Tenants Displaced After Fire in Detroit-Area Office Complex

December 2, 2010
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The Southfield, Mich., office plaza that burned in early December was almost completely occupied and had been up for sale for the past five years, according to the leasing company for the 41,000-square-foot Harvard Plaza. The fire reportedly started in the attic of the 41-year-old building which, with 40 tenants, was 98 percent occupied, said Daniel Verderbar, vice president at the Friedman Real Estate Group, the leasing agent for the property. Negotiations between Friedman and the owner, Art Golumbia, to buy the complex came to a standstill five years ago. It’s been on the market since then.

Among the larger tenants that were forced to evacuate were a certified public accounting firm owned by Golumbia, Motor City Dance Factory, De Witt Building Co., Inc., and Jan-Pro of Southeast Michigan, a commercial cleaning service. Also in the building were local attorneys, a model toy company, and several tenants occupying different rooms in an executive suite and sharing administrative and bookkeeping services. Tenants’ furniture, paper files, and computers were lost in the fire. Some tenants said that friends, clients, and colleagues had offered to temporarily lend office space and equipment to them.