This is a guest blog post written by Mac MacDermaid,
Marketing Specialist for Stokas-Bieri Real Estate.
You know the small dish at the cash register – ‘Take a penny, leave a penny’? Well, I like to apply that in a much bigger scope – ‘Create a legacy, leave a legacy’. As I got older I became more fascinated in my family’s history. The more genealogy I delved into, the more seeded the roots became. And it’s not unusual to run into older generations who were part of Detroit’s history. They were here when the city was smokin’ hot and I think of what an emotional roller roaster it must have been for them to see it in its heyday, watch it crumble into despair, and then witness the rebirth today. It kind of makes you wonder what we will experience in our lifetime – what will we tell our kids about Detroit?
Although one family name is recognizable (Bingham Farms was named after my paternal grandmother’s family), most flew under the radar. Typical blue collar workers who worked hard to support their families. Their legacy isn’t something written in a book, but it’s something I cherish. A housekeeper at Hotel Fort Shelby, a boat painter for Detroit & Cleveland Navigation Company, a light-keeper at the Detroit River Lighthouse. And I’m lucky enough to have been inside the home that my great grandparents owned – one of the few homes still standing in the neighborhood.
One of my favorite things about big cities is that the history often remains in the buildings. Detroit’s skyline really hasn’t changed since the early 1900s. One such building that lends itself to the magnificent view is the Fisher Building, one of Detroit’s most iconic buildings. It was once declared the most beautiful building of 1928 and recently went to auction and was purchased for 12.2 million. Our Principal, Jim Bieri, was interviewed on NPR about this National Historic Landmark. You can hear the interview and read the story here: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/19/415200237/detroits-iconic-fisher-building-up-for-auction
The Fisher Building is an excellent example of building a legacy. The Fisher brothers made a fortune building auto bodies for the booming car industry in Detroit. When they were bought out by General Motors for $200,000 (the equivalent of over $2 Billion by today’s standards); they commissioned Albert Kahn to “build them the most beautiful building in the world” and achieved what many refer to as “Detroit’s largest art object.”
The Fisher brothers’ legacy was their desire to create one of the most important structures of the country, and to support Detroit by using their wealth to better the city and its people with charitable contributions and creating jobs for Detroit workers during the Great Depression.
Making a name for yourself might seem difficult to do in a city of over 700,000 people. But if the Fisher brothers’ story tells us anything, it’s that it is not impossible to do something that makes you stand out. The rebuilding of Detroit certainly lends itself to an enormous amount of new retail opportunities. You just have to think outside of the box and offer visitors and residents something they can’t get anywhere else (and it doesn’t hurt to make it visually appealing.)
That’s just what we have striven for at Stokas-Bieri Real Estate. If you want to know anything about Detroit Commercial Real Estate, we are the people to ask. We have immersed ourselves in the culture and history of the architecture and commercial property in this great city.
To experience more of Detroit’s history, visit the Detroit Historical Museum or the Dossin Great Lakes Museum. Admission is free – you can’t beat that! You can also feel free to give us a call or check out any of the amazing properties Detroit has to offer here: Available Properties
What are your thoughts on the commercial buildings for sale in Detroit? Are you looking forward to the comeback of this great city? Please let us know in the comment section below.