O: 313-872-1300 ext. 24
Benjamin Smith, is a current Principal of Summit Commercial LLC. His responsibilities consist of overseeing day to day business operations and generating leads for brokerage, development management and property management opportunities. Mr. Smith also specializes in office, medical and retail leasing.
Mr. Smith was formerly a Project Manager with Detroit Economic Growth Corporation where he helped supervise and manage several City of Detroit’s economic development projects. These numerous construction and development projects included the $125 million Land Acquisition and Waterfront Reclamation and Casino Development Project; as well as, directing all A/E, construction, and City approval activities for the $14 million dollar riverfront promenade project. Mr. Smith also participated in the EPA, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and City of Detroit environmental remediation plan which developed an 80 acre industrial site that laid the foundation for the ongoing relocation of three waterfront cement plants.
As a reserve Commander currently serving in the U.S. Coast Guard Mr. Smith is responsible for ensuring the mobilization readiness of approximately 550 reserve response personnel. Additionally, he recently supervised an emergency response team comprised of 20+ military members trained in providing Homeland Security Services throughout the Great Lakes. This team was responsible for regulating the commercial shipping industry, inspecting waterfront industrial complexes, responding to oil and hazardous material spills, and conducting port security missions along the navigable waterways of the Great Lakes.
Most recently Mr. Smith served as the Vice President of Brokerage and Development for NAI Farbman, Mr. Smith’s responsibilities include directing land acquisition activities for large corporate clients, approving purchase agreements, clearing title, and directing development activities. Mr. Smith regularly interacted with various City departments regarding development projects, and was responsible for negotiating permit approvals, construction variances, zoning waivers, and local tax incentives for a variety of projects. With his substantial background in development and acquisitions, Mr. Smith has been extremely successful in his role as Vice President. His major development projects have included the development of a $25 million dollar warehouse/office complex for the Detroit Public Schools (DPS). This project converted over 250,000 sq. ft. of abandoned industrial space into a high-tech DPS Campus that now serves as home to approx. 600 support staff employees. Mr. Smith also served as the owner’s rep in the development of the new $32 million, 100,000 sq. ft. “state of the art” Downtown Detroit YMCA. This project was completed on time and within budget. Additionally, Mr. Smith was instrumental in insuring record level participation from minority, women and Detroit based contractors.
Mr. Smith has represented various clients including The Wellness Plan, Goodwill Industries of Metro Detroit, The Detroit Federation of Teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and several private and corporate entities. He has been able to provide his clients with a unique perspective to maximize operational efficiency in their current and/or proposed projects, while seeking to minimize costs. Mr. Smith has closed several multi million dollar transactions including the sale of the former Detroit Free Press HQ and the sale of a major health organizations headquarters. He has directed over $150 million in real estate transactions to date.
Mr. Smith is a native of Detroit, MI who graduated from University of Detroit High School and subsequently earned a Bachelors of Business Administration from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University. He is a license real estate agent and is a reserve Commander in the U.S. Military.