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DETROIT-According to a recent report released by CB Richard Ellis, first quarter posted a vacancy of 22.5%, up from 21.6% in the fourth quarter, though about 86,000 sf was absorbed. The going asking rate for the market for the quarter averaged $20.16.

Though the market continues to have a high vacancy rate, CBRE did note several positive developments in the first quarter of the year. After three consecutive quarters with large new vacancies, the Troy submarket leveled out and absorbed 124,239 sf in the first quarter, to finish the quarter with a 23.3% vacancy rate. The Farmington Hills/ West Bloomfield submarket also had positive absorption for the fifth quarter in a row with a net of 13,391 sf taken off the market, given the submarket had a 15.7% vacancy rate.

The Ann Arbor submarket’s positive trend also continued though five quarters, as 36,840 sf of space was filled. Ann Arbor has a 14.9% vacancy rate. The Downtown Detroit market has been helped by revitalization efforts in preparation for several large sporting events on the horizon, most notably the 2006 Super Bowl. Alongside continued favorable lease rates, the new life Downtown has not only helped to attract new businesses, but also to retain existing tenants, CBRE says.

The Detroit market absorbed over 54,000 sf of class A space for a net of 33,644 sf overall. The Detroit CBD has a 24.3% vacancy rate. Overall, lease rates reached their lowest level in nearly five years this quarter, dropping 13 cents to $20.16. Many class A buildings have reduced rates to attract tenants in a relatively tight, competitive market, CBRE says.

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