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DETROIT-The San Diego-based Capstone Advisors has increased occupancy by almost 80 tenants during the last year at their two buildings they own in Detroit. The Penobscot and First National Buildings, a portfolio which equals more than 2 million sf, were purchased by Capstone in 1998.

To date, the company has spent more than $20 million in renovations to the buildings, says John Keba, senior vice president of asset management for the company.

“The increased leases can be attributed to the money we’ve spent on the two buildings,” Keba tells GlobeSt.com.

One of the largest draws in the money spent has been a new Smart Detroit system at the buildings. The company has installed T-1 lines and teleconferencing centers at the buildings as perks for the tenants.

The companies are now leasing about 250,000 sf more space than they were in April of 2000, Keba says, and the numbers keep growing.

While the buildings were about 71% occupied in April 2000, they’re now more than 80% occupied, he says.

“It’s pretty amazing. We’re really excited about the Detroit market,” he adds. “We’re also proud that of the companies we brought in, only five were from Detroit’s Central Business District. We’re not just trading from building to building, we’re bringing companies in from out of the city and outside the state.”

The type of company that’s leasing also is attractive to Keba.

“We’re not tied to the automotive industry, as many are in the suburbs of Detroit. We’ve brought in attorney firms, government entities and marketing firms. If the local market fluctuates, we’re not really affected,” he says.

Keba says the company will continue to spend money to improve the Detroitholdings. The company is the largest private owner of commercial real estatein the city, he adds.

“We want to keep our position as leader in the market by delivering high-endtenant improvements,” he says.

Another new perk at the Penobscot building, Keba says, is the use of a valet service with a computerized notification system. Clients or customers get a smart card with their valet service, and when they’re ready to leave, slide it through a nearby terminal or at the receptionist desk to have their car waiting for them at the street when they exit. The perk is almost a necessity in Detroit, where parking is scarce.

The two buildings are considered Class B office use.

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