BIRMINGHAM, MI-Google Inc. has reportedly signed a 17,000-sf office lease Downtown. The online portal is expected to occupy space at 325 N. Old Woodward office building, where the former Jacobson’s men’s store had been located at the northwest corner of North Old Woodward and Willits Street.

Tom Markus, the Birmingham city manager, tells that it appears very strong that the deal has been done. “They had been working on it for some time,” Markus says. “I know they’re planning on bringing in about 40 to 60 employees.” Google Inc. could not be reached for comment about the move from Town Center complex in Southfield. The 325 N. Old Woodward building is one of the newest Downtown, built by Burton-Katzman.

The company is moving into a four-story, mixed-use building, which features two stories of offices, one story of retail on the bottom level and one floor of residential condominiums on the fourth floor. “It will be good to have a strong, high-tech firm mingle in our community, it may spur some similar growth, as well as generate foot traffic,” Markus says.

It’s not that the Downtown needs much help. The city’s Downtown, along Maple Road and Old Woodward Avenue, is one of the most prestigious in Michigan. The CBD has a decent 10.7% office vacancy rate with asking rates of $29.10 per sf, according to a Grubb & Ellis fourth quarter market report.

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