Olympia Development of Michigan is in the process of a massive redevelopment project in downtown Detroit. Anchored by six theatres and three stadiums, including the new Little Caesar’s Arena and extensive office space—including Olympia Development of Michigan, Ilitch Holdings, 313 Presents, and the new Little Caesar's World Headquarters campus expansion—as well as retail and entertainment space. The investor was looking to create a European-style food quarter, with a street of diverse restaurant offerings.
CBRE started with a focused demographic study of the market, outlining the area’s unique offering and the opportunity at hand with a from-scratch development. The team took a holistic approach to the project, understanding that, while The District Detroit draws 12 million people a year, the long-term development also factors in a strong daytime office population and a rapidly growing residential component. Initially, the project attracted a lot of attention from large chain restaurants, but CBRE’s team understood that to intrigue suburb dwellers and to service the growing downtown population, the focus should instead be on chef-or celebrity-driven unique restaurant concepts. Ashley, Scott and Matt tapped into CBRE’s extensive tenant representation group, leveraging the firm’s Street & Urban Environments specialty practice to make connections to new-to-market restauranteurs and food and beverage groups. They also understood the importance of placemaking—by curating a diverse offering, the tenants would be more likely to thrive together rather than compete for customers. Since going to market, CBRE has a number of retailers—many of them food and beverage concepts—in final term negotiations. Columbia Street is set to open in 2019.