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LIVONIA, MI-Market Strategies Inc. has agreed to fully lease a new 60,000-sf build-to-suit office building that will be built in the College Park section here on the north side of Six Mile Road, between Haggerty and I-275. The area, named after the Schoolcraft College campus it surrounds and overseen by developer Etkin Equities, includes much of the high-end retail in the I-275 corridor.

A partnership of the Southfield-based Etkin and Farmington Hills-based Walkon Associates Inc. will be the developers and owners of the new three-story building, which will go up on 3.6 acres on the south side of the park. The building will be constructed starting in the spring, with completion expected by July 2009 for the market research firm.

Rob Wineman, VP of development for Etkin, tells GlobeSt.com that the lease is for 14 years. The company is moving from an office complex just east of I-275, he says. Though the Southeast Michigan area is experiencing high office vacancy, Wineman says Market Strategies likes the idea of having its own home built instead of going into other space. “We also have a good amenity package, with a lot of lodging and retail available on our 45 acres,” he says.

The College Park property has about 100,000 sf of office now, including a recently built 60,000-sf office building for TCF Bank. “My guess is we’ll be able to accommodate more build-to-suits, about 275,000 sf on 12 acres along I-275 and another 35,000 sf on three acres in the center of the property.”

He says the I-275 corridor has been one of the bright spots in the Detroit economic downturn, though Quicken Loans-Rock Financial plans on leaving suburban office buildings in a move into a new Downtown Detroit office building. “The past five years, this area has really come on strong,” Wineman says. “It’s a prestigious office destination, accessible to tremendous residential growth in communities such as Canton and Northville. With Quicken, I think if they were moving out right away it would be a problem, but since it will be three-to-four years before they make the move, the space should be able to be absorbed. Hopefully our economy will be better then.”

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