Gilbert, Ilitch share stage in rare joint public conversation at ULI

Two billionaires with two competing Detroit real estate empires joined each other on a Cobo Center stage Wednesday and fielded questions from a third billionaire.

Dan Gilbert and Chris Ilitch, whose efforts to remake downtown Detroit in the last several years with billions of dollars in new construction have garnered national and international attention, rarely share the stage together but did so for about 15 minutes at the Urban Land Institute’s annual spring meeting, which has drawn 4,000 real estate professionals from around the world to downtown this week. The two men also delivered speeches individually to the crowd of hundreds before sitting down with Robert Taubman, president, CEO and board chairman of Bloomfield Hills-based shopping mall giant Taubman Centers Inc., to answer a few questions.

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