Success Story: Girl Scouts of SE Michigan

Success Story: Girl Scouts of SE Michigan


See the Amazing Results Compass Managed for a Non-Profit!

The Challenge:

The Girl Scouts had a long-term lease at the Fisher building in Detroit, Michigan. Their rent was significantly over market and they had more square footage then they needed. They also faced many issues as a building tenant, including:  Bankruptcy of the building, Continual maintenance issues which caused property damages to the space and furniture, and Osprey (a protected bird) building nests next to the windows so the tenants couldn’t use the adjacent space.

Compass was tasked with identifying potential Detroit market buildings to lease that didn’t charge for parking.

The Results:

More than 20 potential buildings were identified. The team toured seven and petitioned three requests for proposals, including one from the current landlord, the Fisher Building, which had been purchased out of bankruptcy.  The new landlord was working to catch up on the maintenance, but while doing site plans it was determined there were so many columns in the proposed space that it couldn’t be efficiently laid out.

Negotiations on the remaining locations were completed simultaneously. In the end, the building at 1333 Brewery Park was chosen. The following points were negotiated on behalf of the Girl Scouts:

  • Total Savings Per Year in new location:  $305,150/year. Over a 10-year period this reduction will total more than $3M.
  • An annual rental reduction of over 20%.
  • An annual reduction in expenses of $0.90/s.f. for water. This charge is not usually a pass-through expense in most office buildings.
  • An annual expense for Operating Expenses reduced by $0.30/s.f.
  • A 41% reduction of square footage, by changing to an open work environment with fewer existing columns in the space.
  • The new landlord contributed $25.00/s.f. towards the build-out.
  • Tenant signed a 10-year lease with the ability to cancel in the seventh year.
  • Fenced-in, safe campus area with round-the-clock security.
  • Free parking for all employees and visitors.
  • Four free parking spaces directly in front of the tenant’s new space.
  • Four free covered spaces for senior staff.
  • The facility has a loading dock, useful for loading and unloading cookies!
  • The new landlord is well respected for integrity and maintaining the complex in pristine condition.


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.