500 new employees moved into downtown Detroit’s First National Building Wednesday. City officials and business leaders say it’s yet another sign of Detroit’s resurgent business district.
They held a pep rally of sorts to welcome the new employees downtown. They’re from the title insurance and property valuation company Title Source, which has plans to move another 1000 employees downtown from the suburbs soon.
Quicken Loans CEO Dan Gilbert owns the First National building, and also has a stake in Title Source. Gilbert has become one of downtown Detroit's real estate moguls in recent years. He's s not sure exactly what the future holds, but he thinks it’s still “early in the game” for downtown development.
“We’re opportunistic," Gilbert said. "We look at every possible piece of property that may come for sale, or is being brought to us, or is available in an opportunistic manner...how it fits into the puzzle."
Gilbert says he hopes strengthening the city’s “business and technology core” will help it retain and attract young people.
George Jackson, CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, says Gilbert’s not the only businessman who sees potential in Detroit. “People feel there’s a pent-up demand in Detroit," Jackson said. "The developers…you don’t have to do their homework for them. They’re pretty good at figuring out where there’s a market.” Jackson says he’s fielding more and more inquiries from out-of-state developers, and there’s an especially strong interest in the city’s riverfront.