In June 2011 Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert, asked Bruce Schwartz to become the ambassador for Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, and now almost four years later, “Detroit Bruce” has become the consummate advocate from Bedrock as well as the city of Detroit. Schwartz brings energy and a substantial amount of interesting history as he showcases some of the best properties Detroit has to offer. He has led tours for a wide variety of people including the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team, Big Three auto executives, venture capitalist Warren Buffett, and legendary singer Aretha Franklin.
Although I went with a group from the University of Michigan that didn’t include any celebrities, we still received the grand tour. In the 90 minute walking tour, my group saw part of 1 Campus Martius (formerly the Compuware Building), the Qube (Chase Building), Chrysler House, and the former Federal Reserve Building. All of these buildings were acquired by Gilbert’s Rock Ventures group within the last five years. I had to pay close attention during the tour because Schwartz talks fast and walks fast. “Every second counts,” he said multiple times.
1 Campus Martius:
The tour began on the 10th floor of 1 Campus Martius. We walked by the offices of upper-management, saw art that was Detroit-inspired, walked around a Cleveland Cavaliers themed basketball court that overlooks Campus Martius Park, and saw a model of Bedrock properties downtown.
Next, the group walked to the Qube, and visited what Schwartz called “Mortgage Banking Land.” The floor we walked through had about 300 employees. The layout didn’t include any cubicals, but seemed to be mostly filled with standing desks. Unlike a more traditional office, the room was relatively loud and the sound of music and the bouncing of a basketball could be heard throughout the floor. In fact, the look of the floor was largely dictated by those working there. “It goes back to the environment that young people want,” Schwartz said.
After going down a few floors we visited the “Qzine Cafeteria.” The picture below only presents a small portion of it, but the cafeteria was massive. In addition to serving food on the floor, the space could be used to work, or hold events in.
Chrysler House and the former Federal Reserve Building:
After we finished the Faygo many of us had picked up while in the cafeteria, we walked to Chrysler House. The building, which used to host the Dime bank, was built in 1912 and is the 2nd oldest skyscraper in Detroit. The building’s basement now hosts dPOP! and a newer company called Amber Engine. To get more light in the basement, parts of the sidewalk in front of Chrysler House were replaced with glass to make skylights.
But, by far the coolest part of the basement space was the fact that they had converted many of the Dime bank’s old vaults into conference rooms.
Our last stop on the tour was the basement of the former Federal Reserve Building. This is where Quicken Loans hosts its employees who close loans. Like the basement of Chrysler House, the basement of the former Federal Reserve Building also had bank vaults that had been turned into conference rooms.
Did that tour seem like something you might want to experience? To schedule a tour contact Tours@OpportunityDetroit.com or call (313)373-7200.