Attracting Millennials by Reclaiming Detroit

Attracting Millennials by Reclaiming Detroit

During Earth Week, we’re inviting sustainability thought leaders to share their views on environmental issues and trends. Today’s post is from Bedrock Real Estate Services’ Lynnette Boyle.

Lynnette Boyle is vice president of property management at Bedrock Real Estate Services.

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.@GM FastLane Guest Post: @BedrockRES is redeveloping downtown Detroit by focusing on millenials and sustainabiltiy.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 4:50pm

CAMPAIGN: GM Resource Preservation


Nestled in the basement of one of downtown Detroit’s reinvigorated office buildings, is a quirky, vibrant place that’s bursting with creativity. Visitors are greeted by a buzzing neon sign and an un-manned astronaut spacesuit as they enter dPoP! inside Bedrock’s 23-story Chrysler House. The ‘out of this world’ design mecca (where designers, artists and others plan the creation of amazing, functional spaces) is a study in the use of reclaimed materials. Old bank vaults are transformed into some of the coolest conference rooms you’ve ever seen, book shelves are made from black iron pipes and salvaged wood from demolished Detroit homes, and there’s a wall filled with remnants – from a vintage fan to an ornate globe to found fixtures and signs – which is truly one-of-a-kind.

“When we start designing a building, we immediately look for things we can repurpose,” explains dPoP! CEO Melissa Price. “We’ve used elevator doors, floor tiles, reclaimed wood and even an old piano. Past generations entered the workforce to replace what came before, but this generation is more concerned with improving what’s already in place. Reclaimed objects appeal to that millennial need for sustainability. And it just looks better. You can’t find these things in a shop!”

Over the last several years, dPoP! has helped Bedrock and the Quicken Loans Family of Companies revitalize dozens of historic buildings and office spaces in downtown Detroit – and we are just getting started. Since 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested $1.7 billion in more than 70 properties in the city’s urban core. We take previously abandoned, world class, turn of the century architecture and infuse it with energy-saving LED lighting, HVAC controls, hands free low-flow faucets and many other new fixtures and materials that allow for greater energy conservation and less waste. Groups like EcoWorks and Reclaim Detroit partner with our construction team to salvage and recycle building materials, fixtures and artifacts.

Our property management team, comprised of millennials and Gen Xers, collaborates and brings experience and innovation together to create amazingly SMART buildings. We also install amenities geared toward the mobile millennial, such as Zagster bikes, Zip Cars and car charging stations, and we even use green cleaning supplies. This year, we introduced compactor sharing amongst buildings in smaller areas to reduce clutter in alleys. Our properties recycle paper, light bulbs, batteries and more.

Our efforts have not only created award-winning Class A office spaces, they continue to attract Fortune 500 companies like Fifth Third Bank and Ally Financial, high-tech entrepreneurial startups like Quikly and Detroit Labs, restaurants including Wright & Co.Dime Store7 GreensPunch Bowl Social and Freshii, retail shops like the new John Varvatos store, Moosejaw and Nojo Kicks, and everything in between. And millennials. Lots of them. Young people are flocking to Detroit for opportunities, both personally and professionally, and the chance to help bring positive change.

Our millennials steer our ship. We let them guide us on what matters and what needs to be implemented to impact the mission. This includes community outreach efforts like blight clean up, and support for organizations like the Detroit 300 Conservancy, which restores and activates major parks like Campus Martius, attracting artists and musicians. Our millennial team members volunteered more than 75,000 hours in community service last year alone (22,000 of which supported neighborhood development initiatives in Detroit). Many of our volunteers are college-aged interns. Our Family of Companies employs more than 1,000 interns from across the country each summer.

This year, we will expand the residential market to create many more opportunities for millennials to live in the city – where high speed internet is currently being installed and the state-of-the-art M-1 Rail line construction is underway. There is much more to come as we continue to build our high tech corridor – the future has never looked brighter.

Want to experience the impact for yourself? Come visit us in downtown Detroit. We’ll be happy to arrange a tour!

Lynnette Boyle is vice president of property management at Bedrock Real Estate Services. For more information, visit or call (800) 300-9833.

CATEGORY: Environment