Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birmingham: The best address for businesses

Birmingham has long been known for great retail and fine dining. Birmingham has also become a center for a wide range of professional offices representing primarily the financial, legal, real estate and medical sectors. Several architects and interior designers have made Birmingham their office home as well. Most recently, Birmingham has welcomed a number of advertising agencies such as McCann Erickson, Brogan Partners, and Gas Station TV, to name a few.

What makes Birmingham such an attractive location for the wide variety of professional offices? Commercial property owner Edward Fuller says it's the “office lifestyle” that Birmingham provides. He would know. Fuller's office and retail commercial space in Birmingham is 98.5 percent occupied.

Last week, Birmingham welcomed another premier office tenant. Greenleaf Trust held a ribbon cutting ceremony in their brand new building at Woodward and Maple, next to Peabody's on June 17. On the first floor, Zazio's, an Italian restaurant from Kalamazoo, is expected to open later this summer. The developer was Catalyst Development Corporation, out of Kalamazoo. This was their first building in Birmingham, and one of only a very few new construction projects of this scale anywhere in Metro Detroit over the past two years. Catalyst has shown interest in other Birmingham projects.

The thousands of workers that come to downtown Birmingham every day bring business to restaurants and stores. They give the daytime sidewalks a bustling energy that says clearly: Business is thriving in Birmingham.

John Heiney is executive director of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District.

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