Dec 12, 2022 - News

Gilbert bullish on more riverfront development

Aerial view of the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel

Aerial view of the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel. Photo courtesy of Bedrock

Dan Gilbert's riverfront real estate puzzle is coming together.

Why it matters: The riverfront is simultaneously among the city's most breathtaking and most underutilized assets.

  • Gilbert has the resources — and now, a growing set of properties — to help maximize its potential and add to his legacy of redeveloping key parts of the city.
  • Signs point toward a future comprehensive redevelopment including housing, public spaces and more.

Driving the news: His development company, Bedrock, made a key announcement earlier this month that helps fill in the riverfront picture — the acquisition of the historic Roberts Riverwalk Hotel on the city's east riverfront.

  • Its footprint includes 5,500 square feet of event space, 108 hotel rooms and 126 parking spaces.

What they're saying: Bedrock chief executive Kofi Bonner tells Axios the company is "very bullish" on adding sustainable infrastructure, housing, and entertainment amenities to the riverwalk.

  • "We believe that the acquisition of the former Roberts Riverwalk Resort Hotel is key to our plans to participate in the creation of a world-class, mixed-use riverfront community," Bonner says.

The big picture: The hotel purchase is part of Gilbert's "$80 million-plus spending spree" on the east riverfront, Crain's reports.

  • Other acquisitions include the former UAW-GM Center for Human Resources and properties previously owned by the Stroh family.

Zoom out: A new Bedrock development plan along Cleveland's Cuyahoga River is an intriguing example of what could happen here.

  • The 15-to-20 year master plan for 35 acres along Cleveland's riverfront is in partnership with the city and celebrated architect David Adjaye, with an estimated price of $3.5 billion.
  • The vision emphasizes new connections between the river and downtown, with pathways for biking and improved public transit.
  • "Our redevelopment strategy for the downtown Cleveland riverfront taps into the lost heritage of the city, establishing a new relationship between the urban core and the shore," Adjaye said in a statement.

What's next: Bedrock says more Detroit riverfront updates are coming next year.

Visual rendering of the new Cuyahoga River master development plan
Cuyahoga Riverfront master plan. Rendering courtesy of Bedrock
avatar

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Detroit.

More Detroit stories