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DETROIT-Strategic Staffing Solutions has leased 16,327 sf of the Penobscot Building at 645 Griswold in Downtown Detroit in a deal arranged by Friedman Real Estate Group Inc.

It’s a bit of welcome news for an anemic market. Office vacancies in Detroit’s Central Business District are running about 28%, according to a recent market report by Grubb & Ellis.

The vanancy rate for Class A space in the CBD declined, by 50 basis points to 28.4%, in the third quarter of 2003, the first decline in vacancy in the CBD in four quarters. Asking rates in the CBD are averaging $26.80 for Class A space, down 34 cents from the second quarter, according to the report.

The Detroit Public School system’s decision last quarter to lease 74,000 sf in the New Center Building for administrative use and Behavior Health’s 20,000 sf lease in Brewery Park helped lead to the vacancy rate decline.

The Penobscot Building, built in 1928, has just over 1 million total sf and is about 66% occupied, according to Friedman. Lease asking rates at the landmark building are generally about $15. Friedman’s Steve Eisenshtadt, VP, represented the landlord, Lennar, in this lease transaction.

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