Abandoned Suburbia

I’ve been travelling around town lately on various business going to offices in Farmington Hills, Livonia, Troy, etc. I’ve noticed a drastic increase in the last few months of “FOR LEASE” signs at suburban office complexes and industrial complexes. Most notably, along the stretch of I-96 through the west side into Livonia and along 15-mile road in Troy by I-75 and Rochester Rd.

I suspect that many of these firms closing down and leaving are related to the automotive industry, specifically the large industry devoted to things ancillary to the auto companies (such as tool and dye firms). Has anyone else noticed this? I suspect that if you haven’t noticed it, you will soon, especially if GM joins forces with Nissan/Renault.

Where are the people that worked in these plants and offices going? Further away into “exurbia” or just leaving altogether?

3 Comments so far

  1. baliad (unregistered) on October 3rd, 2006 @ 3:07 pm

    i have seen what you’re talking about in the ‘burbs… i think most of them are going to exurbia…

  2. Girl in the D (unregistered) on October 4th, 2006 @ 5:44 pm

    Glad I read this…I almost posted on the same thing after noticing something similar today on Stephenson Highway between 11 and 13 Mile roads.

    I definitely think it’s the exurbia thing, too, but with the particular area I noticed – I would have to guess most former tenants were small to mid-size businesses – I also think part of it is probably the result of businesses being bought up by bigger firms, and the reality that few small businesses survive past the first decade.

    It may also be a result of jobs being outsourced overseas or, the drastic shift in technology (not necessarily just the Internet) may have caused some jobs/companies to become obsolete.

    If you’re talking in terms of empty buildings that once housed retail stores, entertainment venues, or fulfilled needs of the community (grocery stores, etc.) I would definitely point to exurbia as the culprit.

  3. Herb N. Dweller (unregistered) on October 6th, 2006 @ 11:31 am

    I think much of it has to with the real estate bubble, and that so many commercial firms overbuilt in the last decade. The same is true for residential: while many are fleeing the dying 2nd ring ‘burbs to put up McMansions on greenfields, overall population is declining in the state.

    The failed Econ 101 of Michigan:
    Supply +
    Demand –
    Price/Occupancy = –

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