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DETROIT-While Detroit’s industrial market did not see any decline in vacancy or a rise in lease rates during the third quarter, the city did see most of the market figures remain flat. This could be a sign that the worst of the recession is in the past, according to a Q3 market report published by Grubb & Ellis.

Industrial vacancy remained flat at 14.8% for the third quarter. The market saw 270,000 square feet of negative absorption, which is a small decline when compared to the 4.2 million square feet of space that landed back in the market during the first half of the year.

According to Grubb & Ellis executives the flat rates are due in part to the efforts Detroit has made to lure in alternative companies in order to supplement the failing automotive industry. The city has created a tax abatement system to attract companies and has also begun offering Energy Department grants.

“The renewable energy and advanced battery industries have the potential to stabilize or reverse the current upward vacancy trend in the coming years,” the report reads.

For example. Xtreme Power Inc. and Clairvoyant Energy have teamed up and plan to invest $1.3 billion into the former Ford Motor Company’s Wixom Assembly Plant in order to convert it into an alternative energy park. The new facility will product solar panels and renewable electrical energy storage systems as early as 2011.

Asking rates dipped only slightly to $4.71 per square foot, a $0.02 drop.

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