Dan Gilbert, local billionaire and downtown's most prominent investor, famously cited a "skyscraper sale"
as motivation to begin adding downtown Detroit properties his portfolio in 2007. Gilbert founded Bedrock Real Estate in 2011, and that company now owns over 70 properties
accounting for over 11 million square feet of space in the city's central business district. Adding to that portfolio may not be as cheap as it once was, however, as foreign investors take interest in Detroit real estate.
In 2013, Fernando Palazuelo, a Peruvian billionaire of Spanish extraction, made some of the biggest headlines in Detroit real estate when he purchased the Packard Plant, an infamous, 3.5-million-square-foot industrial ruin on the city's east side that has been abandoned for half a century. He revealed some of his grand plans for the site in a February 28 feature
in Crain's Detroit Business.
Now Crain's is reporting
that one of the richest men in Mexico, Carlos Slim Helú (net worth approx. $77 billion) has purchased the Marquette Building, a 115-year-old, 164,000-square-foot vacant office building in downtown Detroit.
Crain's Kirk Pinho writes, "Nico Gatzaros, managing partner of Detroit-based 400 Monroe Associates LLC and son of the late Greektown Casino-Hotel developer Ted Gatzaros, whose estate sold the building to Helú, said offers from 'all over the world' were made on the building."
On April 7, Pinho once again broke a story
of large-scale foreign investment in Detroit real estate when he tied the purchases of 31 Detroit properties to Jimmy Lai, a Hong Kong tycoon.
For more breaking news on foreign investment in Detroit real estate, follow Pinho's writing for Crain's Detroit Business