clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Meet the tycoon who is trying to save Detroit by taking it over

New, 46 comments

Dan Gilbert, owner of Quicken Loans, has bought 60 buildings in the Motor City since mid-2010

Detroit
Detroit
patricia drury/flickr

Dan Gilbert is 52 years old. He owns Quicken Loans, America's largest online mortgage lender, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. He also now owns 60 buildings in Detroit totaling 9 million square feet, a staggering private takeover of the city's infrastructure that he began just over three years ago. The New York Times Magazine looks at Gilbert and the other Detroit optimists, who believe that the Motor City's hard fall as one of America's most-populous and economically prosperous cities over the past two decades has finally reached its bottom. The piece is packed with riveting facts not only about these individuals and their auspices, but the city itself: only 35,000 of Detroit's 88,000 total streetlights work right now, for example — but citizens are installing their own to replace them. Through it, we find that Detroit has become a fascinating test bed for a new kind of radical privatization. For those who call the city home, the stakes couldn't be higher.