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SOUTHFIELD, MI-Net absorption rose in West Bloomfield and Bloomfield Hills in the second quarter of 2002, despite an overall weakness in office markets of Southeast Michigan, according to an Office Market Trends report for Grubb & Ellis Co. The metropolitan Detroit report indicates that office demand remained high in Bloomfield Hills as the vacancy rate dropped to 7.8% in the second quarter of 2002, compared to 9.2% in the second quarter of 2001.

Demand also remained high in West Bloomfield as the vacancy rate dropped to 4.5% in the second quarter of 2002, compared to 5.4% in the second quarter of 2001.

The overall vacancy rate for the entire Detroit Metropolitan area rose nearly a full percentage point to 16.3% in the second quarter of 2002 versus the second quarter of 2001.

Average class-A asking rates fell slightly to $26.36 per sf from $26.92 per sf in the first quarter of 2002. Class-B asking rates held steady at $24.67 per sf in the same time period. Corporate consolidations and closings are the main reasons for the increased vacancy rates, Grubb and Ellis officials say.

“As sublease space expires, it adds to the supply of vacant square footage currently available on the market,” says Mike Gerard, a managing director with the company. “Fortunately, not much new construction has been added to the market which has resulted in a stabilized environment for landlords and tenants.”

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