Commercial Real Estate News Brief: April 2015

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In the latest edition of our monthly news brief, JLL’s regional team curates the top industry articles to keep you in-the-know. In this month’s edition, Detroit combines auto and tech industries for resurgence, and JLL leads by example in best practices for corporate office space and capital planning.

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Detroit: No Longer Just the Motor City

JLL CRE News Brief

Detroit has always been known as the Motor City. But, as more and more young tech professionals flock to Detroit, the city’s identity evolves. Crain’s Detroit Business suggests that, in addition to automotive resurgence, the city is also becoming a national hub for technological innovation.
JLL research would agree, ranking Detroit among the top 34 high-tech markets in its latest High-Technology Office Outlook.

Luckily for Detroit, automotive technology is more sophisticated than ever before. In fact, companies like Google and Apple are developing autonomous cars. According to the article, “the auto industry has morphed into something very new, very different and very high tech.”

As Detroit’s tech industry grows, alongside an evolving auto industry, “Detroit is ready to drive itself to new levels of excellence and entrepreneurship on the brand-new road ahead,” according to Crain’s.

JLL Chicago Rethinks & Remodels Global HQ

JLL’s global headquarters, located in Chicago’s third tallest skyscraper, is undergoing a complete remodel. JLL will unveil its six-floor-space at the Aon Center late next year. The office currently features an open floor plan, implemented during JLL’s last renovation in 2000. In an effort to provide employees, clients and prospects with more options, the new office will offer a balanced mix of collaborative and private spaces.

According to the, “the move comes at a time when Corporate America has begun to rethink or at least refine the open office concept and may be looking for guidance from their providers.”

The new headquarters will set the standard for modern office space, showcasing best practices for sustainability, productivity and efficiency.

Taming the Capital Planning Monster

Even the world’s best companies “miss capital plan targets for office real estate by $12.2 billion every year,” according to a new ebook from JLL. With more than $12 billion dollars, you could host a World Cup, or give $1.67 (U.S.) to every individual worldwide.

Unfortunately, many executives struggle to accurately forecast and follow through on capital planning goals. Oftentimes, planners deal with inaccurate data, a lack of transparency across business units or flaws in actual execution. See JLL’s infographic for more on “taming a capital monster,” or visit the full ebook for tips to tailor your own strategy.

Capital Monster infographic032715

News Wrap-Up in Our Region  


  • Cincinnati-based staffing firm Staffmark will move its corporate headquarters to the Omnicenter after more than two decades on Elm Street.
  • Kroger, a Cincinnati-based grocer, bought a $9.3 million, 380,000-square-foot distribution center last month. Details on the company’s plans for the facility are not available at this time.



  • Hertz Investment Group of California purchased Cleveland’s Fifth Third Center, the sixth tallest building in the city. The building’s estimated value is $50.7 million and it is currently 76 percent leased.
  • Lubrizol Corp. reached an Enterprise Zone agreement with Lake County commissioners and Painesville Township for a $28 million expansion project, including a 10-year, 50 percent tax abatement.


  • Display Group, a Detroit-based event specialist company, plans to renovate the former Packard auto factory complex. The 40-acre site will cost $750,000 to update.
  • An automotive navigation software company, Hungarian-based NNG, opened its office in Birmingham. The company seeks to expand its presence in the North American market.


  • American Eagle’s distribution center in Warrendale will officially shut down operations in July, when the building is up for sale. The 23-acre property offers a mix of distribution and office space.
  • Carnegie Mellon University has plans to build a 425,000-square-foot office, hotel and retail project on Forbes Avenue. JLL is assisting in securing a developer for the complex.

Keep up with trends and relevant commercial real estate news throughout the Midwest on Twitter at @JLL_Spaces!


Newspaper image via NS Newsflash.