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Ann Arbor Spark

January 9, 2020

2020 Symposium Highlights Economy and Ann Arbor Commercial Real Estate Trends

Don Grimes, the regional economic specialist for the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics, presents at the Ann Arbor Commerical Real Estate Symposium.
Don Grimes, the regional economic specialist for the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics, presents at the Ann Arbor Commerical Real Estate Symposium.

For 27 years, Swisher Commercial has released its commercial real estate year-end vacancy report. 2020 marked a new milestone for Swisher who partnered with Ann Arbor SPARK to present the first Commercial Real Estate Trends Symposium. The event paired the report’s release with a presentation on the area’s economic forecast from Don Grimes, regional economic specialist for the University of Michigan’s Research Seminar in Quantitative Economics.

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“The Swisher report validates what we hear from tech companies of all sizes: Office space, especially downtown where these businesses and the talent they want to attract and retain, is at a premium,” said Paul Krutko, Ann Arbor SPARK president and CEO. “Increasing the options available in our high-tech corridor is critical to our continued economic expansion and the region’s reputation as a place that offers the support and infrastructure for businesses to grow. Ann Arbor SPARK is committed to continuing to be a bridge between the companies we serve and commercial realtors, property developers, and property managers to ensure Ann Arbor remains competitive and attractive to growing tech businesses, locally, nationally, and globally.”

The event was held at the University of Michigan Golf Course Club House and welcomed 200 area professionals spanning the fields of real estate, banking, and real estate development.

Alex West, Ann Arbor SPARK director of research helped organize the event. “A large part of my role is tracking trends, including commercial real estate vacancy,” said Alex. “We use data to help shape the story of our region’s growth and opportunities to companies growing in the area or considering locating here. I’m looking forward to analyzing the data and providing my key insights.”

The Swisher report includes breakdowns of vacancy rates by sub-market and charts vacancy trends over the last 25 years. The goal of the report is to help industry professionals better understand the current market and assist in planning real estate decisions.

Don Grimes’ presentation left the audience with one key question: In 2020, will the continuation of strong economic growth inspire developers to invest in speculative projects?