Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson announces the company’s participation in the Live Downtown program.
It pays to live in downtown Detroit, literally. That is…if you work for Quicken Loans, Compuware, DTE Energy, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, or Strategic Staffing Solutions.
The Live Downtown incentive offers qualifying employees of the participating firms significant cash incentives if they purchase a house or rent an apartment in the downtown area.
David Blaszkiewicz, Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) president and CEO, made the announcement at a press conference Monday at the Detroit Welcome Center of Inside Detroit in front of a crowd that included:
- Dave Bing – Mayor of Detroit
- Dan Loepp – president and CEO, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
- Denise Starr – chief administrative officer, Compuware Corporation
- Paul Hillegonds – senior vice president of corporate affairs, DTE Energy
- Bill Emerson – CEO, Quicken Loans Inc.
- Carl Bentley – senior vice president, Strategic Staffing Solutions
The five participating companies, which have more than 16,000 eligible full and part-time employees working in Metro Detroit according to the firms’ websites, will offer financial incentives for employees who move within the boundaries of areas that include the following neighborhoods:
- Eastern Market
- Lafayette Park
“Our young, smart and energetic professionals want to live downtown and be where the action is. This program will provide the opportunity for them not only to work and play in Detroit, but also live in what is becoming an exciting, technology-focused urban core,” said Dan Gilbert, founder and chairman of Quicken Loans.
The four major employee incentives for the Live Downtown program include:
- New homeowners receive a $20,000 forgivable loan toward the purchase of their primary residence.
- New renters receive a $2,500 allowance of funding toward the cost of their apartment in the first year, followed by additional funding of $1,000 for the second year.
- Existing renters receive a $1,000 allowance of funding for renewing a lease in 2011.
- Existing homeowners receive matching funds of up to $5,000 for exterior improvements for projects of $10,000 or more.
“The Downtown Detroit Partnership is committed to supporting programs and initiatives that create a sustainable future for Downtown Detroit,” said Blaszkiewicz. “The Live Downtown incentive will contribute more than $4 million over a five-year period to this effort.”
Quicken Loans CEO Bill Emerson echoed that optimism stating, “My hope (for the Live Downtown incentive program) is that the momentum will be very very high and people will want to take advantage of this and we will have to go back and put more money into this.”
As a team member who currently commutes from Livonia to downtown Detroit every day, I believe the Live Downtown incentive is the perfect chance to become a part of the downtown community and “Detroit 2.0” movement. With many vacancies available for rent downtown and several mortgage options from our in-house mortgage professionals, you too can live downtown to witness “Detroit 2.0.”