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Dan Gilbert aims to transform Detroit into tech-centered downtown

A vision for a livelier downtown Detroit is the dream of Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert. He's calling it "Detroit 2.0," and with his recent purchases of 15 downtown buildings and his investment in the M1 Rail transit project, Gilbert hopes to transform Detroit into a tech center akin to California's Silicon Valley.

But his dreams of tying all his commercial properties together by purchasing the remaining 24 percent of the Greektown Casino may not come true if he and the property's investors can't come to a consensus on price.

The holdup appears to be in Gilbert's asking price for the remaining shares. According to the Greektown Casino's board of directors, Gilbert's offer reflects a depressed-market value; a price the board refused to accept considering the nearly $100 million that had already been spent on the property for renovations. As the spokesperson for the board of directors puts it, "You'll see those investments start to pay off. So you don't reduce your price."

Despite arguments over whether the bid is too low, as an ambitious entrepreneur, Gilbert still intends on renovating his current properties to reflect his vision of a more upgraded downtown scene. Using streetscape improvements and building renovations, he's hoping to tie together the entertainment district where the Greektown Casino sits and his other real estate properties. But the recent stonewall from investors could force Gilbert to make other plans.

When buying any commercial property, thinking about future investment opportunities is generally the next step to take. But when your investors have a different plan for your business, sometimes problems can arise. In some cases, legal assistance may not be necessary but other times it may be necessary. Choosing the right representation may seem frustrating, but when the right attorney is chosen, it can make all of the difference when sorting out disputes.

Source: The Detroit Free Press, "Gilbert to control Greektown Casino but not own all of it," JC Reindl and John Gallagher, Feb. 17, 2013

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