by CYNTHIA KMETT
Our community is recognized for its excellent quality of life, including being the Safest City in Michigan, offering an A+ rated school system, having one of the lowest tax rates in Southeast Michigan, and providing outstanding city services. In 2015, Troy was named the 4th best small city in the U.S. to start a business by Nerd Wallet.
There was good news about the state of Troy’s commercial and industrial communities from Troy’s Economic Development Specialist Glenn Lapin in his recent report on development in Troy.
Lapin pointed out that office vacancies are declining, rents are inching up a little bit over the past five years and industrial vacancies are now very low, with rates per square foot staying stable.
Excluding the empty former Kmart headquarters, five years ago our office community’s vacancy rate was over 25 percent. Today that rate has dropped to 17.7 percent.
If you drove down Executive Drive between John R and Dequindre during the height of the recession you’d have noticed a “for lease” sign on dozens of empty buildings. Not today. The vacancy rate in the industrial sector is at 3 percent.
Some firms, unfortunately, have outgrown their space in Troy. Next year, United Shore will need more than their present 275,000-square-foot facility in Troy, Lapin points out. The everexpanding mortgage company plans to move with their 2,100 employees to a 600,000-square-foot facility on 60 acres in Pontiac.
The same is the case for Incoe. The Troy injection molding company needs more than the 54,000 square feet at its Maple Road facility. Next year they will move their 170 employees to a 135,00-square-foot new home in Auburn Hills.
Trevco, a licensed apparel manufacturer on Stephenson Hwy is probably gone by now, but Lapin says there are already offers for this industrial site.
Lapin noted there have been some significant property sales in Troy in recent months. In the Northfield Hills area, 901 Tower Drive was sold for $5 million to Core Partners and M3 Capital Partners. The building is 90 percent occupied, and Lapin observed that some outlet development is proposed.
Also new to the Northfield Hills area is Oakland Community Health Network on Corporate Drive. The building was previously vacant and sold for $10 million.
The Troy Officentre on E. Big Beaver and Livernois has also found new owners in the Hayman Co., which purchased the property for $55 million.
Other companies that found space in Troy in recent months include: Roush, who will bring 150 employees to a facility on Ring Road; Nifco which has taken space at 800 Tower Dr., as has the industrial glass manufacturer Guardian who also will find space at 800 Tower Dr. Across Crooks Road on New King. Kuester is also taking office space. All four firms are in the automotive field.
Mercantile Bank has opened a location in Troy, Lapin notes, pointing out this is its first location in Southeast Michigan and Mercantile is the state’s third largest bank.
Other additions to the Troy business community include BDO, an accounting and business services firm; the internet and data services firm of Clear Rate and software developer E7 Solutions.
And, yes, Amazon has leased warehouse space on Chicago Road and will do $1.35 million in renovations to the property.
Two firms which are staying in Troy and improving their present facilities are the French automotive supplier Valeo, which is on Stephenson Hwy, and DEP, and engineering and software firm on Long Lake.
And, Lapin observes, there will be a whole new look at the corner of Maple and Coolidge in the not-too-distant future with the building of the new Regency at Troy assisted living and nursing facility, and the makeover and expansion at the Somerset Plaza.