Van on Vine: Celebrating 60 Years

By Van W. Martin / 02.23.22 / 3 min read

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Martin Commercial Properties. Founded by my father, we have been serving clients not only in Michigan but nationally for 6 decades.

One thing I’ve noticed from being in this business for 40-plus years is that people are always interested in commercial real estate. When I’m out and about, I’m always being asked ‘what’s up?’ or ‘what’s going on?’ People want to know what’s happening with a particular property, or with a development that’s breaking ground. I may be biased but talking about commercial real estate is exciting. What’s even more exciting is to be around people who are interested and involved in the future of their community.

It’s great to be in a profession that is so intertwined with a region’s well-being and prosperity. At Martin Commercial Properties, we work for you. That’s our aim. As we embark on 2022, we can all be proud of our resilience during this challenging time. We all knew that COVID-19 would turn our lives inside out. But we also knew we had the fortitude to adapt. It’s amazing what people can collectively do when faced with adversity. And we see the evidence when we look at the trends in commercial real estate.

Who would have thought, for instance, that we’d see double digit rent growth in the industrial asset class? The growth in supply chain logistics and demand for warehousing is unprecedented and has accelerated beyond expectations. Multi-family has seen consistent rent growth, and even resort communities in the hotel sector have recovered as luxury travel resumes. Retail has held up better than anyone thought with adaptive reuse, omnichannel distribution, and a movement towards experiential retail. Office is more dependent on the particular market, but we are seeing positive signs of investment as companies big and small come up with workplace strategies.

While performance is still property-type dependent, valuation has weathered the pandemic well. Altogether, it’s a testament to the commercial real estate industry and the investors, property owners and businesses that forge ahead. Here in Lansing, we’re seeing more synergy and vibrancy from developments like the Red Cedar Project, the MSU Federal Credit Union project in East Lansing, and activity along the Michigan Avenue corridor including the Block 600 development. At Martin, we’re continuing to promote dialogue about vision, leadership, and relationships to drive prosperous economic development in Greater Lansing, Grand Rapids, and beyond.

Every day, I feel privileged to lead a family business that started with my parents—William G. Martin and Nanette VanDervoort Martin—and will perpetuate with the next generation that includes my son Cutler Martin and son-in-law Jason Brunette. Their contemporary outlook combined with the expertise and dedication from our Martin staff will take us to new heights as we strive to support our communities, develop long-term business partners, and contribute to economic prosperity for all. For me, it’s like being revitalized. I’m excited to be along for the ride, and I invite you to join me.

Van W. Martin
President and CEO