SOUTHFIELD, MI—An investor group led by New York City-based Time Equities Inc. has purchased the 790,000-sq.-ft. Travelers Tower I and II complex here from an affiliate of Lehman Bros. Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed amount.
Chief tenants in Travelers Tower I, at 26555 Evergreen Rd., include automotive firm Faurecia and Fox Sports. In Tower II, at 26533 Evergreen Rd., major tenants include the corporate headquarters of R.L. Polk & Co. and Action Benefits. The city is one of the Detroit area's main office markets.
Newmark Grubb Knight Frank(NGKF) Capital marketed the property on behalf of the seller. Senior Managing Director Larry Emmons worked with Senior Managing Director Patrick Shannon of the Capital Markets Group, along with Daniel Canvasser, a senior managing director in office leasing and sales, and Fred Liesveld, managing director of NGKF's regional office. NGKF President Jimmy Kuhn led a team in Manhattan that included directors David Colen and Bill Lee.
Canvasser said he brought the property from 30 percent to 50 percent occupied. “A primary selling point for the Travelers towers is their prominent, central location off the Walter P. Reuther Freeway,” Canvasser said in a statement. “Lehman has invested more than $10 million in this project since it took over the property in 2010, and companies have responded by moving here in a flight to quality and value.”
Emmons said the sale shows that out-of-town capital is once again interested in Detroit. Southfield has enjoyed several consecutive quarters of growth in its office tenant base, fueled by an influx of technology companies and expansions within the automotive industry, he said. “We took the buildings to market right around Thanksgiving, and received nine offers within weeks,” Emmons said.
Francis Greenburger, chairman of Time Equities Inc., said his firm plans to make improvements to the property. “The Travelers towers acquisition is a great opportunity for us to expand our presence in the submarkets of Michigan,” he said in the statement. “We have experience working with office properties like this one in multiple markets across the nation and know we are in a position to add value and stabilize the property.”