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DETROIT-Grubb and Ellis has compiled its first-ever industrial market statistics on vacancy and occupancy for Livingston County. The county is located next to Oakland County, home of Kmart, Delphi and DaimlerChrysler North America, and northwest of Wayne County, which includes Detroit, the Metro Airport and is home of many companies, including General Motors Corp.

However, Livingston County has been known as more of a country area until recently.

Its biggest claim to fame was that the city of Howell housed one of the state’s largest Ku Klux Klan groups many years ago.

Now the population of Southeast Michigan, which includes Detroit and its suburbs, is expanding north and west. Livingston is right in the middle of this growth, says Greg Hundersmarck of Grubb and Ellis.

“Livingston is a rapid growth area. I live there, and Jon Savoy, a vice president with our company lives there; and we both see the area is just evolving into a great place for industrial to be located,” Hundersmarck tells GlobeSt.com.

There’s a lot of new homes in the county. It is known for having the most home permits in the last five years, according to the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.

According to Grubb and Ellis, the county has more than 8.7 million sf of industrial space, with an 8.24% vacancy rate and an average rental rate of $5.60 per sf.

Hartland has the lowest vacancy rate, at zero, while Hamburg has 20% of industrial space vacant. Howell has the most industrial out of all the communities, with more than 1.3 million sf, and an 8.3% vacancy rate.

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