Fast Company says best start-up spaces are in Detroit; features DPop

Posted on April 3, 2014

DETROIT, MI – Detroit’s start-up community may find this headline in Fast Company flattering: “Some of the most amazing startup spaces in America are in Detroit.”

Though the title alludes to several spaces, the focus here is on DPop, which is actually an interior design studio that spun off from Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans.

The New York-based business, technology and design magazine tips its hat to Melissa Price, who was designing Quicken Loans’ offices until the spin-off.

From Fast Company:

“Together with Andrew Lemanek, another DPop designer, (Melissa) Price has made her mark across downtown Detroit, with highly stylized office spaces that are part startup-chic, part classic Motown.”

Also featured is DPop’s home base. DPop and its some 60 employees are in a 130-year-old vault beneath the Chrysler House in downtown Detroit.

Gilbert’s real estate firm counts the Chrysler House – formerly the Dime Building – among the more than 40 buildings it owns in the city’s core, having acquired it for $15 million in 2011.

Lemanek, one of DPop’s team leaders, told MLive before the Detroit Design Festival last fall that the basement of the 23-floor Chrysler House had been more or less neglected since the early 1980s.

“Then it became a repository for crap that building management wasn’t sure what to do with,” he said. Quicken Loans had begun building out the space, but it wasn’t until a few months ago that it decided to house DPop there, Lemanek said.

“We sifted through a lot of garbage, found a lot of really cool things that we put into the design,” he said.