Celebrating 50 years: A look back at Swisher Commercial’s five decades


A timeline of Swisher Commercial’s impressive growth and success in Ann Arbor over the past 50 years.

Opened in 1968, Swisher Realty became the leasing agent for Glencoe HillsGlencoe Hills, which reached 100 percent occupancy (a one-bedroom apartment was $190 and three-bedroom apartment was $325).

* 1971: Swisher Realty manages the First National Building on the corner of Main St. and Washington.

* 1973: Swisher is the leasing agent for the newly constructed Wolverine Tower, boasting “high speed elevators.”

* 1979: Michigan Theater Office Building reopens its doors with new management, John Swisher III manages and sells to new owners. Poulos Family were the sellers, sold to Lafourche Realty Co. of Kalamazoo. Housed 8 shops and 20 offices upstairs. Professional offices in the building at the time: Schoolkids Records and Tapes, Albert’s Copying, Shepard Shoes, Sylvia Studio of Dance, Bill’s Bindery, and more.

* 1980: Michigan Theater purchased and saved by A2 State Bank for $550,000—Swisher Realty brokered the deal.

* 1983: Ronald Dankert joins the team.

* 1984: Dankert produces a concert, “Irish Night at the Michigan Theater.”

* 1985: John Swisher III becomes president/CEO.

READ ABOUT SWISHER’S INCREDIBLE ANN ARBOR SUCCESS STORY:  https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/07/25/celebrating-50-years-swisher-commercial-built-on-building-relationships/

* 1990: Barton Wise joins the team.

* 1991: Douglas Smith joins the team followed by David Hamilton in 1992.

* 1993: Swisher creates the first Year-End Vacancy Report.

* 1995: Vernice “Bunnie” Weinberg reaches 30 years of working for Swisher Realty Co. She began working with John Swisher Jr. at the Butts and Swisher Co. in 1962 and continued as secretary with Swisher Realty.

* 1998: John Swisher III and Ron Dankert brought on Dave Hamilton, Bob Bliss, Doug Smith and Bart Wise as partners.

* 1999: Ann Arbor has the lowest office vacancy rate in the Metro Detroit area during it’s second quarter at 2.4 percent. Lease rates averaged $18.94/square foot.

* 2000: Swisher Realty Co. rebrands to Swisher Commercial.

* 2000: John Evans joins the team followed by Cynthia Debol in 2003.

* 2003: Swisher receives first CoStar Power Broker award for transaction volume and continues to receive recognition today. Tony Caprarese joins the team.

* 2007: Jessica Wise and Charlie Koenn join the team.

* 2008: Jeffrey Evans joins the team.

* 2009: The Tech Brewery is founded by Swisher Commercial’s Doug Smith (Northern Brewery building owner) and local serial entrepreneur, Dug Song. Together they provided one of the first spaces for start-up businesses and tech culture in Ann Arbor. Dug Song and John Oberle’s Duo Security started with a ‘rent-a-desk’ space at Tech Brewery and has grown into a tech and business giant.

* 2010: Randy Maas joins the team followed by Joseph Palms and Michael Giraud in 2011.

* 2013: Michael Jurgenson joins the team. Ann Arbor News’ Deals of the Year for Commercial Real Estate awarded to Mike Giraud. It is one of the largest sales in Ann Arbor that year, $10.6 million for the 301 E. Liberty Building, purchased by Dahlmann Properties. Returned to local ownership for the first time in 20 years.

* 2014: TLS Productions Inc., a full-service production company doubles in size, moves to Ann Arbor at Jackson Plaza – Bart Wise, John Evans, and Charlie Koenn represented the deal.

* 2015: Mike Jurgenson of Swisher Commercial represents the seller of 121 and 123 E. Liberty St. City Council approves plans to build a three-story addition which would bring new residential units downtown. GenZe, a Deals of the Year finalist, selling all-electric scooters, moves to Ann Arbor.  Bart Wise brokered the deal.

* 2017: Noelle Caprarese and Stephen Galgan join the team. Swisher Commercial brokers the sale of the iconic music venue, The Blind Pig. New owners Joe Malcoun, Jason Berry and an investment team plan to maintain it as a music venue, while keeping the same staff.

* 2018: After serving as CEO for 13 years, Dave Hamilton steps down. Mike Jurgenson is named President/CEO. Swisher Commercial celebrates 50 years in Ann Arbor.

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