Commercial Real Estate News Brief: November 2014

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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.  

Calling All Brick & Mortar Retailers: Tips to Stay Competitive (VIDEO)

E-commerce has forever changed the face of retail. So much so, in fact, that many brick and mortar retailers are asking, ‘What is the modern role of physical retail space?’ 

With more and more choices available to consumers online, retailers will need to bet on a brand experience (online and in-person) that differentiates against the competition. JLL research suggests retailers also maximize in-store value through innovative architecture, strong brand identity, positive economic responsibility and flexibility when it comes to technology and change.

How can your brick and mortar store outpace the competition? Check out JLL’s video for more information on the redefined landscape of retail.

Cleveland Becomes a “Gig City” 

Forty gigabits is the fastest Internet in Cleveland right now. 

The City of Cleveland and OneCommunity, a non-profit broadband provider, have plans to bring Internet that will supersede the city’s current connectivity by 150 percent. Running through the Health Tech Corridor in Midtown, the future glass fiber Internet pipe will offer 100-gigabit-per-second connectivity.

In the words of Freshwater Cleveland, such high bandwidth will “put Cleveland on the tech map,” attracting world-class companies and young talent into the city. Big data is critical to tele-tech, medical, and IT industries, among others, and Cleveland is becoming an ideal location to run and manage these businesses.

Meanwhile, Playhouse Square, Case Western Reserve University, the Cleveland Clinic, and many other local businesses will benefit from the gigabit too.

Cities in Michigan and Ohio Make List of Top Cities for Construction Job Growth  

Construction proved to be “one of the fastest-growing industries” in 2014, according to

Locally, Cleveland, Ohio, Ann Arbor, Mich., and Monroe, Mich. made the list of top 10 cities with highest percentage of new construction jobs this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. From August 2013 to August of this year, the greater Cleveland area and Ann Arbor both experienced a nearly 20 percent increase in construction jobs. During that same period, Monroe saw an increase of nearly 30 percent.

Visit JLL’s Cleveland website for the latest Cleveland office statistics, or visit JLL’s Michigan website for the latest research on metro-Detroit.

News Wrap-Up in Our Region  


  • Tech firm London Computer Systems plans to build a $15 million headquarters in Deerfield Township. The company outgrew its current facility, and expects to double its employee count by 2020.
  • Forest Pharmaceuticals sold a brand new facility in Blue Ash to Osborne Real Estate Holdings 2014 LLC. for $14.4 million.


  • Engineering firm Prime AE Group Inc. plans to expand to Pulsar Place in the Polaris area, as it seeks to merge its Central Ohio offices and create 22 new tech jobs, among others.
  • Plymouth Industrial REIT purchased three distribution centers for $33.5 million in Franklin County. All three centers are fully leased.


  • CUA Holdings LLC, a Middleburg Heights-based investor group, bought a Garfield Heights office building for $5 million.
  • HGR Industrial Surplus gave its 966,00-square-foot building on Euclid a major upgrade. The building has been the company’s headquarters for the last 16 years.



  • The Lower Hill District will host the new S. Steel Corp. headquarters, to be built on 28-acres on the former Civic Arena site. Development is expected to begin in the fall of 2015.
  • FedEx Ground has plans for a new distribution center in Butler County. This project is just one piece of a larger expansion plan that includes 11 new “high-tech hubs.”

What were your top CRE reads last month? Add articles or your thoughts to the comments below.