Optimistic As We Look Forward

The story of the retail market in Detroit closely aligns with the exciting story of Detroit’s overall upward trajectory. Since emerging from bankruptcy in 2013, the City has transformed into an exciting, bustling community and the general sentiment is that it’s an exciting time to be in Detroit! Growing industries are strengthening the retail sector in our region and retail is in high demand. Detroit continues to draw top tenants like Nike, Under Armor, Shake Shack, John Varvatos and Lululemon in the retail sector, and Google, Microsoft and LinkedIn in the office sector. Recently, Swedish retailer H&M, announced they are joining the ranks of these national companies and are pursuing a store in Downtown Detroit. The biggest announcement this quarter is Ford Motor Co. purchasing the iconic Michigan Central Station in Detroit. The train station has been sitting vacant in the Corktown neighborhood for three decades and embodied the dated reputation of Detroit’s decline. Ford plans to develop the former train station into a 1.2 million-square-foot mixed-use campus. Though Ford will move 2,500 employees to the site, the space won’t be exclusive to Ford. Their vision is to develop cool space which is integrated into the community, open for people, entrepreneurs, and tech people. 

The map for new construction is expanding beyond the Woodward Corridor as evident by Ford’s investment in Corktown, The Platform’s investment at the Baltimore Station in Milwaukee Junction neighborhood, The Corner, a mixed-use development in Corktown at the former Tiger Stadium, and Olympia Development’s new construction and redevelopment plans in The District. These new developments will continue to drive demand for retailers, goods and services in the City and we’re optimistic about the opportunities this brings to the community. 
The city of Detroit is getting a lot of attention these days, but mixed-use development activity in the suburbs is healthy and robust. As our lives become more fused it’s important that our real estate reflects the way we want to live. Mixed-use developments do just that by marrying living, shopping and gathering spaces while creating deeper sense of community.

These developments also deliver the much-needed retail, residential and office space in Metro Detroit while allowing retailers to be where their customer is located. In Oakland County’s Commerce Township, Officials have approved Five & Main, a $100 million mixed-use downtown destination development. This is the first major retail development in Southeast Michigan in more than a decade. Five & Main will offer locals a mix of restaurants, gourmet food market, movie theater, services such as salons, clothing stores and green spaces. Another development coming to Oakland County is ‘Asian Village’. The Novi area has the largest Japanese population in the state and second largest in the Midwest. The project, located near Twelve Oaks Mall, will provide Asian residents a place to gather, while also creating a cultural destination in the region. In Washtenaw County’s Ann Arbor, there are several new construction projects in and around town. This quarter, Morningside Lower Town LLC announced plans for a $213 Million mixed-use development near downtown Ann Arbor. The property will be a mix of residential rental units, condominium complex with units for sale, retail space and two parking decks.