A lifelong advocate for Detroit with a deep-rooted family history in the city, Lisa Nederlander is back and excited about both the artist community and the real estate market.
By Karleigh Stone
Photography by Jerry Zolynsky
“To come back and see the city flourish, to see the suburbs and real estate market start to come back, has been very exciting for me. To get to be a part of it is wonderful,” Lisa Nederlander said. A lifelong advocate for Detroit with a deep-rooted family history in the city, Nederlander is back and excited about both the artist community and the real estate market. Currently, she works as an associate real estate broker at Max Broock Realtors and is also a seasoned art collector looking to dive further into Detroit’s art market. “I firmly believe that while Detroit was so hard hit in the past, the art scene is very much at the heart of rejuvenation we’re seeing now,” she said.
Her love for art budded at a young age as she witnessed show after show at the Fisher Theatre, started by her grandfather. These theater roots inspired her love for movement and color, which later led to her passion for art. “It’s a very emotional and visceral experience. You can look at a piece of art and be very excited by the color, the lines or if it’s a painting or drawing, the artist’s hand gestures and movements,” she said. “It gives you a window into the mystery of the human mind as well as the uniqueness of each individual person.”
As she transitioned into her teen years, Nederlander enjoyed the artist community Downtown with friends. She then took her love for both art and the city of Detroit to college with her at Wayne State, where she majored in history, spending ample amounts of time at the DIA studying art from the periods she was learning about. Her endeavors took her to Europe when she chose to continue her studies at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London. There, she was exposed to many incredible cultural institutions including the National Gallery, Tate, Victoria and Albert Museum and the National Trust country houses that showcase fine and decorative arts throughout history.
FROM ART TO REAL ESTATE
When Nederlander moved back to the States, she began working at the European Furniture Market at Sotheby’s in New York City. Her career in real estate began when she needed to earn a living, a feat more difficult in the art industry. “Interestingly, selling residential real estate is the perfect transition from studying fine and decorative arts,” she said. In her heart, Nederlander always knew she’d come back to Detroit, and in 2009, she did.
Sarah Kirsch, a client of Nederlander’s, says she can see that Nederlander’s background in art helps her excel as an agent. “When she was taking us through the house, her advice for how we could move things around allowed us to see the potential of the house,” Kirsch said. “It’s a 1920s Tudor home, and we wanted to add modern touches but keep the original character. Her vision of that is what sold me on the house and I could not be happier.”
Since she’s been back, Nederlander joined the Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art at the DIA, got involved with Cranbrook and the College for Creative Studies, and co-chaired an ORT and the City event, an annual fundraiser that celebrates art and culture.
Gretchen Davidson, a colleague from Friends of Modern and Contemporary Art at the DIA, believes Nederlander is a great asset to the Detroit art community. “Not only does she have a great eye for detail, but also a high-level understanding of art,” Davidson said. “She genuinely cares about the world and her passion and dedication in the community makes her an asset to any organization she’s a part of.”
The Detroit art scene is up and coming. Artists can rent less expensive studio space, there are great galleries and gallerists, and the artists are very supportive of the community and vice versa, according to Nederlander. She is hoping Detroit will become a place where more people come to buy art. On the real estate side of things, big things are also happening in the Motor City.
Nederlander is the exclusive agent for the Platform’s Cass and York condominium development in Detroit’s New Center, a 50-plus unit luxury building. “It’s new for the market and located in the heart of Detroit’s thriving core. I can’t wait to share more details about this exciting project in the coming months,” she said. Although Nederlander’s path took her away from Detroit for a while, she is excited that for many young people today, that is not the case.
“With the younger generation having more opportunities and staying here, families can stay together,” she said. “We can have a thriving metropolis again. I’m very eager to be a part of it and help in any way I can.”