Fifth Third Bank Signs 62 KSF Lease in Downtown Detroit

Downtown Detroit’s office market gets a big shot in the arm with Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan’s commitment to relocating its headquarters from the ‘burbs' to 62,000 square feet of space at the landmark One Woodward Ave. office building.
One Woodward

Downtown Detroit’s office market gets a big shot in the arm with Fifth Third Bank Eastern Michigan’s commitment to relocating its headquarters from the ‘burbs’ to 62,000 square feet of space at the landmark One Woodward Ave. office building. As part of the lease agreement, building owner Bedrock Real Estate Services will rename the 361,000-square-foot high-rise Fifth Third Bank at One Woodward.

Fifth Third will leave its current home in Southfield, Mich., for four floors at One Woodward, which has been part of the Bedrock portfolio since late 2012, when parent company Rock Ventures L.L.C. acquired the 29-story building from Lehman Brothers Holdings for approximately $8.6 million. Developed in 1962, One Woodward holds the distinction of being the very first skyscraper designed by Minoru Yamasaki, the architect behind New York City’s original World Trade Center. Fifth Third will begin moving its staff of more than 150 full-time employees into One Woodward in March 2015 and complete the process in the summer of 2016.

“A well-respected Fortune 500 company moving its large regional headquarters to the city is a major statement,” Dan Gilbert, co-founder of Bedrock, noted in a prepared statement. And the statement is: the downtown Detroit office market is slowly but surely making its way back to life. The average vacancy rate in the CBD is still a relatively high 17 percent, according to a third quarter report by commercial real estate services firm Colliers International, but the market continues to experience positive absorption quarter after quarter, and the dearth of new construction is keeping occupancy numbers from going on the upswing.

Fifth Third’s relocation to downtown Detroit is part of a larger commitment by the bank, which has pledged $85 million in the form of charitable donations, small business lending and other contributions to aid in the city’s revitalization.