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Office space reimagined: How Friedman goes beyond brokering the deal

Office space reimagined: How Friedman goes beyond brokering the deal

Real estate firm manages every part of a client’s move into a new space.

When Village Green decided to move its headquarters, Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions not only brokered the space, but it designed and built out the new work environment.

Moving an entire company from one office building to another without upsetting operations is no easy feat. Choosing a commercial real estate team that goes far beyond simply finding a new location for its client helps.

When Village Green moved its residential property management company from Farmington Hills to 32,000 square feet at One Northwestern Plaza in Southfield this year, it used Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions for every part of the move. More than just a ‘broker,’ Friedman’s Workplace Solutions Group includes Friedman Construction and Design Company, which is a team of professional in-house space planners, architects, interior designers, estimators, and construction and project managers to assist clients with their design and construction needs.

Friedman’s Workplace Solutions Group:

  • Helped Village Green visualize and develop a conceptual plan for its ideal office space;
  • Located several building options that met Village Green’s requirements;
  • Found the right building and negotiated the best deal;
  • Designed the actual working plan for the new space, including coordinating finishes and furnishings with Village Green’s designers and vendors;
  • Created the construction drawings that were sealed by the firm’s in-house architect and submitted to the city of Southfield for permitting; and
  • Handled the general contracting as well as the project management on behalf of Village Green.

“We had business continuity during the whole move,” said Village Green CEO Diane Batayeh. “It was an easy transition because of Friedman’s outstanding planning. “And, they helped us to stay within our budget.” Friedman Construction and Design helped to cut costs significantly for Village Green by suggesting cost-saving alternatives and passing along its volume-discounted pricing on finish materials, lighting and door/sidelight assemblies.

Collaborative spaces were important to Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions when it designed the new corporate headquarters for Village Green.


The new space is designed to accommodate specific departments. The call center is a large open area that encourages collaboration. An inviting, open “huddle space” allows for teamwork amongst employees, a “mother’s den” has private space for new moms, and a Detroit-inspired lounge features gaming systems, a TV and an arcade machine.

Batayeh began looking for a larger corporate office for Village Green in 2016. The company committed to the new space in September that year and signed the lease in December with design and construction activities immediately following.

Todd Hawley, Friedman senior vice president, showed Batayeh properties in its own portfolio as well as buildings owned by other developers. “But he did not push us into one building over another,” she said.

Friedman supported the company’s green initiatives by offering sustainable materials, including no volatile organic compound paints, flooring materials with recycled content and cabinetry with sustainable substrates and finishes throughout the office.

“Both myself and our in-house architect are LEED-accredited professionals, so we are well-versed in designing and building projects with sustainable requirements,” said Zack Boisvert, project manager for Friedman’s Construction and Design division.

Boisvert said Friedman’s team of brokers, architects and construction professionals work together in a way that allows the client to continue to operate with minimal interruptions. “Our biggest advantage is that our integrated team works closely throughout the entire site selection, design, build and move process. Through this integrated approach, we are able to reduce design/build time while also delivering more cost-effective projects and energetic spaces for our clients.”

Friedman works with dedicated construction professionals so it can control the workflow and minimize impact on its clients’ business operations. “We often work after/before hours or on weekends to keep on schedule,” Boisvert said. For the Village Green move, employees worked one day from home while the physical move occurred.

Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions is a LEED-accredited firm and used sustainable materials and reclaimed wood in designing the new corporate headquarters for Village Green.


Gary Goodman, Friedman’s senior managing director for brokerage services, said most companies still think that a real estate broker’s job is simply to locate space or a building. “Today’s clients expect more from their real estate advisors. They really want a complete solution for everything relating to their occupancy, and our workplace team does a great job providing exactly that,” Goodman said.

Goodman and Friedman’s designers agree that workplace environments continue to evolve. Companies are competing for top talent, and in order to attract the best employees, they need to offer a work environment that reflects the company’s culture while providing amenities, technology and design elements that help employees be more comfortable and productive.

“Village Green’s new headquarters is a prime example of how our team delivers our best work when we are able to oversee the entire project for a client. It’s very satisfying to see how happy they are with their new space and location,” Goodman said.

To learn more, call Friedman Integrated Real Estate Solutions at 248-324-2000. Take a video tour of Friedman’s Workplace Solutions process below. Learn more at

Marti Benedetti, Crain's Detroit Business