The economy is rolling.

The opportunities are immense.


The 25th annual Market Study from Bradley Company helps break down what’s happening in commercial real estate in Indiana and Michigan.

The company, which has roots that go back 40 years, issues an annual study to assess what has happened in the past year and what the trends mean.

We’re all excited about this year’s study and a lot of credit for what’s in it goes to Steven Heatherly, Bradley Company’s senior market research analyst. He and others have worked together to craft this year’s study and he points to several takeaways from it.

Downtown development and redevelopment

“One of the biggest takeaways are the investments being made in the urban cores of many cities,” he said. In Fort Wayne, South Bend, Kalamazoo and other downtowns in the two states, people are investing. “Some of these are developments that have been planned for years and they’re finally happening,” he said.

The Exchange Building in downtown Kalamazoo and Skyline Tower in Fort Wayne are very important projects for their regions. In South Bend, the first office building proposed in nearly three decades is in the works.
It reflects a national trend focused on downtowns and is happening in our own secondary markets.

Strong economy/ low-interest rates

Buyers, developers, and investors have a general good feeling right now and want to build on ongoing successes, Heatherly said.

He points to a speculative distribution center in South Bend being filled quickly, helping lead to a second speculative building being constructed as evidence of how people being strategic, but also taking risks.

Changing retail

In many markets, big box stores are closing, leaving behind large vacant retail spaces. In Fort Wayne, some of the spaces are being used for rentable storage. In Elkhart and South Bend, a laser tag business filled two large vacant retail spaces in the market. “There’s a use for these buildings,” he said.

In addition, other retailers now have opportunities to enter markets because of available space. As retail continues to change overall, so will its part of the real estate market.

You can learn more about these trends and how they’re playing out in Indiana and Michigan in the 25th annual Market Study we’ve prepared for you.

A digital copy is available and paper copies will soon be in our offices for distribution.