroit Business, in November 2013 the 38,000-square-foot industrial warehouse located at 1401 Rosa Parks was acquired for $625,000 by Dan Gilbert, the founder and chairman of Quicken Loans who owns around 8 million square feet of real estate space in Detroit, ­through his real estate investment arm Rock ventures LLC. Reportedly, the single-story property was occupied by two tenants at the moment of sale—the Great American Truck Driving School and Concrete Cutting Co. —but the companies left the building shortly after the deal was closed.

The 66,000-square-foot Quicken Loans Technology Center is scheduled to open in January 2015 and will serve as a data center and office complex. Set to become Dan Gilbert’s first development project located outside Detroit’s Central Business District, the state-of-the-art technology center also marks Bedrock’s second ground-up development in the city after the Z Garage facility.

The concrete and glass structure was designed by Integrated Design Solutions of Troy with Turner Construction Co. in charge of construction, according to Crain’s. The technology center will include 10,000 square feet of server rooms featuring next-generation air conditioning systems to cool the servers, as well as training, office and support space. A news release by Quicken Loans states that half of the data center will be occupied by the company’s technology staff, while the remaining 33,000 square feet in the building will be available for lease when the center opens next January.

“Developing real estate that meets the needs of our family of companies and our tenants in the city of Detroit is our top priority at Bedrock,” said Jim Ketai, Bedrock Real Estate Services CEO and managing partner. “This is also a great opportunity for another top technology company to secure prime server and training space in Detroit,” he added.

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Rendering via Quicken Loans



Opus Group Breaks Ground on 13-Story Luxury Housing Building in Ann Arbor

14 May 2014, 4:22 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

Minnesota-based Opus Group and private investor Dennis Tice, who owns the Pizza House in Ann Arbor’s South University District, have teamed up to develop a new student housing high-rise near the University of Michigan campus.

ArborBLU - luxury student housing

ArborBLU – luxury student housing

Construction at ArborBLU is scheduled to break ground on May 15, roughly five months after the Ann Arbor Planning Commission and City Council approved the partnership’s plans to build a 13-story apartment structure atop the two-story restaurant which is located at 618 Church Street. As reported by MLive.com, two adjacent low-rise buildings—located at 624 Church Street and 1117 Willard Street, respectively—will be demolished to make room for the 83,807-square-foot residential tower.

Marketed as “University of Michigan’s newest luxury student housing” building, ArborBLU will be ready for occupancy in August 2015, just in time for the fall semester. According to Opus, the project was designed by J. Bradley Moore & Associates with Opus AE Group, LLC serving as the architect of record.

Estimated to cost around $17 million and projected to achieve LEED Silver certification, the luxury tower will have 123 urban loft-style apartments totaling 232 beds, offering a combination of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Amenities at ArborBLU will include a fitness studio on the second floor, study space, a rooftop lounge, bike storage, Wi-Fi access, in-house tanning  and free 24-hour delivery from Pizza House.

MLive.com also reveals that Opus and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority negotiated a parking agreement that will allow tenants and a number of Pizza House employees to use nearly 50 spaces from the parking garage on nearby Forest Avenue which is jointly owned by the city and the University of Michigan. According to Ann Arbor’s policies, the developer is allowed to lease parking spaces in the public garage for an initial period of 15 years followed by three five-year extension options.

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Rendering of ArborBLU courtesy of The Opus Group



GM Breaks Ground on New Race Development Center in Pontiac

7 May 2014, 8:16 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

GM Performance and Racing Center - Pontiac MI

GM Performance and Racing Center – Pontiac MI

More than one year after announcing a $200 million investment to build a new 138,000-square-foot test wing in suburban Detroit, General Motors broke ground on a race engine design and development facility at its world powertrain headquarters in Pontiac, MI, the company announced recently.

The GM Performance and Racing Center (GMPRC) will also include an electric motor laboratory and gear center. The state-of-the-art facility is expected to continue to develop the most successful race engines for Chevrolet and Cadillac, while connecting its race engineers with GM’s global powertrain engineering teams to come up with more efficient and durable powertrains.

According to information from the motor company, the 85,000-square-foot GMPRC will become operational in mid-2015, when around 100 engineers and technicians from GM’s race engineering center in Wixom, MI, are expected to relocate to the new facility. At full build-out in early 2016, the new performance and racing center will employ 400 people coming from GM’s soon-to-be-closed facilities in Michigan (Warren), Indiana (Castleton) and California (Torrance)

“The GM Performance and Racing Center will serve as a resource to help our race teams and drivers continue to win races and championships,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, in a press statement. “It will also help advance technical sharing between racing and production engine programs,” he added.

Located at 777 Joslyn Avenue in Pontiac, the 450,000-square-foot GM Powertrain World Headquarters is one of the largest and most technically advanced powertrain development centers in the world. The center brings together more than 3,500 employees working on the design and development of engines, transmissions, hybrid and electric powertrains, and fuel cell technologies.

Meanwhile, GM is currently working on its second supercomputing facility in Metro Detroit which is expected to open officially in about two months. Construction at the GM Milford Proving Ground data center began in May 2013, shortly after the first facility opened in Warren. Totaling $546 million in equipment and infrastructure investment, the two data centers will oversee the company’s IT operations globally while ensuring a smarter and faster work environment.

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Rendering courtesy of General Motors



Newly Renovated Federal Reserve Building to Become Home for Michigan’s Top Newspapers

30 Apr 2014, 5:28 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

The former Federal Reserve Building located at 160 W. Fort Street in the heart of downtown Detroit will soon welcome three new tenants, according to the Detroit News.

Federal Reserve Building Detroit

Federal Reserve Building Detroit

Citing a company-wide email sent by Detroit Media Partnership CEO Joyce Jenereaux, the source reports that the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News and the media partnership plan to lease six full floors in the recently renovated historic building. Each newsroom will occupy its own floor of a little over 20,000 square feet, with the Free Press on the second and the News on the third. The Detroit Media Partnership and some undisclosed publications will lease the mezzanine and floors six to eight.

According to the quoted email, the newsrooms and the media partnership are expected to move into their new home by the end of September. It is unclear what will happen to the Albert Kahn-designed structure at 615 W. Lafayette Street, where the 141-year-old News has been headquartered since the grand opening in 1917.

The Detroit Media Partnership, which oversees business functions for both the Detroit News and the Free Press, has been looking for a new home for more than a year. According to an older news story by the Free Press, in early 2013 the media partnership announced plans to sell what was known as the “Detroit News Building” and relocate into more modern offices within the following 18 months even if a buyer was not found immediately.

Constructed in 1927 in a Classical Revival style, the structure at 160 W. Fort Street served as the Federal reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch building until 2004 when the bank moved into new offices on Warren Avenue near Eastern Market. An eight-story glass and marble annex was added to the original four-story building during the 1949-1951 expansion.

In January 2012 the vacant asset was purchased by Dan Gilbert through his real estate arm Rock Ventures LLC, marking the billionaire’s ninth acquisition in Detroit. Shortly after changing hands, the 176,000-square-foot building embarked on a renovation and redesign process spearheaded by international architectural firm ROSSETTI—while the firm’s team of architects, planners and designers also relocated into 13,000 square feet on the fourth floor.

 

Image via Historic Detroit



Walsh College to Start $15 Million Renovation and Expansion Project

16 Apr 2014, 7:59 pm

By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor

A private college in suburban Detroit will embark on an 18-month renovation and expansion that will enhance campus-life experience. The Walsh College Board of Trustees recently approved the $15 million improvement project at the college’s existing campus building that was built in the 1970s.

Walsh College renovation and expansion

Walsh College renovation and expansion

According to a press release from the college, construction at the site located on Livernois Road in Troy is set to begin late this summer. The project is financed by a combination of investment and capital funds and private donations coming from alumni and other investors who will be offered donor-naming opportunities upon completion.

“This initiative underscores Walsh College’s long-term commitment to the growth and vibrancy that we see in southeast Michigan and Troy,” said President and CEO of Walsh College Stephanie Bergeron. “The improvements represent our high-quality educational programs, meet the needs of today’s students, and put a contemporary face on the Walsh College business brand,” she added.

Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train Associates—which also designed Walsh College’s Barry Center—is serving as the architect of the project which is the third and last phase of a complex redesign master plan that started 15 years ago, the Detroit Free Press reports. Under the newly approved redesign plans, Walsh College’s original building will be renovated and expanded into a two-story, 55,000-square foot facility. The stone, metal panel and brick structure will offer a student center focused on business-communication skills development, a student lounge and a student services center. The new facility will also include meeting spaces for private conversations that will allow students to network with each other, simulate workplace environments and connect with potential employers.

The college said it will pursue LEED certification for renovations at the main building, just like the Barry Center which was awarded LEED Gold certification in June 2010.

Walsh College was founded in Troy in 1992 as a private, non-profit business college offering undergraduate and graduate business and technology degrees and certificate programs. There are about 4,200 students enrolled at the college’s locations in Troy, Novi, Clinton Township and Port Huron.

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Rendering courtesy of Walsh College







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