Colliers International|West Michigan gave attendees good news about the real estate market in Michigan during a breakfast held on Jan. 31. Commercial real estate in Western Michigan is growing, and this may mean that the market is on the upswing across the entire state. According to Colliers, the vacancy rate for industrial space went down to 6.6 percent in 2013, and there may even now be a lack of available industrial space.

According to reports, the industrial market in the area absorbed 865,000 square feet of space, and this number would have been larger if there would have been more space available. The end of 2013 was the sixth consecutive quarter where industrial market absorption was positive. Commercial real estate transactions also showed positive trends, with several significant purchases in the area. Alliance Beverage bought a 31-acre industrial space for over $1.7 million, and Gourmet International bought a facility in Kentwood for $861,000.

The multi-family apartment market also seems to be going strong. According to Colliers’ 2013 fourth quarter reports, retail vacancy in Western Michigan came in at 9.35 percent. The area also reported 68 retail sales and 54 leases in the same quarter. One of the most notable of these was Planet Fitness leasing a space in Grand Rapids. The gym will be the second biggest Planet Fitness in the United States.

The upswing in industrial absorption and commercial real estate transactions could mean that the economy is headed in the right direction after being hit hard in the recession. If the current trend continues, this could also mean good news for the construction and employment industries as more space and workers are needed to keep up with the demand.

Source: REJournals, “Colliers International|West Michigan: Expect uptick in commercial real estate deals in West Michigan this year” Dan Rafter, Feb. 25, 2014

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