Dan Gilbert Unveils First of His Planned ‘Webward Avenue’ Entrepreneurial Tech Hubs (Video)

The former Madison Theater as it appeared in the 1950s.

Detroit got its first peek at Dan Gilbert’s vision for the downtown “Webward Avenue” digital economy Monday when the Quicken Loans founder celebrated the grand opening of the M@dison building after a $12 million renovation.

Gilbert also announced that Rock Venture Partners, the venture capital firm he runs with partners including former basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson and ePrize founder Josh Linkner, had purchased the Federal Reserve building at 160 W. Fort St. It becomes the ninth building that Gilbert has acquired and plans to renovate to lure new companies to downtown Detroit.


Gilbert says he wants to lure digital businesses and startups to downtown Detroit by renovating historic buildings and through investments from Rock Venture Partners.

“This is the prototype of hopefully more buildings like this to come,” Gilbert was quoted as saying by the Detroit Free Press. “It’s about connectivity. It’s about having the right environment, the right culture for these companies to work together to create wealth in the new economy.”

Take a look at the new M@dison space in this video from Quicken:

You can also read more about the M@dison project:

What do you think about Gilbert’s vision? Can he really fill all this real estate with new-economy businesses?



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