Uralli is a household name in Detroit real estate, having first come to town as an investor in Florida in 2008, drawn by the lower prices of solid historic buildings.
Today, he owns the Detroit Club, a private social club located at 712 Cass Ave. which he has owned since 2013 after buying it for $ 1 million. It reopened several years later after undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation after a flood destroyed much of the 1892 Neo-Romanesque building. But before that, it entered the ground floor of the rise of Detroit real estate.
Uralli had only paid $ 922,000 for the David Stott building at 1150 Griswold St. after a lender foreclosed on his mortgage in 2010, and $ 1.65 million for the old Detroit Free Press building, located at 321 W. Lafayette Blvd., in December 2008, according to land registers.
“These are buildings that were built in the 1920s, and I am buying them for less than it cost to build them at that time in history,” he told Crain’s in late 2011. .
“There is no better value anywhere in the world. And that is why I am here.”
In October 2013, he sold the David Stott building for $ 9.4 million and the old Detroit Free Press building for $ 4.2 million to a Shanghai-based investment firm called DDI Group in October 2013 for a total of $ 13.6 million, about $ 11 million more than what he paid for the buildings. DDI, which was effectively kicked out of the city due to poor management and maintenance of its buildings, was not too bad at pulling out.
Dan Gilbert paid $ 14.9 million for the David Stott and, later, $ 8.425 million for the Detroit Free Press building, almost $ 10 million more than what DDI paid for them. Both properties have since been converted to mixed-use apartment buildings at market rates called The Stott and The Press / 321, respectively.