Friedman Boosts Occupancy at Laurel to 73%

Posted on March 11, 2014

DETROIT—Downtown Detroit has gotten a lot of attention recently as many corporations, most notably Quicken Loans, have migrated into its once-underused or vacant buildings, and brought down vacancy rates. But some office complexes in the long-suffering suburbs have also started to recover.

For example, officials with Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions, a Farmington Hills, MI-based firm, say they have just gotten the occupancy rates at the 339,300-square-foot Laurel Office Park I and III in suburban Livonia up to 73%, and expect to hit 85% by the end of the year.

“What is most encouraging for Detroit is that healthy activity now extends beyond the CBD,” says Dan Canvasser, senior managing director of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. “The suburban market experienced significant vacancy increases as a result of the recession as well as the migration of some companies to the CBD. However, those trends are reversing, particularly in Troy, Southfield and Livonia.”

At the time Friedman assumed leasing and management of the Livonia office parks in 2010, combined occupancy for both properties was only 41%. Built in 1985, the buildings were outdated and in need of attention. Renovations at both properties included new lobbies with four-story atriums, common areas and landscaping improvements, as well as refurbishments to the buildings’ facade. The company also adopted what it terms aggressive lease rates.

“We are now able to offer tenants seeking a modern office environment in the Livonia submarket an incredible value in an outstanding location,” says David Friedman, president and CEO.

During 2013, the Livonia office submarket witnessed its first huge spike in overall occupancy rates since 2011 and is up to 81.6%, Friedman adds, the highest rate the submarket has reached in three years.

Recently added tenants include: Market Place Homes, Magdich & Associates and Pet Supplies Plus, a pet specialty retailer with 257 stores in 23 states, which relocated their national headquarters to Laurel Office Park III in 2012.