Bedrock Acquires Detroit Riverfront Portfolio

The cornerstone of the deal is 300 River Place, a nearly century-old building converted to Class A offices in the 1980s.

Bedrock, Detroit’s largest real estate company, has acquired 300 River Place and other portfolio assets from The Stroh Cos. Inc., all on the Detroit riverfront. Financials on the deal were not disclosed.

300 River Place. Image courtesy of Bedrock

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The River Place portfolio consists of 500,000 square feet of office space, 735 parking spaces and about 4.4 acres of developable land.

In more detail, the acquisition encompasses:

  • 300 River Place, a 500,000-square-foot, six-story Class A office building;
  • the western portion of the River Place Parking Garage, totaling rights to 735 parking spaces;
  • 2743 Wight and 2748 Franklin, totaling about 1 acre of undeveloped land; and
  • 2615-2655 Atwater, totaling about 3.4 acres of undeveloped land.
300 River Place Portfolio. Image courtesy of Bedrock

The building features two six-story glass atriums, exposed brick walls, and traditional and loft-style floorplans. Its location is along the Detroit Riverwalk, only about a block from the Aretha Franklin Amphitheater and only three-quarters of a mile from Detroit’s central business district.

Current office tenants include the Associated Press, Belle Isle Conservancy, Michigan Minority Contractors and the General Services Administration.

300 River Place was last mortgaged in November 2016, for $22 million, and includes 14,000 square feet of retail space, according to CommercialEdge.

Anne Galbraith Kohn of CBRE represented the seller in the transaction.

Not strong yet

300 River Place was built in phases in 1928 and 1939 by Parke-Davis & Co., which had occupied pharmaceutical manufacturing and research facilities along the Detroit River since 1873. The entire site, including 300 River Place, was acquired by The Stroh Brewery Co. in 1979 and over the next 10 years renovated into a modern, mixed-use campus.

Last November, a 420,000-square-foot mixed-use riverfront campus quite near the River Place portfolio was sold by a joint venture of United Auto Workers and General Motors. The new owners, Moceri Cos. and 400 Monroe Associates, have renamed the facility The Iconic.

Although metro Detroit enjoys an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent, notably lower than the national average of 6.0 percent, the Detroit office market remains unsettled as the pandemic begins to ebb, according to a first-quarter report from Cushman & Wakefield.

Sublet space continues to rise, and the CBD has seen substantial negative absorption so far this year. Further, overall average asking rent declined a bit from the fourth quarter, from $20.88 to $20.80 per square foot, the first such drop in almost eight years.

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