Commercial Real Estate News Brief: March 2014

0 CommentsBy

Commercial real estate is a dynamic industry. Keep up with Spaces’ monthly recaps of the most valuable industry articles we’ve recently come across, focused on news in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania. 

City Skylines in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania Experience Lively Activity 

JLL Mar-NBLocal cities, including Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit and Pittsburgh, experienced dynamic commercial real estate activity during 2013, according to JLL’s annual Skyline Review. But what does it mean for local businesses and tenants? A few main takeaways include:

  • Cincinnati office space is among six markets nationally that have experienced a rent decrease since 2005.
  • Cleveland is improving workplace efficiencies, resulting in premium class A office space available in the CBD.
  • Columbus is experiencing new speculative construction because of the high demand for quality space.
  • Detroit’s office building vacancy rate dropped 7.7 percentage points from 2012.
  • Pittsburgh’s office market is experiencing single-digit vacancy rates.

In case you missed it, check out Spaces’ infographic, featuring the five most impactful themes from the local Skyline Reviews.

LEED Certification: Not Just for New Buildings

In a recent article in National Real Estate Investor, Sam Martin (@Sam_Martin_JLL), product manager at JLL, noted that obtaining LEED certification isn’t easy. However, according to Martin, “…the benefits are many.”

A common misconception about LEED certification is that the building must be newly constructed. Fortunately, this myth is incorrect. Martin outlined the phases to achieve LEED  certification—similar to the process Beaumont Health System is following in Detroit. Visit the full article to see what you need to do to get started. 

Columbus Industrial Market Continues to Improve

Following the economic recession, most major cities are still on the financial road to recovery. According to, Columbus is one area that “has been a bit slower to come around.”

Despite the apparent delay in revitalization, JLL Researchers found that the current industrial vacancy rate in the Columbus market is now at an all-time low of 7%. And, good news for Columbus, the upturn is expected to continue. predicts, “Columbus should continue to see an increase in the development of e-commerce, distribution and manufacturing projects.”

News Wrap-Up in Our Region


  • Eagle Realty Group, a subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group, is looking for investors for space at Queen City Square, but the company plans to maintain majority ownership.
  • UGN, an auto parts supplier is planning to build a $50 million auto plant in Monroe, Ohio. The project will begin in April 2014, and the facility will bring approximately 150 jobs to the region.


  • American Greetings Corp. will relocate its world headquarters to Crocker Park. “Creative Studios,” or the name of the construction project, also includes plans for new rental apartments, a hotel, retail space and restaurants.
  • The 2.2-million-square-foot space that is currently Randall Park Mall will soon be transformed into industrial space, housing manufacturers and distribution centers.


  • The City Hall campus in downtown Columbus will undergo an $80 million renovation. The building located at 109 N. Front St. will be knocked down in 2015 and replaced with a new building that is slated for completion in 2017.
  • To advance its ecommerce operations, the Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. signed a lease for a 743,000-square-foot fulfillment center in West Jefferson, Ohio. The new facility will bring nearly 140 jobs to the region.


  • Southfield Town Center is under contract for purchase by New York City-based real estate investment firm 601W Cos. for $177.5 million. The company plans to spend $30 million to renovate the 2.2 million-square-foot office complex.
  • DDI Group, the Chinese development firm that purchased three properties in Detroit in 2013, plans to invest $50 million to renovate the first space on its agenda.


  • The 60,000-square-foot building located at 1000 Town Centre Way at Southpointe II was purchased by the Kossman Co. for more than $11.1 million.
  • The U.S Steel Tower has seen a pattern of growth within the building, and has two open floors available for rent.

Newspaper image via NS Newsflash