Jan 10, 2024 - News

As office vacancies hit new high, Detroit sees optimism

Data: Moody's Analytics; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Moody's Analytics; Chart: Axios Visuals

Detroit's office market continues to adjust to the new norms of office and hybrid work.

Driving the news: Office vacancies nationally hit a record high in the fourth quarter of last year.

  • The Detroit metro area's office vacancy rate rose to 22% in the third quarter of last year, according to a report from Newmark.

Yes, but: Despite the trend, downtown developers in Detroit are optimistic and making a major play to attract employers.

  • The District Detroit's new $1.5 billion project calls for three new office buildings. Project leaders insist new office space is lacking and is in high demand.

Plus: Last month, Friedman Real Estate in Farmington Hills bought two of the Renaissance Center's seven towers and plans to maintain them as office space, the Free Press reports.

  • "We are big believers in the Detroit office market," executive managing director Jared Friedman told the Freep.

Be smart: The confluence of major office projects doesn't mean Detroit is an outlier to the national vacancy trend.

  • The District's planned office space is not guaranteed to be fully built, office space at the Hudson's Site was designed pre-pandemic and the recent purchase of the Ren Cen towers could be more of a buy-low investment opportunity than a read on downtown's office market.

Go deeper: Office vacancies hit a new record high

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