Rock Ventures Secures Key Lease for Storefronts Along Woodward


DETROIT — Rock Ventures LLC today announced it has signed master lease agreements with the Schostak Brothers and Farbman Group to manage more than 60,000 square feet of first floor retail space along the Woodward Corridor in downtown Detroit. The properties include 12 storefronts along the 1200 and 1400 blocks of Woodward Avenue.

“The Woodward Corridor has always been the heart of Detroit, and we know it is absolutely essential that we get the retail offerings in this area right,” said Jim Ketai, managing partner, Bedrock Real Estate Services, a full service real estate firm specializing in purchasing, leasing, financing, developing and managing of commercial space.  “As the city continues to transform into a dynamic retail destination, it is vital to make sure that the businesses downtown reflect that energy, while remaining unique and filling the needs and demands of the downtown community.”

The Schostak Brothers’ master lease includes 45,000 square feet and nine store fronts on the 1200 and 1400 blocks of Woodward Avenue along the west side between State and Clifford Streets.  This includes the retail space below the Lofts of Merchant Row.

The Farbman Group master lease includes 15,000 square feet and three store fronts on the 1400 block of Woodward Avenue along the east side between Grand River Avenue and John R.  This is the retail space below the Woodward Lofts.

The move to bring exciting and unique businesses to the region got a great boost last year, when Rock Ventures recruited the New York City-based coffee shop, the Roasting Plant, to the First National Building and worked with Madison Heights outdoor outfitter MooseJaw to open a Woodward Avenue store, which has been so popular it has remained open and just announced it is signing a multi-year lease for its space at 1275 Woodward Avenue.

The master lease is an important component of Downtown Detroit’s placemaking and retail strategy.  It will help ensure the long-term success of critical blocks of retail along Woodward Avenue that is part of the grander vision to restore it as a retail destination. Through the agreement, Rock Ventures will have the option to hold the master lease for a total of 30 years.

“When a city reaches the critical mass that downtown Detroit has seen, it is vitally important that the service industry – restaurants, consumer goods and grocers – follow suit,” said Craig Kaser, founder TerreMark Partners, a national retail expert and Kalamazoo native.  “Detroit is in a unique position where its cache is growing yet retailers can still enter the market affordably, while also being able to take advantage of a very strong, and underserved, consumer base.” 

Rock Ventures has already been leveraging retail space along Woodward. Several of the storefronts are currently occupied and others are being white-boxed to allow for quick conversion into retail spaces for companies looking to capitalize on the exciting opportunities that exist in Detroit.