Turning Vision into Tangible Results

A local investor with an East Lansing portfolio noticed that the Michigan Avenue corridor in that growing university town is sprucing up. Glimpsing the neighborhood’s vibrant future and wanting to capitalize on it, he called Jim Porth of the Thomas Duke Company.

Thanks to his 19 years of market experience and the Duke Company’s team-based approach, Jim was able to:

  • Locate a property at 1200 Michigan Avenue that matched the investor’s stipulations
  • Successfully represent the investor in the property’s purchase
  • Help option the neighboring property in order to increase the investor’s footprint
  • Start the process of site plan approval for the planned redevelopment

111 Cowley 1200 E Michigan Ave Bldg2

Jim and the Ann Arbor/East Lansing team at the Thomas Duke Company have mastered the obvious and not-so-obvious particulars of every kind of commercial property transaction. They also specialize in student housing. Call today to find out how they can put that mastery to work for you: 248.476.3700.

Bidding Wars…

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Bidding wars – they’re becoming a commonplace for us at the Thomas Duke Company. Our West Side team recently brokered a competitive negotiation over the sale of a five-apartment, three-retail-unit building in downtown Whitmore Lake.

Using our targeted, data-rich marketing strategy we generated a rapid response for the property. Hopeful purchasers competed with each other, driving up the price. Within just three months, we helped the owner close the deal at a price considerably higher than he expected for his building.

One buyer walked away satisfied. But several other left still wanting to purchase buildings for investment or occupation. Your property may be what they’re looking for. And may be ready to pay a premium price in order not to be left empty handed again.

The Thomas Duke Company West Side team specializes in marketing commercial properties in the territory we call home – Livingston, Northern Washtenaw, Western Wayne and Southwest Oakland counties. With over 60 years of combined real estate experience and a team-based strategy grounded in unwavering honesty, fairness and transparency, we are the the premier real estate broker in this market.

If you’ve been thinking about selling your property or simply wish to know what price it would bring you in the current market, please call us at 248-476-3700.


Below the Radar Student Sale in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan (April 13, 2016) – The Thomas Duke Company recently achieved a below-the-radar package sale of three (3) student housing properties in the Kerrytown and central campus areas of Ann Arbor. The seller sold the properties to Michigan Rental LLC. Sarah Grabinski and Jim Porth, Vice President at Thomas Duke Company, represented the buyer in this transaction.

Michigan Rental LLC is a long-standing, student-rental management company that specializes in University of Michigan off-campus housing. Their portfolio includes over 75 properties across the Ann Arbor area.


The Thomas Duke Company is an integrated brokerage firm of commercial and investment realtors. As building and investment management specialists for over 35 years, we serve as trusted consultants to business owners, developers, and tenants throughout Southeastern Michigan. Our teams of expert realtors provide a unique business perspective, unparalleled service, and the comprehensive information necessary to make intelligent business decisions.

For more information, please visit: www.thomasduke.com

For more information, please visit: www.thomasduke.com


Here’s one more example of the momentum in the current seller’s market:

The owner of a 28,000-square-foot light industrial building in Dearborn Heights asked Steven Valli and Frank Rakipi of the Thomas Duke Company to list his property.

Quickly there were multiple buyers competing, driving the price up. To out position the others, one buyer put forth a nonrefundable deposit. The owner accepted that offer and within 55 days the sale closed, a timeline that included the buyer obtaining a new mortgage. The seller received more than his asking price, plus a 60-day free occupancy period.

The buyers who were outbid are still eager to purchase! If you’ve considered selling your property, why not jump on the momentum we’ve created in this transaction? Call us today at 248-476-3700.

Challenge – Compounded!

“I need to sell my building by this date!”

That was the urgent challenge the owner of a medical building in Romulus gave to Steven Valli and Frank Rakipi of the Thomas Duke Company.Blog Wayne Photo

The owner had leased the 7,000 square feet of space to a national tenant for ten years. In the ninth year, the tenant pulled out. Worse yet, the owner’s mortgage was tied to the building’s occupancy. Without a tenant in the building the lender would call for the note to be paid in full. Compounding matters further, the space had been specifically built and fitted for the medical tenant.

A daunting challenge! But we rolled up our sleeves and set to work aggressively marketing the property. Soon we had procured several offers. We took them to the seller and presented him with the advantages and disadvantages of each. As soon as he had selected the offer with the best price and terms, we began working out the details for an efficient closing. We closed on the sale 65 days later, 45 days before the seller’s loan came due.

Every transaction poses its own unique challenge—or several of them! Call us for a creative approach to solving your real estate puzzle.


Timing the Open Window

A four-tenant automotive building, built in 2005. Fully leased. Zero deferred maintenance. A cakewalk for the property owner. Why sell?

The owner of this property, a seasoned real estate investor, knew the market was changing and called on the Thomas Duke Company to help him read it. It wasn’t the first time. Twice before our company had helped him capitalize on market shifts. This time Steven Valli and Frank Rakipi charted for him the rising demand for income property—and, consequently, the shrinking supply. When the time was ripe, he had the agents list his building.

The window of opportunity had opened wide. Three buyers competed for the property. The owner chose the most qualified buyer, who offered 97 percent of the asking price.  

Is it time for you, too, to take advantage of a seller’s market? Let us help you read this current market cycle and open your window of opportunity. Call us today at 248-476-3700. 


From Insurmountable to Ideal

Most nonprofits are passionate about spending every dollar possible on promoting their cause rather than on covering overhead costs. National Energy Foundation is no exception. When the staff decided to move from the Atrium in Novi to a lower-cost office location in Milford, they called on us to help.

An oversupply of office space in the Milford area made this seem an easy assignment. But we found that the asking rates were a non-starter for this public education organization.

After listening carefully to NEF staff, we found a space at the Milford Corporate Park that matched all their specific requirements—a space that’s more functional for them than any of the other options. But before bringing NEF to view the property, we contacted the landlord to ask if he could agree to the rental rate the nonprofit needed.

The good news is that National Energy Foundation moves into their new home on March 14. They now have more resources to dedicate to direct service, and the landlord has a reliable tenant.

Profit or nonprofit, landlord, investor, or tenant, if you have a real estate challenge that seems insurmountable, let the experts at the Thomas A. Duke Company help you find the ideal solution.