Thursday, March 24, 2011

Quicken Loans considers purchasing Chase Tower in downtown Detroit

Quicken Loans already made a big splash downtown Detroit when it moved a majority of its workers from the suburbs and into the Compuware Building last year.

Then, Dan Gilbert and company made more news earlier this year when they announced they'd be refurbishing the old Madison Theater Building near Grand Circus Park and moving workers in there.

Now, Quicken is reportedly considering buying the Chase Tower just across Campus Martius Park from Compuware. The 14-story Chase building, which hardly feels like a tower next to the nearby Guardian and Penobscot buildings, enjoys a sweet location downtown. It sits on Woodward just south of the park, and if filled with Quicken workers would inject a boost into the downtown scene. Stay tuned, Gilbert is also reportedly looking at other buildings in the area, most notably the First National Building just across Woodward. (More on the First National in the coming days.)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mitch Albom's 'Ernie' coming to Detroit's City Theatre this spring

Baseball is in the air in Detroit as Opening Day draws near, and while we're not sure who's going to be playing second base for the Tigers, fans are excited about what will be playing across the street.

"Ernie", a play written by Mitch Albom about longtime Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell, will take the stage at the City Theatre in the rear of the Hockeytown Cafe building for a run that begins April 28.

It should make for a great build-your-own doubleheader, catching a matinee showing of the play before heading across the street to watch a Tigers game. In fact, while you're in the area, make it a triple play by swinging past the site of the old Tiger Stadium to see what fans have dubbed Ernie Harwell Park.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

George Clooney brings 'Ides of March' production to downtown Detroit

Getting in just under the wire before what we'll call the Snyder Film Industry Dis-Incentives kick in, George Clooney and company are in town this week filming "Ides of March", a political drama starring Clooney, Marisa Tomei and Ryan Gosling.

Clooney is also directing the picture, and the production crews took over Park Avenue just north of Grand Circus Park Tuesday to film some scenes inside Cliff Bell's. Across from the beaten up Hotel Charlevoix, and next to the Park Bar, Cliff Bell's wore a new marquee over its doors for filming Tuesday. It said "Ninth" something, we couldn't make out the rest. You can look for it when the film is released this October.

Seeing the movie trucks on the streets, and the yellow signs steering cast and crew to the base camp lot (the signs say "IOM" in large black letters) was a sure a sign that spring is nearing in Detroit. Filming has been pretty quiet throughout winter. Of course, this could be the last spring that sees a spike in movie production traffic in Michigan, should Snyder's plan to dissolve the film industry tax incentive hold up. Want to see to tax incentives remain? Try bugging the crap out of your local representative.