Record-Breaking Day at REjournals’ 8th Annual Detroit Commercial Real Estate Summit – REJournals


It was a record event. More than 200 of the top commercial real estate professionals working in the Detroit market attended REjournals’ 8th Annual Commercial Real Estate Summit held Nov. 2 at the Westin Southfield Detroit. This is the highest attendance ever recorded at this annual event.

Why such a large crowd? This event brought together the biggest names in Detroit’s CRE industry sharing their advice and forecasts for the market. This is a particularly important time for this advice: As in all Midwestern markets, commercial real estate professionals in Detroit are now dealing with the impact of rising interest rates and persistent inflation.

These two economic factors sowed uncertainty in a market that was still struggling with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Experts at the REjournals event, however, said Detroit’s CRE market is still strong, especially in the multi-family and industrial sectors. Yes, interest rates will slow down trading activity. But market fundamentals remain strong.

And the resurgence we saw in downtown Detroit before the pandemic hit? It was real. Speakers said investors will continue to invest their money in downtown assets. Panelists also said suburban areas of Detroit continue to see strong business activity, in the form of new leases and developments and attracting dollars from 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 professionals, especially after these calmer days of the pandemic.

Panelists from the Detroit market sector spoke on everything from surging deals in the industrial sector to the still-bleak outlook for the office sector. Panelists Andy Gutman, Moderator, Farbman Group/NAI Farbman; Kevin Kovachevich, district capital; Joe Hamway, Signature Partners; Fred Liesveld, Newmark; Steve Chaben, Marcus & Millichap; and Cindy Ciura, CC Consulting.

The multifamily market in the Detroit market remains strong. 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 altering the commercial real estate stock in 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.


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