In mid-2014, Mr. Larson took over the role of CEO of The Downtown Detroit Partnership; an organization whose board he has been a member of since 1995. The Downtown Detroit Partnership (DDP) is a private/public partnership of corporate and civic leaders that supports, advocates and develops programs and initiatives that create a clean, safe, and inviting Downtown Detroit community. DDP is involved with a large number of enterprises within Downtown Detroit. The Downtown Detroit BIZ is a special assessment district formed by property owners that provides cleaning, safety and landscaping services. Examples include safety and security initiatives such as Project Lighthouse and Clean Downtown, which provides litter and graffiti removal and landscape maintenance. The Detroit 300 Conservancy is a subsidiary of the Downtown Detroit Partnership and raised more than $20 million to create, design and construct Campus Martius Park. Opening in 2004, the park was the recipient of the first ever 2010 Urban Land Institute’s Amanda Burden Open Space Award. It has more than 2 million annual visitors and stimulated an estimated $1 billion in new investments downtown. The Conservancy is also activating, improving and programming three other historic downtown parks and public spaces including Grand Circus Park, Capitol Park and Paradise Valley’s Beatrice Buck Park. Another of DDP’s initiatives is D:hive, which is a physical storefront, open six days a week, in Detroit’s Central Business District that connects people to resources that help them live, work and engage in the city.
Eric is also the founder, president, and chief executive officer of Larson Realty Group (established in 1999), a privately owned, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan based company engaged in real estate investment, development, asset management and leasing. Mr. Larson has over 30 years of experience in real estate and prior to establishing Larson Realty Group, served as vice president of a global real estate company, Hines, and as a partner and senior vice president with Bruce S. Brickman and Associates in New York. During Mr. Larson’s career he has developed, financed, owned and managed over $3 billion of real estate including; General Motor’s purchase and redevelopment of the Renaissance Center (5.5 million square feet) and Millender Center, the development of One Detroit Center (1 million square feet) and The A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education (1 million square feet) in downtown Detroit.
In addition to owning Larson Realty Group, Mr. Larson served as managing partner at Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC (Bedrock) between February 2013 and February 2014; he continues to provide consulting services on significant new developments. Bedrock is a Detroit-based full service real estate firm specializing in the purchasing, leasing, development and management of commercial space. The company conducts business across diverse geographies and industries, overseeing more than 10 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Detroit, Cleveland, Ohio; Scottsdale, Arizona; Charlotte, North Carolina; San Diego, California; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bedrock is affiliated with Dan Gilbert’s Family of Companies which includes, Quicken Loans, Rock Ventures, The Cleveland Cavaliers, Fathead, Title Source and ePrize.
Immediately prior to joining Bedrock, Mr. Larson served as Non-Executive President for Olympia Development of Michigan. Olympia Development of Michigan is a Detroit-based full-service real estate company owned by Detroit entrepreneurs Michael and Marian Ilitch. The company is responsible for developing and investing in some of Detroit’s most recognized and visited venues, including Hockeytown Cafe and the nationally acclaimed Comerica Park. As head of Olympia Development, Mr. Larson led the real estate development projects which included the planning, designing, financing and development activities for the new Red Wings Hockey Arena. He was also actively involved in the organization’s economic development activities throughout the region, while simultaneously leading the management, development, parking and security divisions.
Mr. Larson also founded, and is now serving on the board of the Community Investment Support Fund (CISF) which is a Michigan Non-Profit Corporation. The purpose for which CISF was organized is multi-faceted, but it engages exclusively in such charitable and educational activities as may qualify it for exemption from Federal income tax under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The primary purpose of CISF is to promote economic development and the creation of wealth and job opportunities in low-income communities. This is being accomplished by promoting and facilitating the investment of both private and public capital in the form of equity or loans and providing operational assistance with commercial real estate projects, retail and wholesale businesses, service providers and business incubators.
A resident of Bloomfield Village, Michigan, Mr. Larson serves as chairman of The Robert C. Larson Leadership Initiative and Urban Land Institute (ULI) Detroit Governance Committee. He is also the Chairman of the Board for The Parade Company. In the past he served as chairman of Detroit Downtown, Inc., The ULI Detroit District Council, Detroit Downtown Partnership and The Detroit Business Improvement District. He is currently a trustee, governor and/or member of Beaumont Hospital, Beaumont Hospital Oncology Campaign Committee, The Urban Land Institute, The Urban Land Institute’s Leadership Council, LOCUS, The Parade Company Board of Directors and Executive Committee, Grand Jester of The Distinguished Clown Corp, The Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, M-1 Rail, The Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Develop Michigan, Inc., Greater Detroit Chamber of Commerce, The Building Operators Management Association (BOMA), and The Real Estate Roundtable. Mr. Larson is a past trustee and/or member of the Detroit Institute of Arts Junior Council, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Pewabic Pottery Board of Directors, Detroit Historical Society Board of Directors, The Detroit Eastern Market Advisory Services Panel, Harvard School of Design Advisory Panel, mentor at The University of Michigan School of Architecture, Marian High School Dad’s Club, University of Michigan – ULI Real Estate Forum Committee, The United States Green Building Council and Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.