Bedrock Detroit lays off dozens of employees


Bedrock Detroit owner Dan Gilbert. - JORDAN BUZZY
  • Jordan Buzzy
  • Bedrock Detroit owner Dan Gilbert.

About 60 employees of billionaire Dan Gilbert's real estate firm Bedrock Detroit were laid off Monday, or about 15% of its workforce.

According to an anonymous tipster, the employees received a text Monday morning informing them to look for a Zoom meeting request from CEO Kofi Bonner "to discuss the strategic vision of Bedrock." The tipster says the Zoom meeting played a pre-recorded message telling the employees that their positions were being eliminated, and the employees were locked out of their company accounts and devices after the meeting.

A company spokesperson confirmed the layoffs in an email to Metro Times.

"Today, Bedrock announced a restructuring that will position the company for continued growth and improved service in 2021 and well beyond," the spokesperson says. "As a result, approximately 60 positions have been affected by these changes. We are working diligently to place virtually all impacted team members into new roles within the Rock Family of Companies. To date, several team members have already accepted new positions with sister companies and we anticipate the majority finding new roles in the coming weeks. Those who do not receive a new position will be provided a severance package and comprehensive outplacement services."

The news comes days after Gilbert said he plans to invest $500 million in Detroit's neighborhoods over the next 10 years. Gilbert has purchased more than 90 properties in the city since 2010, most of them downtown.

"I'd like to see the people of Detroit benefit," Gilbert, who has been laying low after experiencing a stroke in 2019, said during an interview with CBS This Morning. "You look at every level in downtown right now and we have to carry that through to the neighborhoods and have the whole city have that energy."

The program is set to begin by paying off $15 million in overdue property taxes for about 20,000 homes.

Gilbert saw his wealth grow an eye-popping 656.4% during the first seven months of the pandemic, from $6.5 billion to $42.7 billion. Earlier this month, Gilbert's worth soared by $25 billion, fueled by speculative trading on the stock market. According to Bloomberg, it was one of the largest single-day increases in wealth recorded in its Bloomberg Billionaires Index nine-year history, making Gilbert the planet's 16th richest person.

In recent years, Bedrock received $618 million in tax incentives for four real estate projects, including the upcoming Hudson's site skyscraper.

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