Is Detroit the canary in the coal mine, warning of an impending influx of Chinese land lords? Is it a bad thing? Are these people really even “communists?”
The Chinese development firm that snagged three downtown Detroit properties at auction last year said it is moving forward with plans to renovate the 1920s-era buildings as it eyes future purchases in the city.
“We don’t hold buildings. We bought them, and we’re going to develop them,” said Ken Creighton, a local representative for the DDI Group, also known as the Shanghai-based Dongdu International Group, which is making its first foray in the U.S.
DDI paid $16.4 million for the three buildings it won in online auctions last fall:
■ The David Stott building, 1150 Griswold, sold for $9.4 million.
■ The old Detroit Free Press building, 321 W. Lafayette, went for $4.2 million.
■ Clark Lofts, 35 W. Grand River, fetched nearly $2.8 million.
Creighton said his firm is actively looking at buying additional properties in the city, although he can’t yet offer specifics.
“We are still in acquisition mode,” he said. “We intend to invest even more money into Detroit.”