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SOUTHFIELD, MI-In perhaps the largest office lease deal in the Detroit area in 2003, health insurer Blue Care Network of Michigan says it will move employees out of office buildings in Southfield and Bingham Farms and consolidate them in one location in Southfield.

About 800 Blue workers will be located in the Allied Center Building in Southfield once the move is completed. Blue Care Network will begin moving into the 180,291-sf office building, where it will be the only tenant, in late 2004. The lease actually begins on Jan. 1, 2005, and will run for 10.5 years and is valued at $35 million. The building is owned by locally based Redico Management Inc and was listed as asking $21 per sf. Redico is to renovate the building, which was built in 1977, prior to the move.

Cushman & Wakefield of Michigan brokers Joseph R. Rosenberg and Edward Wilberding represented Redico in the transaction–a transaction they said almost didn’t happen.

“Blue Care Network would not consider Allied Center; they were looking at three other buildings,” Rosenberg says. “I told them I wanted to hear their objections and see if I could address them. I brought them back to the building and held a series of tours for the executives in order to demonstrate the efficiency of the space and the advantages it presents.”

“A major hurdle in the negotiations was the total square footage of the property, which was roughly 20,000 sf short of Blue Care Network’s needs. The creative was a build-out that adds three new floors to the complex through the redevelopment of former atrium space.”

Blue Care Network will be moving employees out of the Riverside Center in Southfield and the Bingham Office Park in Bingham Farms and consolidating its operations at the new location.

The Allied Center is located at 20500 Civic Center Dr. in Southfield. Equis Corp.’s Brian Piergentili represented Blue Care Network in the transaction.

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