Real estate firm founded by Quicken Loans' Dan Gilbert buys downtown Detroit's Book Tower

Dan Gilbert's ownership presence in downtown Detroit has kept growing, with the addition of a vacant 38-story office tower and adjacent buildings to his stable of properties.

Book Tower, the attached 13-floor Book Building and an adjacent two-story community center have been bought by Bedrock Real Estate Services. Gilbert is a founding partner of the firm.

Plans for the buildings include a mix of office, retail and residential. The purchase price of the buildings was not released.

"This project is going to be one of the most exciting redevelopments in our entire Detroit real estate portfolio," Gilbert said Friday in a news release. "We will bring this beautiful, world-class iconic landmark back to life in a manner that will make all Detroiters and visitors proud. We can't wait to get started."

The buildings bring to more than 80 the number of downtown properties owned and managed by Bedrock Real Estate Services and its affiliates. More than $1.8 billion has been invested in acquiring, renovating and developing the properties.

Book Tower was designed in the Italian Renaissance style and built in 1926 — nine years after the Book Building was constructed. They were named after J. Burgess, Frank and Herbert Book. The brothers and real estate developers had a vision to turn Washington Boulevard into a popular and fashionable destination, according to Bedrock Real Estate.

"Nearly 100 years later, Bedrock is pursuing a similar vision for all of downtown Detroit by making significant investments into restoring historic properties such as these and filling them up with a new, innovative and unique mix of retail, office and residential tenants," Bedrock Managing Partner and Chief Executive Jim Ketai said.

"With each acquisition and each new tenant, we are proud to continue our momentum and commitment to rebuilding Detroit."

Gilbert is founder and chairman of Detroit-based online retail mortgage lender Quicken Loans. He moved the company's headquarters to downtown Detroit in 2010. He also owns professional basketball's Cleveland Cavaliers.