A record-breaking day at REjournals’ 8th Annual Detroit Commercial Real Estate Summit – REJournals


It was a record event. More than 200 of the leading commercial real estate professionals serving the Detroit market attended REjournals’ 8th Annual Detroit Commercial Real Estate Summit held on November 2nd at the Westin Southfield Detroit. It was the highest attendance ever recorded at this annual event.

Why such a large crowd? At this event, the biggest names in Detroit’s commercial real estate industry shared their advice and forecasts for the market. This is a particularly important time for this consultation: As in all Midwest markets, Detroit’s commercial real estate professionals must now grapple with the impact of rising interest rates and persistent inflation.

These two economic factors have brought uncertainty to a market still grappling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, experts at the REjournals event said Detroit’s CRE market is still strong, particularly in the multi-family and industrial sectors. Yes, interest rates will slow transaction activity. But market fundamentals remain strong.

And the resurgence we saw in downtown Detroit before the pandemic hit? That was real. Speakers said investors will continue to pour their dollars into downtown assets. Panellists also said that the Detroit suburbs continue to see strong commercial activity in the form of new leases and developments and rising investor dollars.

Of course, no real estate summit is complete without networking, and the Detroit summit provided plenty of opportunities for attendees to reconnect. Especially after the calmer days of the pandemic, this networking is essential for commercial real estate professionals.

Detroit Market Sector Panel members spoke about everything from the booming transaction activity in the industrial sector to the still bleak outlook for the office sector. This panel was attended by Andy Gutman, moderator, Farbman Group/NAI Farbman; Kevin Kovachevich, District Head; Joe Hamway, Signature Associates; Fred Liesveld, Newmark; Steve Chaben, Marcus & Millichap; and Cindy Ciura, CC Consulting.

Detroit’s multi-family housing market remains strong. The good news was shared by Kristen Diamond, Hayman Company; Clark Lewis, The Platform; Kevin Dillon, Berkadia; Jack Johns, presenter, CBRE; Clifford Brown, Woodborn Partner; and Jeffrey Kaftan, Kaftan Communities.

The Downtown & Suburban Development panel highlighted the latest developments that have transformed the commercial real estate inventory in both downtown Detroit and the suburbs. Speaking on this panel were Mo Abubars, Moderator, Insite Commercial; Todd Saxon, Saxon Construction; Quinn Kiriluk, KIRCO; Jared Friedman, Friedman Real Estate; and Mark Bennett, MJ Bennett.


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