Benjamin L. Smith, PrincipalPrincipal 1 property
Role and Responsibilities
Ben Smith is a Principal of Summit Commercial and is a real estate professional with over 22 years of experience in the commercial industry. His responsibilities consist of overseeing daily business operations and generating leads for brokerage, development, and property management opportunities. Ben also specializes in office, industrial, and retail sales/leasing, as well as, municipal property acquisition / disposition services. He has closed several multi-million-dollar transactions including the sale of the former Detroit Free Press HQ, American Community Insurance HQ, and the sale of a major health organizations headquarters.
Ben was formerly a Project Manager with DEGC where he helped supervise and manage several of Detroit’s economic development projects. These numerous construction and development projects included the $125 million Land Acquisition and Waterfront Reclamation Project; as well as, directing all architectural, construction, and City approval activities for the $14 million dollar riverfront promenade project. Ben also participated in the EPA, MDEQ, and City of Detroit environmental remediation plan which developed an 80-acre industrial site that laid the foundation for the eventual relocation of three waterfront cement plants.
Ben previously served as the Vice President of Brokerage and development for NAI Farbman. His responsibilities included directing land acquisition activities for large corporate clients, approving purchase agreements, clearing title, and directing development activities. He regularly interacted with various City Depts. Regarding development projects, and was responsible for negotiating permit approvals, variances, zoning waivers, and local tax incentives for a variety of projects.
As a Principal of Summit Commercial, he has helped guide the company through numerous transactions including the sale/leasing of several office buildings, retail shopping centers, apartments, industrial developments, medical buildings, educational facilities and vacant land. His team has played a strategic role in the disposition of approximately 1,200 City of Detroit real estate parcels, successfully returning these properties to the City’s tax rolls. These efforts have generated approx. $30 MM in revenue for the City, increased tax revenue, increased property values in several key areas, spurred private development and eliminated considerable blight. His team currently has several million in City real estate under contract in the Brush Park/Midtown area of Detroit, slated for tens of millions in residential & mixed-use development.
Additional selected accomplishments
• Retired U.S. Coast Guard Captain/O6, responsibilities included, ensuring the mobilization readiness of approximately 550 reserve emergency response personnel.
• Owner’s rep for the development of a $25 million dollar warehouse/office complex for the Detroit Public Schools (DPS), which converted over 250,000 sq. ft. of industrial space into a high tech DPS Campus.
• Directed over $150 million in brokerage transactions to date.
• Earned BBA from Howard University and a Juris Doctorate from Wayne State University.
• Board of Directors, Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce
• Board of Directors, YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit
• Board of Directors, State of Michigan Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons