Believe It or Not! Buying A Commercial Building in Detroit

Believe It or Not! Buying A Commercial Building in Detroit

Last month there was a blog asking which areas were growing across the US. With all sincerity I responded that Detroit was a growth market. The person who posted the question asked me how many construction sites I saw in this area. I could tell he thought I was pulling his leg. This is why I want to share this true but odd story.

I have a client who really wants to buy a building in Detroit. She was looking on LoopNet and came across a building that was 20,000 s.f.  She called me and asked me to some research. It took me 5 phone calls to get the entire story out of the broker. I will let you decide if you think Detroit is a growth market.

First call: “Is the building still for sale.”Yes, but we have 7 offers over asking price. Your client can make a bid over asking price.

Second call: My client says sure they can submit an offer over asking price. Can we see the building? Well first you have to know you have to submit an offer in the next 5 days.

Third call: We can meet the deadline and would like to see the building.  The broker’s response was they are only accepting cash offers.

Fourth call:  My client can pay cash and is ready to make an offer. The brokers response is the offer must be made in 3 days and close within 7 days afterwards.

Fifth call:  Ok my client can pay cash, make an offer today and close in 7 days of acceptance of the offer. CAN WE SEE THE BUILDING NOW!The broker’s responds that the first floor has a restaurant in it so all your client has to do is visit the restaurant. My client is buying the building for the offices on the 2nd floor. Can we see these? Turns out this is a banked owned property, the tenants are actually the current owners of the building and are in default. When you buy the building you get the tenants and have to get them out of the building. By the way the only way to get into the building is through the ally. There is no elevator and no way to add an elevator until the first floor tenant moves out or the lease is renegotiated.

I’m still looking for the right building for my client. One small requirement is that you must be able to enter from the street. You decide…..does this appear to be a city with growth issues?

About the Author

Lynn Drake’s status is well known in the industry: She’s the commercial realtor focused on maintaining “true north” for her corporate clients. It’s a reputation built on 35 years of commercial real estate experience. Lynn became a commercial realtor in 2001 after 15 years in corporate real estate. Thus far in her career, Lynn has successfully completed over 1,500 real estate transactions ranging from small business tenant leases to the sale and purchase of industrial complexes.