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Dan Gilbert adds One Detroit Center to the more than 70 downtown properties he owns

Apr 2, 2015

The One Detroit Center building.
Credit Flickr user william stuben / Flickr

Dan Gilbert has added One Detroit Center to his impressive portfolio of downtown Detroit properties, making it more than 70 downtown properties that Gilbert and his partners now own.

The purchase has caused Ally Financial with its 1,300 employees to move to One Detroit Center instead of Southfield. This announcement was accompanied by Ally's CEO conceding that the downtown location will be more expensive than the suburbs.

"Certainly I think it's more evidence that downtown energy has a value all its own," says Detroit News business columnist Daniel Howes.

But Howes says that this downtown resurgence should still be celebrated cautiously, with Detroit's history of placing too much economic power with too few people or industries.

"I think if there's a cautionary tale it's that Detroit relies too much on a couple of people, or in this case on one billionaire, to essentially drive a renaissance in downtown," Howes says.

What Gilbert is doing is important, but Howes says he's happy to see Mayor Duggan also trying to create an environment that supports smaller businesses and entrepreneurialism.