Film Exchange Building to hit auction block with $2.25 million minimum bid

Posted on October 3, 2017

  • November auction will be test of Detroit commercial real estate market
  • Film Exchange Building opened in 1926; vacant since 1970s
  • Property could be multifamily/retail conversion

The Film Exchange Building in downtown Detroit is going to an online auction next month with a minimum bid of $2.25 million.

Sitting in the heart of The District Detroit at 2310 Cass Ave. at Montcalm Street, the Nov. 13-15 auction on will be an indicator of the interest in downtown real estate. Previous auctions of key properties in and around downtown, such as those of the Fisher Building and Albert Kahn Building in the New Center area, received significant attention but failed to yield the selling prices predicted two years ago.

The Film Exchange Building opened in 1926 and has been vacant since the 1970s, according to Historic Detroit, which tracks Detroit buildings and architecture history.

Theb building was designed by C. Howard Crane, who also designed the Fox Theatre, what is now the Detroit Opera House and several Detroit theaters that have since been demolished.

An entity tied to Detroit-based real estate company The Sterling Group paid $1.92 million for the property in 2014, according to city records. The approximately 84,000-square-foot building sits on about 0.44 acres, according to the online listing.

A similarly sized building just a few blocks to the southeast, the 75,000-square-foot Women’s City Club at 2110 Park Ave. nearby, sold to an entity tied to the Ilitch family in January for $5.85 million, or $78 per square foot.

The auction, which has a participation cost of $25,000, is being handled by brokers from Farmington Hills-based Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions LLC, which says the property is ideal for conversion into multifamily housing and retail uses.

The District Detroit is the planned redevelopment of 45-50 downtown blocks spearheaded by the Ilitch family. It is anchored by the $862.9 million Little Caesars Arena, which opened last month for the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. Multiple multifamily redevelopments and new construction projects were announced earlier this year.