It was a record-breaking event. More than 200 of the top commercial real estate professionals working the Detroit market attended REjournals’ 8th annual Detroit Commercial Real Estate Summit held Nov. 2 at the Westin Southfield Detroit. It was the highest attendance ever recorded at this annual event.
Why such a big crowd? This event featured the biggest names in Detroit’s CRE industry sharing their advice and predictions for the market. This is a particularly important time for this advice: Like in all Midwest markets, Detroit’s commercial real estate professionals are now dealing with the impact of rising interest rates and persistent inflation.
These two economic factors have thrown uncertainty into a market that was still dealing with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The experts at REjournals’ event, though, said that Detroit’s CRE market is still strong, especially in the multifamily and industrial sectors. Yes, interest rates will slow deal activity. But the fundamentals of the market remain strong.
And the resurgence we saw in downtown Detroit before the pandemic hit? That was real. Speakers said that investors will continue to sink their dollars into downtown assets. Panelists also said that the suburban areas of Detroit continue to see strong commercial activity, in the form of new leases and developments and by attracting the dollars of investors.
Of course, no real estate summit is complete without networking, and the Detroit summit offered attendees plenty of opportunities to reconnect. This networking is essential for commercial real estate pros, especially after those quieter days of the pandemic.
Members of the Detroit Market Sector panel spoke about everything from the soaring deal activity in the industrial sector to the still-murky outlook for the office sector. Participating in this panel were Andy Gutman, moderator, Farbman Group/NAI Farbman; Kevin Kovachevich, District Capital; Joe Hamway, Signature Associates; Fred Liesveld, Newmark; Steve Chaben, Marcus & Millichap; and Cindy Ciura, CC Consulting.
The multifamily market in the Detroit market remains strong. Sharing the good news on the Apartment Market Update panel were Kristen Diamond, Hayman Company; Clark Lewis, The Platform; Kevin Dillon, Berkadia; Jack Johns, moderator, CBRE; Clifford Brown, Woodborn Partners; and Jeffrey Kaftan, Kaftan Communities.
The Downtown & Suburban Development panel highlighted the latest developments changing the commercial real estate stock in both downtown Detroit and its suburbs. Speaking on this panel were Mo Abubars, moderator, Insite Commercial; Todd Sachse, Sachse Construction; Quinn Kiriluk, KIRCO; Jared Friedman, Friedman Real Estate; and Mark Bennett, MJ Bennett.