I've said it before, and I'll say it again...Detroit is a city I just love to visit. Yeah, they went bankrupt a few years back. But Detroit is now on the "come up" thanks to a man named Dan Gilbert.
Dan Gilbert is the Founder and Chairman of Quicken Loans Inc., the nation’s second largest mortgage lender. He is also Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures LLC, the umbrella entity for his portfolio of business and real estate investments and majority owner of the 2016 NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Rock Ventures and its more than 100 affiliated companies across the country employ more than 30,000 team members. Dan began moving his family of companies to Detroit’s central business district in 2010 in an effort to help lead the transformation of a great American city. In January 2010, Dan co-founded Bedrock Detroit, a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, leasing, financing and managing commercial and residential space. Since then, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested more than $5.6 billion in acquiring and developing more than 100 commercial properties accounting for more than 16 million square feet in the city’s urban core. Thousands of jobs have been created, and today nearly 17,000 Rock Ventures team members work in downtown Detroit. Dan Gilbert his companies are putting millions of dollars into Detroit to help make it the city it once was. Why Detroit, you ask? Mr. Gilbert earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from Wayne State University.
During my recent visit to the "Motor City", I started with a tour of Ford Field, home of the Detroit Lions football team. It was a very cloudy day, with off and on rain. So I figured doing the tour would be great for a day like this. The stadium's design incorporates the six-story former Hudson Warehouse, which was constructed in the 1920s. Hammes Company, a real estate development company in Middleton, Wisconsin developed the new stadium, as well as the warehouse. The presence of the warehouse allows for a seating arrangement that was unique among professional American football stadiums at the time of Ford Field's opening. The majority of suites at Ford Field are located in the Hudson Warehouse along the stadium's southern sideline, as are the lounges that serve the premium club seats on that side of the field. The bulk of the grandstand seats are located along the northern sideline and both end-lines, with gaps in the stadium's upper half at the southwest and southeast corners. The upper deck on the stadium's northern sideline also contains one level of suites and a smaller section of club seating. A similar design was implemented at the renovated Soldier Field, albeit with the use of a new structure (as opposed to an existing building) to house four levels of suites. Ford Field hosted an event the night before, so the field wasn't completely painted.
The tour took me to one of the most expensive suites in the stadium. And after visiting some of the other suites, I checked out the visiting teams locker room on my way to the Detroit Lions locker room. Their locker room was a bit small because some of it was taken away to make room for the team's personal "club" just right outside the locker room. The Lion's "Ring of Honor" was inside the locker room bearing the names of former players and the years they played for the team. From there, I worked my way down to the field where I marveled in the glory of the well-kept field. My on-field highlight was standing at the 50 yard line and just checking out the stadium's surroundings. My tour ended at the Stadium Collection store where I bought a couple of Detroit Lions t-shirts and jackets.