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Huge announcements

It finally happened! Quicken Loans has announced that they will locate their consolidated headquarters in downtown Detroit moving some 4000 employees from around the metro area back to the city.

“After two years of speculation and negotiations, Quicken Loans and Rock Financial founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert told the Free Press on Monday that he will move the mortgage firm’s headquarters office and 4,000 people from Livonia to downtown Detroit.”

Move is a sign of hope for Detroit

“Any type of business that moves downtown is going to help retailers … and attract other retailers,” said Luciano Gonzalez, the owner of Salad Creations, which opened six months ago on Woodward near Campus Martius. The restaurant benefits from being near Compuware and Ernst & Young and is doing well, he said.

Rob Remdenok, owner of the Computing Express store in the Penobscot Building on Griswold Street, said having Quicken’s headquarters downtown will make the area more vibrant.

“It will bring people downtown who are potential customers for us and everyone else,” he said. “It’s a nice thing to have more people here.”

Longtime residents also said the city will benefit from gaining the headquarters of a major company.

“Detroit’s gone through an amazing transition,” said 22-year-old Morgan Kwilas, who has lived near downtown all her life. “I love the people, and I love my city.”

[via Detroit Free Press]

Promotions firm ePrize considers move to Detroit

The Pleasant Ridge interactive promotions agency ePrize said it, too, is considering moving its headquarters and 300 employees to downtown Detroit, said founder and Chief Executive Officer Josh Linkner.

We will only do it if we are able to provide team members and extraordinary experience, Linkner said, adding that it will evaluate the possibility seriously within the next year.

This has always been likely if Quicken were to move downtown due to the influence that Dan Gilbert has over the company. ePrize would want to stay close to Quicken for many reasons I think. And the environment that Quicken and Gilbert will build in downtown Detroit will foster them and other small startup companies may be in similar ways as Tech Town. Gilbert is throwing around words like Detroit 2.0 and talking about creating a “Sand Hill Road” in Detroit referring to an area in Silicon Valley where lots of venture capitalists are located.
[via Detroit Free Press]

There was another big announcement the other day. The city of Detroit had been fighting with the Census Bureau over the methodology it had used to count the population of Detroit, a method that tended to undercount older cities like Detroit. Other cities like St. Louis have also successfully challenged the census count and won in the past. The 2006 number will be 4% more than the 2005 number showing a net growth in population which is quite visible in the greater downtown neighborhoods. The new numbers also mean that Detroit was a safer city been previously thought.

Detroit Feels Closer To A Million

DETROIT — Today, there are nearly 50,000 more people living in the city of Detroit than there were yesterday at least, on paper.

The U.S. Census Bureau has revised its estimate on the number of Detroit residents after the city challenged the 2006 figures. The challenge worked so well, city officials said, that they will likely make it a habit of automatically challenging census numbers every year from now on.

Coming as a surprise to Paul Tait, SEMCOG executive director:
“If those numbers are, in fact, true, that is very good news, and the city is stabilizing more than any of us thought.”
[via WDIV]

It was a good week for Detroit and things are looking up now more than ever. Downtown revitalization is solidifying and a rebound is already showing results. Four thousand more people downtown every day and 50,000 more people living in the city would be a pretty big deal in just about any city in America but especially Detroit and I can only imagine what kind of compounding effect this will have.

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« Detroit News Roundup for Much of October
» America’s top 10 party cities