30-Story Office Tower, Crains Detroit Business, April 18, 1988

Plans are proposed for a 30-story office tower to be built next year on a prime parcel of Detroit riverfront Amerivest property behind towers 500 and 600 of the Renaissance Center.

Farmington Hills-based Amerivest Properties Inc. intends to begin construction next fall on an $11 million parking deck between the proposed 600,000-square-foot office tower and the RenCen’s 500 and 600 towers.

The proposed tower may cost between $60 million and $70 million, said Brian Palmer, president of Amerivest.

Palmer and partner Michael George, president and CEO of Melody Distributing Co. in Farmington Hills, formed Amerivest in 1985.

Amerivest plans to build the glass-and-granite tower on a 1.8-acre parcel at the southwest corner of Atwater and St. Antoine, land currently owned by Ford Motor Land Development Co. Amerivest holds options from Ford Motor on 11 parcels totalling 23 acres that run along the Detroit River behind the RenCen.

Brian Palmer, president of Amerivest said that the developers are talking with prospective anchor tenants who could each lease around 100,000 square feet of space. He declined to name the companies.

Palmer said Amerivest hopes to begin construction when it has obtained lease commitments for at least 30 percent of the building. He said the building will probably lease for about $24 per square foot gross, which would include all or part of the cost of taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.

The company plans to intensify leasing efforts on the office tower after breaking ground on its six-story, 1,200-car parking deck.

“The river – one of the most valuable, critical areas to develop – has been untouched,” Palmer said. “The parking garage was the key.

“We think tenants and businesses are going to opt for downtown. It is a central, core location.”

Palmer said Amerivest hopes to submit site plans on the tower to the city of Detroit by the end of summer. It already has site-plan approval on the parking deck. The developer has not yet purchased the parcel for the parking deck and the tower from Dearborn-based Ford Motor Land.

The office tower and parking garage are the first Amerivest developments in what will likely become a riverfront complex that will include office, residential and retail space.

Amerivest has eight years to exercise a series of options on the Ford Motor Land property. Amerivest expects to develop several projects itself, and may form joint ventures on others, Palmer said.

“We will control the overall development,” Palmer, 38, said. “As a planner and an architect, it’s a very strong concern of mine.

Amerivest projects include the planned $55 million Sterling Towne Center in Sterling Heights, a 22-acre office park that will include a 200-room hotel and 480,000 square feet of office space.