Weekly News & OBP Perspective

July 14th, 2011

This week’s OBP Perspective is provided by Jim O’Connell:Jim O'Connell

Insight or Insanity?

Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal Property Report had an article titled ‘Downtown Detroit Dream’ in which it covered the story about how Dan Gilbert (Quicken Loans) is buying Detroit office towers. It details how the prices of those towers have fallen to what Gilbert calls “outrageously cheap” levels. The story closes with the comments that it’s Gilbert’s dream to form a downtown neighborhood that will have all the “new” work spaces along with all of the amenities that the new generation of working people will want to have and be close to. It also says that these new central business districts are popping up all over the country.

Being based in another Midwest city here in Cincinnati, with a downtown that has fared much better than Detroit, I can see what Mr. Gilbert hopes to establish with the regeneration of a once thriving city’s core as the younger generations, in their desire to have something different than those before them, may in fact push to become urban centered in their living as they move into their working years. Lord knows, there are plenty of opportunities in many of our Midwestern cities, and as prices for these buildings have come down we need people with vision and capital to take advantage of those opportunities and move these cities into the future. Being a part of some of those opportunistic situations in cities like Cincinnati and many other Midwest markets, I share Mr. Gilbert’s optimism and wish him well with his Detroit efforts.


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