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  1. #1

    Default Penobscot Building update wanted

    Now that the Buhl building is in Dan Gilbert's hands, there aren't many high rises for him to acquire, which brings me to the Penobscot. Does any one know the current occupancy rate and condition of the building. Is money being spent on renovations?

  2. #2

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    I think there was an update in Crain's the other day that pegged current occupancy at about 50%.

  3. #3

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    Comerica is closing its very large Fort Street branch (and selling the building) and moving it to a new, smaller location in the Penobscot Building in February.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neilr View Post
    Comerica is closing its very large Fort Street branch (and selling the building) and moving it to a new, smaller location in the Penobscot Building in February.
    The Comerica building would be perfect for Amazon to buy

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    The Comerica building would be perfect for Amazon to buy
    I don't think it's too far fetched. This will be one of Detroits best cases. We have real estate and lots of it,

  6. #6

    Default

    The Penobscot needs major investments throughout...windows, being one of the biggest. If its not available as a "fire sale" price...

  7. #7
    Nero Guest

    Default

    Narrow floor plates make good residential conversions. Could those setbacks be reused as balconies? The Penobscot has an inconvenient elevator transfer at the 30th floor. We'll see how well the Stott, Hudsons, and Book do.

    Some good stuff:

    http://www.nailhed.com/2014/01/penobgobble.html

    http://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messa...tml?1233715566

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nero View Post
    Narrow floor plates make good residential conversions. Could those setbacks be reused as balconies? The Penobscot has an inconvenient elevator transfer at the 30th floor. We'll see how well the Stott, Hudsons, and Book do.

    Some good stuff:

    http://www.nailhed.com/2014/01/penobgobble.html

    http://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messa...tml?1233715566

    Great links, Nero, Thanx.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5,067

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nero View Post
    Narrow floor plates make good residential conversions.
    The Penobscot doesn't have particularly narrow floorplates. I don't think that's a bad thing, per se, for residential conversions (you want big floorplates for spacious floorplans, but not so big floorplates that you have to punch lightwells into the bldg).

    A residential conversion would take an incredible amount of public dollars. You're talking about a building (really a couple of buildings) worth maybe $15 million, undergoing a maybe $150 million conversion (and that would be a basic rental conversion; something luxurious could easily cost twice that).

    I know people think I'm always the resident negative, but core Detroit residential prices still don't justify market rate conversions. These are incredible expensive undertakings. In NYC, where such conversions yield $3,000 a foot condos, the developers are taking a big risk. In Detroit you couldn't even count on $300 a foot. You think people would be lining up to pay 600k for a starter 3 bed? I doubt it.
    Last edited by Bham1982; December-14-17 at 10:00 AM.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    The Penobscot doesn't have particularly narrow floorplates. I don't think that's a bad thing, per se, for residential conversions (you want big floorplates for spacious floorplans, but not so big floorplates that you have to punch lightwells into the bldg).

    A residential conversion would take an incredible amount of public dollars. You're talking about a building (really a couple of buildings) worth maybe $15 million, undergoing a maybe $150 million conversion (and that would be a basic rental conversion; something luxurious could easily cost twice that).

    I know people think I'm always the resident negative, but core Detroit residential prices still don't justify market rate conversions. These are incredible expensive undertakings. In NYC, where such conversions yield $3,000 a foot condos, the developers are taking a big risk. In Detroit you couldn't even count on $300 a foot. You think people would be lining up to pay 600k for a starter 3 bed? I doubt it.
    $300/sqft is going rate for high end in midtown. Book Cadillac/Westin is asking more.

  11. #11

    Default

    the current ownership of the Penobscot destroyed the almost 100 year old neon beacon on the roof by doing a crappy LED conversion. It has already partially failed, is not as bright as the neon was, and is noticeable a different color.

    but I'm kind of a snob about lights.

  12. #12
    Nero Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gvidas View Post
    the current ownership of the Penobscot destroyed the almost 100 year old neon beacon on the roof by doing a crappy LED conversion. It has already partially failed, is not as bright as the neon was, and is noticeable a different color.

    but I'm kind of a snob about lights.
    Has it failed? Or perhaps the colors of the sky have changed from all that is new?
    Last edited by Nero; December-19-17 at 08:36 AM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    5,067

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SammyS View Post
    $300/sqft is going rate for high end in midtown. Book Cadillac/Westin is asking more.
    That isn't true. B/C units are no longer held by sponsor, so there is no recent sales data.

    If an individual owner is asking more for their unit; fine, but that has nothing to do with what we're talking about. I could ask $100 million for my house; doesn't mean that houses in my neighborhood sell for $100 million, and has no relevance for underwriting proposed new homes.

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SammyS View Post
    I don't think it's too far fetched. This will be one of Detroits best cases. We have real estate and lots of it,
    The building would be perfect for Amazon. It's a city block long and large enough to house most of Amazon's facilities including computer rooms, date areas etc. It's downtown only a few blocks from Woodward and all of the activities but would not suffer from the closing of Woodward due to events. Employees could stay at the Penobscott building if it converts over to residency. This building was state of the art in 1967 when it was built so it probably would take that much to renovate

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    That isn't true. B/C units are no longer held by sponsor, so there is no recent sales data.

    If an individual owner is asking more for their unit; fine, but that has nothing to do with what we're talking about. I could ask $100 million for my house; doesn't mean that houses in my neighborhood sell for $100 million, and has no relevance for underwriting proposed new homes.
    Actually, you're wrong, AGAIN. Just go to Realtor.com and filter by JUST SOLD and check it out for yourself. Here are a few from Woodward Place and Canfield areas. Both regarded Midtown.

    Additionally, every, I mean EVERY Carriage and Town Home in City Modern has sold for >$300/sqft and that was before the 4 price rises. There's a thread on that so check it out.

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