Companies that have joined Rock Ventures in Downtown Detroit since August 2010 

Over the past 25 months, more than 60 companies have moved to downtown Detroit in a number of Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

These businesses include:

1528 Woodward (45, 146 sq. feet; former Arts League Building): 
  • Sachse Construction: Offering premium commercial construction services nationwide.
M@dison Building (50,000 sq. feet; 100 percent occupied): 
  • Twitter: A real-time information network that connects people to the latest stories, ideas, opinions and news 
  • Skidmore Studio: A leading creative design firm occupying an entire floor in the building 
  • Detroit Venture Partners (DVP): A venture capital firm specializing in funding early stage technology businesses 
  • Detroit Labs: A leader in the development of Android, iOS and web-based applications 
  • UpTo: A new social platform focused on the future tense, allowing users to easily share calendar events 
  • Chez Zara: A full-service espresso bar that specializes in exceptional espresso drinks and organic teas 
  • Bizdom: A non-profit entrepreneurship accelerator for budding web and tech-based startups in Detroit and Cleveland (Bizdom Detroit was previously housed in Wayne State University’s Tech Town) 
  • Are You a Human: The answer to frustrating CAPTCHA entries, Are You a Human uses fun games to verify the authenticity of people completing online forms 
  • Doodle Home: An online interior design destination serving customers, designers and manufacturers of luxury home furnishings 
  • hiredMYway : A company disrupting the traditional “job board” concept that provides an exceptionally better value and experience for both job seekers and employers 
  • TextsFromLastNight (Detroit office): An accidental startup born out of a viral sensation, now one of the leading user-generated content sites for 20-somethings 
  • FLUD: A news-reader application for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices that helps users save time by delivering content they’re most interested in 
  • Marxent Labs: Creator of ShopWith.It, a new app for social shoppers that makes it easy to take your Facebook friends shopping 
  • Ludlow Ventures: An angel and seed-stage venture capital firm investing in web and digital technologies 
  • Aria Ventures: A company specializing in developing and funding startup ventures 
  • 313 Ventures: Stock trader-turned-angel investor, partaking in the rebuild of Detroit, one deal at a time 
  • Vineyard Capital: An investment firm for later-stage private companies, partnering with various groups throughout the 
  • Midwest Roqbot: A social jukebox app that lets you be the DJ at your favorite bars, restaurants, gyms, and stores 
  • Savorfull: Monthly samples of allergy free, nutrient dense foods, delivered right to your doorstep 
  • EBLI: A proprietary system that teaches people of any age and skill level to read to their highest potential 
  • Exxodus Pictures: A production company whose first feature film, Jinn, is now in post-production 
  • GreenLancer: Web-based company that provides businesses a model for cutting development and engineering costs in clean energy projects 
  • GumShoe: A game where players compete against friends and a community of sleuths to solve mysteries, and earn awards, social cred and the occasional real life cache along the way 
  • Quikkly: Short-term deals exclusively for college students 
  • Wedit: A fun, easy, and affordable way to capture, edit, and share wedding memories through the use of HD Flip cameras 
  • Tapjoy: A mobile ad network that lets you discover apps and get in-app rewards when you engage with ads 
  • Thrillist Detroit: Free weekly email that finds the best of what’s new in your neighborhood and on the web 
  • Facility Matrix Group (FMG): The area’s pre-eminent provider of office furniture 
 Chase Tower (505,000 sq. feet; 100 percent occupied):
  • Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender  
  • One Reverse Mortgage: The largest reverse-only mortgage lender in America and second largest retail provider of reverse mortgage home loans 
  • In-House Realty: A real estate services company matching Quicken Loans clients with pre-screened agents in their community 
 First National Building (800,000 sq. feet; 93 percent occupied): 
  • Title Source: The largest independent provider of title insurance, property valuations and settlement services in the nation 
  • Aerotek: A leading staffing agency that matches qualified candidates with top companies worldwide 
  • Roasting Plant: New York-based coffee company with unique Javabot roasting technology  
Chrysler House (Former Dime Building; 320,000 sq. feet; 92 percent occupied): 
  • Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender 
  • Chrysler Group LLC: Automotive company that produces Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, Mopar, SRT and Fiat vehicles and products 
  • Just Baked: Specialty cupcake shop and bakery 
  • Rehmann: A company offering accounting, tax planning and financial consulting services 
  • Allied Printing Company: Provides printing, information management, and warehouse & fulfillment services 
  • Hubbard Snitchler & Parzianello PLC: Provides world-class legal service 
  • Professional Moving company that specializes in providing local, long distance, and international relocation services for people and businesses 
  • Elite Fire Safety: A one-stop-shop for fire safety needs 
  • EverStaff: Recruits the most skilled and qualified professionals for organizations of all sizes 
  • FNC Holding Company: Provides insight into the property backing a loan with its data and analytic solutions 
  • GSI: A company specializing in security, network and system integration 
  • Metro Consulting: A full service civil engineering and land surveying consultancy 
  • Reliance One: A full service staffing firm 
  • SCI Marketview: A lead management company for automotive dealers 
  • Corby Energy: Providing construction, engineering and support services to utilities and related businesses 
  • Campus Commandos: Connects clients with the college demographic through the use of student brand ambassadors 
  • Core Merchant: Easy and convenient credit payment solutions for businesses 
Compuware (1, 088,000 sq. feet; Rock Ventures leases four floors; 100 percent occupied): 
  • Quicken Loans: The nation’s largest online mortgage lender 
  • Rock Ventures: An umbrella entity formed to provide operational coordination, guidance, and integration of Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate 
  • Fathead: The Real.Big. brand of officially licensed sports and entertainment graphics products 
  • Bedrock Real Estate Services: Rock Ventures’ full service property management firm, specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space 
  • Rockbridge Growth Equity: A Detroit-based private equity firm that invests in mid-stage financial and business services, consumer-direct marketing, and sports, media & entertainment industries 
  • Rock Gaming: A gaming partnership formed with an initial focus to develop full-service casinos in two of Ohio’s largest cities, as well as to explore other potential gaming opportunities elsewhere 
  • Rock Companies: A real estate investment, development, construction and management company focusing on commercial, residential single and multi-family investments in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio 
  • Quizzle: Website that gives consumers a complete understanding of their credit so they can make better financial decisions 
  • Cup of Zup: Uniquely amusing pop-culture e-newsletter and website 
  • Picket Report: An online neighborhood research tool
George Bezenar, a longtime resident of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, talks with Joan Wood, one of the few neighbors near his home on Blackstone.
George Bezenar, a longtime resident of Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood, talks with Joan Wood, one of the few neighbors near his home on Blackstone. / SUSAN TUSA/Detroit Free Press
When George Bezenar moved to Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood nearly 30 years ago, Blackstone Street was filled with people, traffic and neighbors that looked out for one another.

Then came the crack cocaine epidemic, crime and suburban flight, and soon Bezenar, 62, found himself in one of only three occupied houses on his block, surrounded by charred remains, empty fields and homes stripped to the floorboards.

On Friday, as part of a community-led house-swapping project, Bezenar was given keys and a deed to a house 1 mile away, still in Brightmoor, but less burdened by blight.

The project is likely the first of its kind in Detroit, brokered by community groups in response to city plans to realign services and investment in neighborhoods.

The community groups, led by John O'Brien of the Brightmoor Neighborhood Development Corp., intend to move more people as they identify available properties and match them to Brightmoor residents. Bezenar -- who had been robbed multiple times -- decided to stop fixing up his house after his gutters were stolen for scrap metal two years ago.

"It couldn't have come at a better time. I'm very excited," Bezenar said.

The house-swapping project came about when Mayor Dave Bing announced about two years ago plans to move Detroiters out of sparsely populated areas riddled with blight into denser areas of the city. To O'Brien and other community leaders in Detroit, the plan seemed geared to neighborhoods like Brightmoor. But they were concerned about disbanding an established neighborhood, however sparse, and moving people places where they didn't want to go, and perhaps, weren't wanted by their new neighbors.

Along with Brightmoor Alliance and Baber Memorial AME Church, among others, O'Brien came up with a plan -- buy devalued, but reparable, housing stock in well-maintained parts of Brightmoor and give it to people in exchange for their old houses in the desolate parts of the neighborhood.

"We're not trying to force people's hands," O'Brien said, but "let Brightmoor move Brightmoor."

Click HERE to read the full article on Livingston Daily! 

For more information, head on over to the official Dally In The Alley website! 
Think you know the Motor City? Test your knowledge of Detroit’s historic and cultural landmarks, while learning more about the new Detroit Historical Museum, during a 313 Scavenger Hunt!

Round up your friends, coworkers and family members who are history buffs and/or Detroit enthusiasts for a day of friendly competition, good food and great times from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012. The afternoon of fun in the city links the new exhibits that are coming to the Detroit Historical Museum as a result of its Past>Forward campaign, to various prominent statues and landmarks in the D.

Starting at 11 a.m. at Hard Rock Cafe Detroit, 45 Monroe Street in Detroit, participants will have the opportunity to register as a team of three to five people, or solo and be paired with a team. Contestants will be asked to contribute a $10 suggested donation per person at the door, benefitting the Detroit Historical Society’s Past>Forward campaign.

Just over a year ago, the Detroit Historical Society launched the public phase of its $20.1 million Past>Forward campaign, an effort to renovate the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society collections. The upgrades represent the first major renovations to the museum since the 1960s, and on Nov. 23rd, the Detroit Historical Museum will reopen to the public with free admission, allowing visitors to explore new and expanded exhibits, enjoy technology upgrades and experience new educational offerings.

Scavenger hunters will be released into the city at noon with an envelope of clues and a 313 Scavenger Hunt passport which must be stamped by a scavenger hunt staff member at each landmark. The first three teams to find all the landmarks and return to the cafe will be recognized for their speedy efforts with an assortment of prizes courtesy of the Detroit Historical Society and Hard Rock Cafe Detroit.

Additionally, upon registration each participant will be entered in a drawing for two grand prizes, including tickets to a Detroit Lions game and an exclusive sneak preview of the new exhibits at the Detroit Historical Museum.

“The 313 Scavenger Hunt is the Detroit Historical Society’s way of bringing the museum to the public, even while we’re closed for renovations,” said Bob Sadler, director of public and external relations at the Detroit Historical Society. “Each scavenger hunt landmark relates directly to our new exhibits and brings the history represented back to the streets of Detroit, where it all began.”

As an added incentive, Hard Rock Cafe Detroit will also offer food and drink specials to participants throughout the day. Scavenger hunters can enjoy $6 Bloody Mary’s from 11 a.m. to noon and a happy hour featuring half off draft beers, premium wines and malt liquors and $5 mini nachos.

For more information about recycling in Detroit, head on over to Recycle Here! 

Below is a map of locations where you can drop of your recyclables:

View Clark Park in a larger map

Opa! This September, Greektown will welcome Santorini Estiatorio’s Greek cuisine to Monroe Street. Located in the space formerly known as Mosaic, the new, family-owned restaurant will host an expansive Greek wine list, cocktails with Greek inspired elements and traditional Greek cuisine with a modern twist.

“It’s more than just a new concept for the restaurant,” said Athina Papas, partner, Santorini Estiatorio. “We want to bring a totally new restaurant experience to Detroit and, of course, Greektown.”

Using the original, local building designer, John Janviriya of JJV Design Group, the entire look and feel of the restaurant has been redesigned to make customers feel like they have been transplanted to an island in Greece. Patrons will find features including Grecian shutters, light colors, open windows and a boat hull constructed locally. On Monroe Street, the wall will be removed and replaced with floor-to-ceiling windows and French-style accordion doors and a patio will be installed  and most of the new materials purchased, like furniture, are made in Michigan. One of the walls inside will be decorated by Greek wine bottles and a local artist is recreating scenes from the Greek Isle, Santorini, for murals in the private dining room.

“Our family has been doing business in Detroit for more than 30 years and we couldn’t imagine it any other way,” continued Papas. “We’re tripling our staff for the new restaurant and reinvesting in Greektown.”

The average price per entrée will be $12 - 30 and capacity will increase from 160 to 210. Santorini Estiatorio will be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

Santorini Estiatorio is located in the heart of Greektown at 501 Monroe St. in Detroit. For more information and updates, visit

The Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) will host the 42nd Annual Global Festival celebrating cultural diversity on campus. More than 35 student groups and organizations, organized by continent and representing various countries and cultures, are scheduled to participate.

Each year the festival attracts nearly 4,000 participants.

The event is free and open to the public and includes live music, dance performances, an assortment of ethnic foods for sale and giveaways.

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

Gullen Mall on the university’s main campus in Detroit.

Wayne State University is home to nearly 3,000 international students and visiting scholars from 100 countries. The Office of International Students and Scholars was established to aid these individuals in their educational and scholarly pursuits at the university.

For more information about the Global Festival, contact the OISS at 313-577-3422 or visit

"All three Detroit automakers saw double-digit sales increases in August compared with the same month last year," the Detroit Free Press writes. The gains "show that the automotive industry remains one of the economy's few bright spots," it adds.

As the Los Angeles Times puts it, "consumers bought cars at a steady pace in August as the automobile industry continued to help anchor the U.S. economy." Chrysler said it sales rose 14 percent, "on strong demand for Ram pickup trucks,"

The Associated Press reports: "General Motors Co. sales jumped 10 percent, about double expectations, and Ford Motor Co. sales were up 13 percent, about 3 percentage points higher than anticipated," the Detroit News says. It adds that "Fiat's 34 percent increase was the largest sales gain of any Chrysler brand, and August marked Chrysler Group's 29th consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains."

Mayor Dave Bing today announced the launch of an innovative text message service that will provide real-time arrival information for City of Detroit buses.

The “Text My Bus“ program allows riders to text their nearest street address or intersection to “50464” and receive messages back indicating nearby bus routes, the closest bus stop and the arrival time for the next bus.

Behold the second annual ranking of how well the 122 franchises in the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB spend their money. We’ve used payroll data (from USA Today,, NBC Sports, and to calculate how much teams spent per win over the last five seasons. (For baseball, we also include the first half of the current season.) We then compared every team against league average, producing a total score we call the efficiency index. The median score for every league is zero. The lower the score, the less a team spent for its wins.

This year, we’ve added bonuses for the victories that matter most: wins above .500, playoff wins, and championships. Our scale counts regular season wins once, with a half-win bonus for every win over .500. Playoff wins count for 10 percent of a season; championships for half a season. In their Super Bowl winning season in 2011, for instance, the New York Giants got credit for 9 regular season wins, plus a .5 game bonus for their ninth win—the one that put them above .500. Their 4 playoff wins earned them 6.4 more wins. And the Super Bowl victory 8 more, for a total of 23.9 “weighted” wins.

Click HERE to see which Ilitch owned franchise slid into the #3 spot.......