Marelli Inks 200 KSF Lease for Detroit-Area HQ

Dembs Development signed the automotive supplier to a multi-year agreement at 26555 Northwestern Highway.
26555 Northwestern Highway. Image via Google Street View

Dembs Development has landed a tenant to anchor the long-vacant, approximately 360,000-square-foot corporate campus at 26555 Northwestern Highway in Southfield, Mich. The company has just signed Marelli, a global automotive supplier, to a 200,000-square-foot, multi-year lease agreement at the suburban Detroit property.


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Located roughly 15 miles north of downtown Detroit, 26555 Northwestern first opened its doors in 1967. The Giffels & Rosetti-designed property consists of three interconnected buildings on a 22-acre, expandable site. Dembs acquired the campus, which had been home to motor parts company Federal Mogul Corp., from Lexington Property Trust in a $3.5 million transaction in 2017. Dembs is now in the process of submitting the three-story property to an extensive renovation, with architectural firm HED spearheading the design.

Marelli, which is the product of the 2019 merger of Magneti Marelli and Calsonic Kansei, will consolidate its current local offices at 3900 Automation Ave. in Auburn Hills and 27000 Hills Tech Court in Farmington Hills to create a single North American headquarters at 26555 Northwestern. The automotive supplier’s new home will accommodate roughly 500 employees and feature 100,000 square feet of laboratory R&D space, as well as access to the campus’s 350-seat auditorium, cafeteria, fitness facility and ample indoor/outdoor meeting space. CBRE orchestrated the lease on behalf of the landlord. Marelli will relocate to its new home base at 26555 Northwestern in phases beginning in late 2020. The company expects to have completed the move by March 2021.

Detroit’s upward trajectory

Six years after emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, the City of Detroit is undergoing a renaissance and its office market is part of the rebirth. The office vacancy rate hit 24.5 percent in 2013, but has been on a steady decline ever since, dropping to 13.8 percent in 2019, according to a report by CBRE. Net absorption, which has remained positive for the last decade, totaled approximately 784,400 square feet last year.