When Starwood Capital Group LLC bought Fairlane Town Center in 2014, the investment firm had a lot of work to do.
The Dearborn, Mich., mall was only 72% leased, and among the vacant space was a sprawling former anchor store.
A chance call to Ford Motor Co. to sell some mall advertising turned out to be a game changer. In April, Ford moved its entire engineering and purchasing staff into space once inhabited by department-store chain Lord & Taylor. Ford is now the mall’s largest tenant, with 240,000 square feet of space.