Can America’s Comeback City Get off the Mat Again? Yes — But Uncertainty Reigns

By Garrett Keais In my 25 years in commercial real estate, I’ve never seen the economy — and our industry — come to a standstill the way it did this spring after the coronavirus hit. With so much uncertainty in the market, Detroit’s office sales and leasing activity slowed considerably. But as the last decade has shown us, if ever there was a city that could take a punch and get back up swinging, it’s Detroit. Comeback before the virus[caption id="attachment_269488" …

Despite Costs, Developers Pursue Rehab Opportunities for Detroit’s Historic Buildings

By Steven Phillip Siegel Mies van der Rohe. Yamasaki. Kamper. Kahn. Portman. Gyllis. Some of the biggest architects in the world have a presence in Detroit. Motown’s exceptional confluence of architects and designers earned the city a UNESCO City of Design designation, the only city in the United States to receive the UN’s award for design excellence. However, beginning in the early 1970s, many of the city’s finest architectural works slowly sank under a weakening market amid tenant (and …

Manufacturing, Autonomous Technology Drive Detroit’s Industrial Growth

Southeast Michigan has enjoyed a decade of prosperity surrounding the revitalization of downtown Detroit led by billionaire businessman and Quicken Loans Founder Dan Gilbert. Detroit has 580 million square feet of industrial space and is projected to see another 5 million square feet by 2021, much of that distribution-focused. In the past decade, Southeast Michigan has become a hub for driverless car technology. Toyota has announced plans to create an autonomous vehicle research facility in …

Investors Note Steady Supply, High Demand Within Detroit’s Office Market

While there are plenty of news stories touting Detroit’s comeback, it’s the actual 2019 year-end numbers backing up the claims with solid momentum in the office and lending sectors. And the numbers are capturing the attention of national investors, not to mention lenders who were on the bench for years and years. Office occupancy Office vacancy across metropolitan Detroit decreased from 24.5 percent in 2013 to 13.8 percent as of the fourth quarter of 2019, according to national leasing …

Retailers on the Rise in Grand Rapids Market

It’s no secret that Grand Rapids is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. Grand Rapids and its surrounding suburbs led much of Michigan’s population growth last year and have been continuously recognized by national surveys. Two studies conducted by WalletHub in late 2018 and early 2019 ranked Grand Rapids in the top 10 percent of cities analyzed as having one of the fastest growing economies and also ranked it in the top 30 percent of markets studied as being one of the …

Why Invest in Grand Rapids: Lifestyle, Job Market and Affordability

While most national investors and developers focus on larger Sun Belt and coastal markets such as Austin, Atlanta, Nashville and Phoenix, Time Equities has had great success investing in Grand Rapids and continues to believe strongly in the future potential of the area. As an opportunistic company, we often go where others do not, looking for markets and assets with strong risk-adjusted returns. Grand Rapids provides such an opportunity. The small city has been ascendant for the past decade …

Occupancy, Rental Rates Are on the Rise in Detroit’s CBD Office Market

Given the pace at which the Detroit commercial office space market is evolving, updates and projections are changing with extraordinary speed. The market can look very different in just a few short months, and it’s worth checking in to see where things stand relative to the beginning of the year. CBD occupancy is high While growth remains the headline story, the focus has changed somewhat from a high level of leasing activity across the metro area to more of adaptation and evolution as …

For Detroit’s Office Market, Motown Is Growth Town

With 2018 in the rearview mirror, it’s clear that the Detroit commercial office space market looks dramatically different today than it did just a few years ago. By far the biggest story is the continuing (and perhaps even accelerating) level of leasing activity across the metro area. In the context of Detroit’s ongoing civic renaissance and sustained level of economic growth both regionally and nationally, the strength of the office market isn’t necessarily a shock, but it’s …

National Investors Begin to Take Interest in Detroit Market

In 2018, the Detroit real estate market had a banner year for transactions, new developments and big headlines. Chief among these was Ford Motor Co.’s acquisition of the vacant Michigan Central Station, a major media event that attracted attention from all over the world. Other notable news stories predominantly revolved around Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert and his Bedrock Real Estate Services. In 2018 alone, Bedrock delivered the 129-key Shinola Hotel, began construction on the …

Strong Manufacturing Industry Boosts Grand Rapids Industrial Market

Last month I attended the NAI Global convention in Austin, Texas, and had the opportunity to talk with industrial real estate brokers from around the country. One thing was clear: there are many markets across the country that are facing the same dilemma as we are in West Michigan. The supply of vacant industrial buildings is at an all-time low, and construction costs are rising rapidly.   Booming economyThe manufacturing industry is extremely strong in West Michigan. Historically …

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