Bedrock in Detroit has acquired 300 River Place from The Stroh Cos. Inc. The River Place portfolio acquisition adds 500,000 square feet of office space, 735 parking spaces, and approximately 4.4 acres of developable land to Bedrock’s growing footprint. The sales price was not disclosed.
“The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy and other major stakeholders have done an incredible job of providing an abundance of activity and growth along the riverfront,” says Kofi Bonner, CEO of Bedrock. “We are excited to formally join the Riverfront community and expand on their efforts to make Detroit’s Riverwalk one of the city’s most memorable places for families to gather, friends to play and people to work.”
The River Place Portfolio acquisition includes:
- 300 River Place Drive: a 500,000-square-foot, Class A office building
- Western portion of the River Place Parking Garage: totaling rights to 735 parking spaces
- 2743 Wight and 2748 Franklin: totaling approximately one acre of undeveloped land
- 2615-2655 Atwater: totaling approximately 3.4 acres of undeveloped land
“The Stroh family has been an integral part of Detroit’s business community since 1850,” says John Stroh III, chairman and CEO of The Stroh Co. “Our family is proud of the presence we have created along the east river front these past 40 years. I am delighted that Bedrock has decided to acquire Stroh River Place and continue the legacy we built.
“It would be safe to say that no other investor in Detroit is better equipped with the critical mass and vision to carry 300 River Place into the future. I want to thank the entire Bedrock team that worked diligently on this transaction and Anne Galbraith Kohn of CBRE who represented us in this transaction.”
Leasing opportunities at 300 River Place will continue throughout the year, while continuing to house several office tenants who maintain lease agreements within the structure, including the Associated Press, Belle Isle Conservancy, Michigan Minority Contractors, and a few departments within the Federal General Services Administration.
“This acquisition puts us in a position to provide a unique offering relative to our existing portfolio, and provides tenants interested in the city of Detroit with direct access to a district where we see a lot of potential,” says Sam Hamburger, vice president of acquisitions at Bedrock.
Built in phases between 1928 and 1939 by Parke-Davis & Co., once the largest pharmaceutical company in the world, 300 River Place was one of the later additions to the manufacturing and research facilities they had occupied along the Detroit River since 1873.
The entire site, including 300 River Place, was acquired by The Stroh Brewery Co. in 1979 and over the next 10 years, renovated into a mixed-use campus that combined its historic architecture with modern amenities — including a state-of-the-art technical infrastructure designed to meet all the requirements for fiber optics, heavy power, video conferencing, and other cutting-edge technologies.
The building boasts two light-filled six-story glass atriums, exposed brick walls, and traditional and loft style floor plans with views of the Detroit River. The property is connected to other businesses, restaurants, and stores via the Detroit Riverwalk, a 3.5-mile walking, biking, and jogging route that stretches from both the East and West of 300 River Place.
At one point consisting of just cement silos and abandoned industry buildings, the Riverwalk now features parks, restaurants, retail, and housing. While it officially opened in June of 2007, work on the Riverwalk, spearheaded by the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, continues each year with the creation of new portions of the walkway, programming, and partnerships.
Plans and programming for the additional land parcels are still underway, but its location next to the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater, Atwater Beach, and close proximity to Canada and its international border provide substantial opportunities for activation and future development.
Detroit has been home to the Stroh family since the founding of The Stroh Brewery Co. in 1850. Over the years, Stroh acquired its across-the-street neighbor Goebel Brewing Co. in 1963 before going on to acquire New York-based F&M. Schaefer Co. in 1981 and the Milwaukee based Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. in 1982.
The family increased their commitment to Detroit in 1979 by purchasing the former Parke Davis & Co. plant, situated along the Detroit River between Joseph Campau and McDougall. The 14-acre complex was renamed Stroh River Place and converted into office and retail space, multifamily residential units, a hotel. and parking.
After the brewing business was sold in 1999, the family continued to operate 300 River Place, their former headquarters, as a multitenant office building. The Stroh family was also active in the development of the Riverwalk, and its former chairman, Peter W. Stroh, who was instrumental in establishing the riverside pathway and the formation of the conservancy, is memorialized with a bust in the middle of Milliken State Park.
Bedrock, Detroit’s largest real estate company, is a full-service real estate firm specializing in acquiring, developing, leasing, financing, and managing commercial and residential buildings. Since its founding in 2011, Bedrock and its affiliates have invested and committed more than $5.6 billion to acquiring and developing more than 100 properties in Detroit and Cleveland.
Bedrock’s portfolio totals more than 18 million square feet of office, retail, and residential space within new construction and adaptive reuse projects.
Bedrock’s office tenants include Coyote Logistics, Microsoft, Quicken Loans, LinkedIn, StockX, Universal McCann, NPower, and Ally Bank’s national headquarters. Retail tenants include H&M, The Lip Bar, 6 Salon, Nike, Shake Shack, Buddy’s Pizza, Eatori, and more.
Partnering with Detroit-based Shinola, Bedrock developed the world’s first Shinola Hotel on Woodward Avenue, which opened in early 2019.
The development of Stroh River Place (Parke Davis & Co.), along with the progression of Detroit from a French fort in 1701 to the birthplace of the automotive industry in 1900, is covered in the book, “Detroit: Engine of America,” available at www.DetroitEngineofAmerica.com.