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DETROIT-MayfieldGentry Realty Advisors LLC has spent about $20 million, for one of its investors, to buy a minority interest into the 941,354-sf Comerica Tower at One Detroit Center. The locally based firm signed the deal to take an initial 10% of the interest in the building with iStar Financial Inc., the owner of the building. The lender had taken over the building from the former owner and developer Hines, in lieu of foreclosure.

The building is 63% occupied with tenants such as Comerica Bank, Dickinson Wright, Clark Hill and Foley & Lardner. However Comerica is moving to Dallas, and will be vacating more than 200,000 sf, says Chauncey Mayfield, president and CEO. “They said they will be there until 2012, we don’t know what they’ll do beyond that,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

The 45-story building includes an adjacent, seven-story parking garage that holds 2,000 vehicles, and 16,000-sf of retail in 45 stores. The property opened in 1993. Locally based Portfolio Property Management is taking over the management and leasing of the building.

Though the building is losing its main tenant, and Downtown has approached one-third vacant, Mayfield says he believes in the city. He says he has some tenants in mind, though they haven’t been approached. “We invest all over the country, and if we weren’t confident about this building, we wouldn’t risk our reputation,” Mayfield says. “We’re here for the long haul with this building, we don’t jump out of an asset in two or five years. This is the tallest office building in Michigan, it’s very prominent, and chances are tenants such as law firms and automotive offices want to be in this property. There’s a limited number of buildings like these downtown.” Rental rates in the building run from about $19 to $22 per sf, net.

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