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 From left, Jimmy Saros, vice president of Jim Saros Real Estate Services, joins his dad, company President Jim Saros, at the Sept. 12 grand opening for their new building at the corner of Mack Avenue and Cadieux Road in Grosse Pointe City.

From left, Jimmy Saros, vice president of Jim Saros Real Estate Services, joins his dad, company President Jim Saros, at the Sept. 12 grand opening for their new building at the corner of Mack Avenue and Cadieux Road in Grosse Pointe City.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

Saros building celebrates opening with local officials

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published September 17, 2019

GROSSE POINTE CITY — City and county officials, business leaders and others were on hand to celebrate the official grand opening of the Jim Saros Real Estate Services building Sept. 12 in Grosse Pointe City.

Located at 17108 Mack Ave., the structure is flanked by both Grosse Pointe Park — on the other side of Cadieux Road — and Detroit, which is on the other side of Mack.

“It’s a gateway to the Grosse Pointe community,” said Jimmy Saros, vice president of Jim Saros Real Estate Services. “We couldn’t be more proud.”

With large glass windows on all sides, the structure is airy and elegant, with a modern crystal chandelier serving as a centerpiece on the ceiling of the second floor, overlooking the first floor lobby and visible from outside.

At roughly 13,500 gross square feet, the new building is actually only a couple of thousand square feet larger than its predecessor. However, it’s a grander structure. Including Saros Real Estate — which occupies the entire second floor — there are seven tenants in the building. Saros said they include a property management company, a mortgage broker, an interior designer, an insurance agent, two attorneys and Detroit Yoga and Cycling Lab.

“It’s a good mix,” Saros said.

He said tenants moved into the building in May, but finishing touches were still being put on the interior and exterior.

The original building was destroyed during a massive fire on Sept. 29, 2016. Jimmy Saros is the third generation in his family to work for the business, which was launched by his father’s uncle, Jim Saros, in 1937. Saros’ own father, also named Jim, has worked for decades in the real estate company, as did Saros’ grandfather, Spiro Saros. They had occupied the building at the corner of Mack and Cadieux since 1979.

Because of a shortage of tradespeople and weather-related delays, Saros said, construction of the new structure “was really a two-and-a-half-year process.”

Grosse Pointe City Councilwoman Sheila Tomkowiak, one of the officials on hand for the opening, said it was great to see property owners making an investment like this in the community.

“I think this means a lot for the Mack Avenue corridor and on both sides of Cadieux,” she said. “This type of investment brings more investment, and that’s great. It pays off in the long run for increased property values for everybody.”

As a “gateway to Grosse Pointe City,” Tomkowiak said the new building makes a “beautiful impression.”

It will soon be joined by the City’s new public safety building, which is currently under construction two blocks away on the corner of Mack and St. Clair Street.

“It’s the gateway to Grosse Pointe City as well as Grosse Pointe Park,” said City Councilman John Stempfle, who was also at the opening. “You don’t realize what a stunning building it is until you come inside. There’s so much light.”

As the City focuses on “revitalizing everything on Mack,” Stempfle said he hopes people will see the new Saros building and the public safety building and decide to open or locate their own businesses in this area.

Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and his wife, Renata, were in attendance as well. Evans said he’s been friends with Jim Saros for about 35 to 40 years. Like other officials, he was impressed with the new building and believes it’s a good addition to the business district.

“It’s not like the area needed a rebirth, but it’s certainly a shot in the arm,” Evans said.

Jim Saros, president of Saros Real Estate, said he received “multimillion-dollar offers” for his property at Mack and Cadieux after the fire. After losing the building, he contemplated selling the land instead of rebuilding.

His son, Jimmy — who had been an exceptional football player named All-American at both Grosse Pointe South High School and at Brown University — could have had a career in the NFL as a wide receiver, but he instead decided to pursue a career in real estate like his father. After a couple of years working at what his father said was the “largest real estate company in the country” in New York City, Jimmy Saros came home to join the family business, only a couple of months before the fire.

Jim Saros said it was at his son’s urging that he decided to rebuild. His son worked on the building design as well.

“I was in this building for 40 years,” Jim Saros said. “I saw it rise from ashes to a palace.”

From the repetition of angles to arches to linear lights, “Everything in this building has an intention,” said Patrick Brewis, COO of Metry Interiors, which was responsible for the design. There are geodes in the hand-painted floor, reclaimed wood and other unique touches to achieve what Brewis said was a goal of making everything “aesthetically pleasing.”

“We really wanted to pay homage to old Detroit and old Grosse Pointe,” he said.

The new structure also “mimicked some of the original’s design,” Brewis said.

Cathy Metry, the CEO of Metry Interiors, said this project has been “an amazing experience.”

She said their design was based on creating “an environment where people wanted to come to work and wanted to stay at work,” and where they had everything they needed at their disposal.

“It’s exciting to bring a building like this to (this) corner,” Jimmy Saros said. “We’re starting to see other development on Mack as well.”