Following the earthquake and ensuing tsunami in Japan last year, Toyota and other Japanese manufacturers were shut down for a period of time as their supply chain and workforce was greatly disrupted and intern lost billions of dollars. In attempt to prevent such an occurrence in the future Toyota has announce that they are Coming to America!

Toyota recently announced that they are planning to relocate a substantial amount of its engineering, administration, and corporate functions from Japan to a new corporate campus to be built in Southeastern Michigan. Toyota has not yet announced where they will be locating its new campus; they have requested proposals from developers and communities regarding sites and incentive programs for specific locations although the City of Detroit is considered the lead candidate based upon workforce, infrastructure and accessibility to freeways and logistic points.

We are expecting an initial impact of 5,000 new jobs in the area with up to 15,000 jobs by 2017. This is the shot that Southeastern Michigan has been looking for! This will also be a huge benefit for Toyota as Southeastern Michigan is the center for automotive engineering and will better able to tap into the brain trust that exists here.

The Big Three will now be known as the Big Four and re-solidify Detroit as the Motor City. Toyota has stated that they will have dual headquarters, the current based in Japan and a headquarters based in Southeastern Michigan. They have also stated that they are looking to benefit from quicker turnaround times on their engineering and manufacturing cycles.

Many real estate developers are working on tying up sites as they speculate where Toyota will end up and how many of their suppliers follow suit. The result will be higher real estate values on both commercial and residential as well as a potential for our next building-boom. In the mean time we are happy that they are Coming to America!

I hope you have a great April Fool’s Day!


Matthew B. Fenster, CCIM, MCR