Support Local Journalism. Donate to Cleveland Scene.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Cavs Owner Dan Gilbert to Renovate May Company Building on Public Square

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2018 at 3:54 PM

click image A vintage image of the May Company department store in Parmatown Mall.
  • A vintage image of the May Company department store in Parmatown Mall.
The “rental renaissance” in Cleveland is far from over, and we wouldn’t expect Dan Gilbert to not take advantage of that. Bedrock-Detroit, a real estate company co-founded by Gilbert, grabbed the May Company Building on Public Square last year for $12 million and now has plans to convert it to 308 apartments, almost 600 interior parking spaces, retail stores and rooftops for entertainment and green areas for residents’ use.

Looking at this former department store building development from the outside may bring feelings of excitement and hopes of boosting Cleveland’s economy. But looking at the larger picture, it shows how much Gilbert owns.

In Cleveland, Gilbert’s companies own a large stake of the city’s wealth. His holdings include, in addition to Jack Casino, a number of significant properties including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and shops and offices in the Tower City Center complex. He also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Just two days ago, the Metro Times reported that $618 million of Detroit taxpayers’ money — some of which should go toward improving local schools — got approved to use toward four new Gilbert real estate projects. The Quicken Loan Arena’s renovation also caused a huge controversy last summer.

The fact that Gilbert said his 2018 New Year's resolution was, “to never give in to the urge to respond to reporters’ questions or inquiries” doesn’t make us feel any calmer, especially when Scene Editor Vince Grzegorek points out that, at this rate, Gilbert’s companies hold the futures of two major midwestern cities:
… While Gilbert has no actual responsibility to respond to reporters, his vast influence and empire, with all its commingled interplay with the public's business (here and in Detroit), beg for transparency and communication. After all, his businesses are on the receiving end of hundreds of millions of dollars of public funds…
The downtown Cleveland May Company department store, established in 1899, was at one time the third largest store in the country. It was shoppers' one stop for everything they wanted and needed: clothes, furniture, a salon, cooking demonstrations, the city's largest soda fountain, a playground area and more. The store branched out to multiple other locations, but ultimately closed its doors in 1993.

It's not necessarily a bad thing that the current boarded up windows on the huge and now less-than-gorgeous building on Public Square has an end in sight. It's what another addition to Gilbert's local real estate portfolio means that keeps us on our toes. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for anymore of Gilbert’s big developments that could be benefiting his companies more than our city.

This video further explains Gilbert's plans for the May Company Building.

Tags: , , , , ,

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, Scene Magazine has been keeping Cleveland informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources, especially as we all deal with the ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic. Almost everything Scene is about -- our stories, our events, our advertisers -- comes down to getting together. With events on hold, and no print distribution for the foreseeable future, every little bit helps.

A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to Scene. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

Related Locations

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation