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September 24, 2008

Birmingham developer Ted Fuller awarded for service to county

By Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM — Ted Fuller’s name has long been synonymous with economic development and revitalization in the Birmingham area.

Most recently, his achievements have come to the attention of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, who recently recognized Fuller with a Quality People, Quality County Award.

The award, which acknowledges men and women who have contributed in some significant way to the quality of life in Oakland County, has been handed out during a special awards breakfast for the past 16 years.

Fuller, Oakland University President Gary Russi, and Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation Manager Hayes Jones — who won the gold medal in the 110-meter hurdles at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics — all received a 2008 Quality People, Quality County Award Sept. 18.

Patterson said those recognized often serve the community from behind the scenes — with little fanfare and little recognition.

“This is my opportunity to bring them out in the cold light of day, and let you see what goes on, on a daily basis,” he said during the 2008 awards breakfast at the Centerpoint Marriot.

Fuller, who attended Culver Military Academy in Indiana through his junior year, graduated from Detroit County Day. He attended the University of Miami for two years before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon returning home, Fuller went back to college and graduated from Ferris State University with a bachelor’s degree in business. He went on to pursue a career in real estate, buying old buildings in Birmingham that no one wanted.

“He has been there performing his magic for the last 35 years. Ted’s company, Fuller Central Park Properties, has been a guiding force of numerous projects, which have dramatically changed the business landscape and the skyline of Birmingham. He has created many new jobs and enhanced the quality of life for so many people in this county and his community of Birmingham,” Patterson said.

Throughout the course of his 35-year career in real estate, Fuller rehabilitated the old Jacobson’s property and leased it to the McCann Erickson Advertising Agency, bought the National City Bank building and turned it into a new home for Wells-Fargo Bank, and built the 151 Building — which will house the Clark Hill Law Firm, among others.

The dramatic downturn in the Michigan economy has surprisingly not impacted Fuller Central Park Properties as much as others. Fuller said that’s because the office market in Oakland County, primarily in Birmingham, has been remarkably resilient.

“I know the economy has been very difficult, but Birmingham seems to have a sparkle that a lot of the other areas haven’t enjoyed,” he said.

Outside of his real estate achievements, Fuller supports Birmingham’s Concerts in the Park, Fourth of July fireworks display, and a variety of other local charities. He hopes his contributions have helped improve the quality of life, and the lifestyle, in downtown Birmingham and Oakland County.

“I think that the projects that we have done, taking over properties, rehabilitating them, putting them back into service, bringing great tenants to Birmingham, is all part of the fabric of a community, and I think you really need to have that to have a successful downtown,” he said.

Fuller — who was awarded a crystal vase, a Quality People, Quality County plaque and copy of the video shown at the awards breakfast — thanked his wife and his business partners for helping him along the way.

“Something like this just doesn’t happen without an element of good people behind you,” he said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Mary Beth Almond at malmond@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1060.