DETROIT-Law firm Dickinson Wright PLLC has renewed its lease for about 98,678 sf Downtown, in the One Detroit Center tower at 500 Woodward Ave. The firm has about 175,000 sf total in the building, but subleases the remainder to another law firm, Clark Hill PLC.

Dickinson Wright’s lease was up in 2012 in the one-million-sf, neo-gothic building, but this new deal will extend the company there until 2022. “They’ve been a tenant in the building since it opened in 1991,” says Joe Rosenberg with CB Richard Ellis. “They got some concessions on their current term and favorable terms for the extension.”

Rosenberg, who represented the tenant in the deal, says he can’t divulge the negotiated lease rate. The average rate in the 45-story building is $19 to $22 per sf, net. iStar Financial Inc. owns the building, with MayfieldGentry Realty Advisors LLC having a minority interest, after the lender took over the building in lieu of foreclosure from former owner and developer Hines. Also, Signature Associates reportedly has taken over the leasing assignment for the property. The building includes an adjacent, seven-story parking garage that holds 2,000 vehicles and 16,000 sf of retail in 45 stores.

The property, at 53% occupied, has had some major dislocations, Rosenberg tells Comerica is still the largest tenant, though some of its luster is gone from when the building was touted as Comerica Tower at One Detroit Center, since the bank officially moved its headquarters to Dallas in August. Comerica vacated two floors, but still has about 200,000 sf. J. Walter Thompson, an automotive marketing firm, moved from the building to Dearborn to be near a large client, the Ford Motor Co., and accounting firm Ernst and Young moved to One Kennedy Square in the Downtown “under very favorable terms,” Rosenberg says.

Comerica’s lease will end at One Detroit by 2013, and it’s not clear whether those employees will stay at the building. The bank had said that it wouldn’t move all employees away from Detroit, but didn’t specify how many would remain. “That’s the $64,000 question right now,” Rosenberg says.

Since Comerica announced its move, Detroit got some good office news with the announcement by Quicken that it would move Downtown. However, even though there’s been a push to bring more suburban tenants to the city, Rosenberg says he’s not sure there will be too much coattail riding. “I’d love to be optimistic, but it’s hard to predict what impact Quicken will have,” he says. “Detroit was designed for two million people, and it has less than one million now. I think until the Michigan economy rights itself and the automotive industry gets back on solid footing, it will be hard to see real growth. Office gets absorbed by job creation, and it will be hard to consume space until that happens.”

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