Foster Financial Co. Inc. in Grosse Pointe today announced it has acquired the 211 Tower, a 28-story, 450,000-square-foot building at the southeast corner of West Fort Street and Washington Boulevard. Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Brad Foster, founder and managing partner of Foster Financial, a full-service real estate firm that offers management, investment, and construction services, says he and his partners plan to invest more than $10 million in renovations over the next two years.
Planned improvements include upgraded elevator cabs with COVID-safe controls, a refreshed lobby with new furniture, modern lighting fixtures, and a media wall, along with an intimate cocktail bar, an expansive restaurant concept with an outdoor terrace, and a grab-n-go café operated by local Detroit coffee consultants CoffeeHaus.
Foster Financial also plans to light up the top of 211 Tower with Foster-blue lights in the coming weeks to signify its commitment to invest in the city of Detroit.
“We worked on the deal a long time, and we’re very happy to have finally closed on what is an iconic structure,” says Foster, 28. “The building is 70-percent occupied, and we have several floors that are open, including floors 15 and 16 which are connected by an internal staircase.” Each floor offers around 18,500 square feet of space.
The building was developed in 1961 and had been owned by the same family. Foster Financial partnered with Tribus, a family-owned real estate company in Grosse Pointe, on the acquisition.
The building, which offers a landscaped plaza, is set within a growing hub of office, apartment, and mixed-use developments, including TCF Center, the newly-renovated Marquette Building occupied by the ad agency WPP, VentureX, a co-working space directly next door at 220 West Congress, and the London Chop House.
Adjacent to 211 is a recently activated alley that connects neighboring tenants and buildings in an intimate space for gathering, retail, and entertainment.
Foster notes 211 Tower offers floor-to-ceiling windows, views of the Detroit River, and is located near the Theodore Levin United State Courthouse, Bedrock’s Free Press and Book Tower developments, and various parking decks.
The 211 Tower has a significant amount of government tenants, including the U.S. Attorney and U.S. Bankruptcy courts.
Doug Noble, a partner at Foster Financial, commented that, “211 Tower will incorporate a great mixture of public and private tenants. While there are secure, government agencies in place that will instill an added level of safety in our building, Fortune 500 companies will also be excited to call 211 their home,” he says.
The two-story lobby offers a separate elevator bank for those visiting secured government floors. In the center of the lobby is the main elevator bank used to service the remaining floors.
Brendan George and Jasper Hanifi with CBRE have been selected to assist with the marketing and leasing of office space at 211 Tower. Prospective tenants include law firms, technology enterprises, and logistic companies.
“What seems to set us apart is our turn-key buildouts, simple and easy lease negotiations, and a young and vibrant team of in-house property managers,” says Foster. He adds that while some companies are enacting work from home programs, there are businesses that will always require office space, and those tenants are spreading out with higher square footage requirements.
The building was offered for sale by Jerrod Wigal of Cushman Wakefield, and was successfully closed amidst a challenging commercial lending and office environment by Kevin Kovachevich, principal, and Mike Lemon, director, at Detroit-based District Capital, a full-service mortgage banking company procuring debt and equity across all lines of commercial real estate capital.
Foster Financial owns nearly 1.5 million square feet of commercial space in metro Detroit, including three office properties in Southfield — Lahser Center, a 175,000-square-foot office center (26200/26400 Lahser Road), Tower 14, a 277,000-square-foot, 14-story office complex (21700 Northwestern Highway), and Central Park Plaza, a 130,000-square-foot complex at 26211 Central Park.