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Posted on Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

Ann Arbor book manufacturer to sell prominent South State Street facility

By Lizzy Alfs

A 120-year-old book printing company with headquarters on South State Street plans to consolidate its two Ann Arbor area operations.

Edwards Brothers Malloy announced Tuesday afternoon it plans to close its 185,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at 2500 S. State St., and consolidate operations with the company’s 180,000-square-foot facility at 5411 Jackson Road. Some equipment will also be moved to the company’s major printing facility in North Carolina.

The consolidation is expected to take six to 12 months.


Edwards Brothers Malloy plans to cease manufacturing operations at 2500 S. State St. and sell the property.

Lizzy Alfs |

Edwards Brothers Malloy's 16.7-acre South State Street property, which is located between Eisenhower Parkway and Stadium Boulevard, will be marketed for sale.

“It’s a very difficult decision to make,” John Edwards, CEO of Edwards Brothers Malloy, said in a statement. “My grandfather built the State Street plant and many of our employees have family members working here — I’ve known and worked with many of them my whole life."


Edwards Brothers Malloy CEO John Edwards, shown here in a 2007 photo. file photo

"But like most book printers, we’ve seen a decline in longer run offset business. At the same time, our digital operation is growing at a 20 percent clip, so that is where we need to be investing for the future. Having two large offset facilities this close together that are not fully utilized just doesn’t make sense and we need to redirect resources to the side of the business that is growing," Edwards continued.

Edwards Brothers merged with Scio Township-based Malloy Inc. in 2012, resulting in Edwards Brothers Malloy.

Joe Upton, Edwards Brothers Malloy's vice president of sales and marketing, told on Tuesday that a “good share” of the employees working at the State Street facility will be moved to the Jackson Road facility. He estimated there are about 230 employees working on Jackson Road, and 350 employees working on State Street.

Meanwhile, some positions are being cut now, and additional positions may be identified for closure over the next year, a news release says. Upton said employees were notified this week of the consolidation.

“A number of employees are going to move from the State Street location over to Jackson Road,” Upton said. “We don’t know right now the final number.”

“As this unfolds and we understand as it goes through the consolidation what our staffing levels will be and what we’ll need, we’ll have better pictures.”

He called the consolidation an "emotional moment" for the company, but said the move will allow Edwards Brothers Malloy to remain competitive and invest in its digital printing business.

"Particularly for the people that work on State street and for the Edwards family, this is an emotional moment to decide to close State Street,” he said. “For a lot of people who have worked there, that’s the only place they’ve worked.”

He continued: “From a strategic planning perspective, this is a very good thing for the company because it will help us be a stronger, more viable competitor in our industry. It helps us concentrate on the side of the business that is growing — the digital printing.”

Edwards Brothers Malloy owns its 16-acre property on South State Street, which has vacant land west of the 185,000-square-foot building. Local developers and real estate experts — and Ann Arbor's South State Street Corridor Plansuggest the land could support a multi-family development if it were rezoned. The building is also surrounded by property owned by the University of Michigan.

City of Ann Arbor records show the State Street property has an assessed value of $3,069,200 for the 2013 taxable year. The company paid $182,266 in property taxes for the State Street site in 2012.

Upton said it made sense to sell the State Street property because it's the company's most valuable real estate asset. Over the years, the company has also been approached by a few developers interested in the property, he said.

"We've been approached by a couple of developers with a variety of options that they're considering, but as of now, we have not entertained any serious offers. We've just had some casual interest," he said.

"People have talked about office space, they've talked about multifamily residential, and they've talked about even retail on the site. We know there are people interested, but as of right now, there are no serious plans or offers on the table," he continued.

Upton said the University of Michigan expressed interest in the property several years ago, but the university has not made an offer on the property.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

What a great location for the future home of "Red Berenson Ice Arena" :)


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

when u consolidate facilities you also consolidate employees.why do i smell incentives to retire or outright terminations coming to probably 200 or more employees.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

"According to an economic forecast conducted by University of Michigan economists, Washtenaw County employment levels are at an all-time high, surpassing its previous peak level of employment from 2002. Fueled by job gains across most major sectors, the forecast predicts the region will add 12,961 new jobs from 2013 to 2015." "While individual companies took different approaches to challenges presented by the economic downturn, Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Paul Krutko said that many businesses were able to deal with the recession more easily thanks to forward-thinking economic development in the area that began more than 10 years ago." A2com June 2, 2013. Top 25 "area" employer Terumo - downsizes 68 in July Top 25 A2 employer Edwards Brothers Malloy - downsizes up to 350 That leaves Top 25 "area" employers Toyota, Thompson Reuters, Truven Health Analytics, Citi Mortgage, Ford, Faurecia,JAC Products, DTE, Sheridan Books, ProQuest, and Dominoes Pizza and tax supported public/government/postal jobs providers.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

How do I separate out the money I send to Citi, spend with Ford and the money my insurer spends with Thompson Rueters from the money I send to the State of MI?

Eleanor Brier

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

Look out old time employees!!! This is where the Company gets rid of you, slowly but surely. Ask all the former Sheridan Books employees. Management says it's looking at staffing options but a lot of you are gone. Operators beware...if you think you are indispensable that's a joke. The bottom line is money and it's not your money I'm talking about. You will be screwed in the name of the bottom line. As a former employee of Braun Brumfield/Sheridan Books, the end is near for a lot of you. Some sooner than later.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:54 p.m.

If it goes to multi family, yes property tax revenue will be there. But, if it goes to UM the land will be filled with facilities that need people to run them...that means jobs.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 12:53 p.m.

Practice fields require landscapers, irrigation etc. UM Student housing is full of workers.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

An empty practice field, parking garage or housing development doesn't translate to more jobs. It does mean that more land and equipment property off the A2 tax base forever though.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

Now it all makes perfect sense! Ann Arbor, host city of the 2020 Summer Olympics. In the near future, UM will have to go online to compete for sudents. Tuition income will be cut to the bone and the newbrains will reside worldwide. The UM campus and retiree hospital system would collapse if not for lucrative programs that cannot be done online and require a physical geographic presence. A. Specialized Lab Research (Advanced Medicine). B. Sports (biggest attraction even as Rome fell). Accommodation in town will service A. Semi-permanant researchers and their families B. temporary athletes, their partytown pampering, and sports medicine. So, you want a job in Ann Arbor ? A. researcher, lab rat, bottle washer, janitor, fireman/woman, Superintendent of the last Public School, boomerang conductor. B. sports therapy, reporter, hotdog vendor, bartender, escort, boomerang conductor. C. retail clerk, restaurant worker, bookie, boomerang conductor. D. Mayor to take all credit for the new boomerang.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

Well, that explains the City's new water pipe down State Street - an olympic-size Natatorium.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Ann Arbor would not be the prominent city it is without the U of M. They employ thousands of residents, or nearby residents. Visitors spend money at local restaurants, stores, and hotels. U of M put Ann Arbor on the map. Not only with their athletics, but a fine academic school and hospital. Sure, they are expanding and it causes a loss in taxes. Expansion is necessary to keep up with the fine quality that is U of M. Without U of M, the face of Ann Arbor would totally change. As far as Edward Bros, they are a good and loyal company that has to make hard decisions in a dwindling business. I wish them luck.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Clue - Company towns do not make for healthy hometown communities. Residents are either owners of the company or disenfranchised "slaves" to it. Elvis the train has left the station. Good Luck in M-town !


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:54 a.m.

Time for city council to grow a pair and ask UM to accept a PILOT program.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

..Stunning impartiality of regarding recommending or even advocating residential area for UM.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

Here's hoping the land is bought and A2 puts up a 1/2 dozen ''low income housing' apartments". I dream of living in slum and I am sure John boy the Mayor wants the same thing. I will bet the farm that NOTHING goes up that means anything to A2 taxpayers. It will either be slum housing or more art. Hold your breath A2 taxpayers..........:)


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:56 a.m.

News tidbit from Paula G. is totally scary...." UM's plans to expand the athletic campus". What ever happened to the huge land area of Phizer? It's more than big enough for shrines of sports. Can someone with common sense really stop to think about how utterly horrible this expansion would be on that property to that State Street corridor? Not only would the traffic be even more dangerous and horrible, the unlimited noises UM is granted with no limits, lack of tax revenue for the city and wait until they take business away from the restaurants in that area with their own UM businesses. They could also use this for parking for football games therefore depleating all those other places in the city from making some cash. Oh....don't forget what will happen when they demand that this street be closed due to their activities. You people better get a clue and start saving the city of Ann Arbor. All these shrines to sports mean that the students who aren't athletes who are trying to get in UM will be further shut out because the athletes get priority points not the academic students. Learn about what the citizens of Princeton is doing by suing the tax-exempt status to save their city before it's too late.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

An article from the Times of Trenton about the lawsuit against Princeton University is also available on


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 10:58 a.m.

Quoting Huffington? Wow. #Notanewssource...


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:39 a.m.

Oh, oh....UM will look to land grab yet another property off the tax rolls for yet another Stadium, parking lot, an upscale student dorm or some other sport. Ugh....another step towards UM domination. That Soccer Stadium is a noise monster that no one can complain about and get anything done. When you complain, the AA police tells you to contact campus police and then campus police tells you to contact the athletic dept. because they are in charge. Let's see if the mayor and that city council will do anything to stop another UM purchase or another developer from building a shrine to upscale shrine to student housing.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

Hello? Nobody is forcing you to live where you live. If you hate it that much, move! You have the power to do whatever you want to do. Oh wait, but you love it here? Then stop complaining.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

Happy to read this great company is adapting to tech impacts on their business. Let us hope they continue to be successful and can provide employment for many people in the area.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

Who prints the PhD dissertations for the University?


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 11:32 a.m.

It isn't required to have them printed. As Epengar mentioned, the official University copy is digital. I had a couple copies of mine printed at Bessenberg Bindery in Dexter. They are the recommended local place, and their prices are comparable with an online site that the University also recommends. They were also incredibly nice when I went to pick up the copies.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 5:52 a.m.

Maybe nobody. As of last year, the "copy of record" for dissertations and theses is digital, and stored in Deep Blue, the UM's digital archives. Doctoral dissertations and Master's theses both go there, and freely available for download: Some departments still require that the student provide them a printed copy, and I think it's still customary to give a printed copy to each member of the dissertation committee. From the 80's through the Naughts, Bessenberg Bindery on 5th did a lot of the binding. The owners recently sold the business to Thomson-Shore, who now run it as a hand-binding shop that is part of their business. I know in the last few years, some doctoral students have used Kolossos Printing.

Vivienne Armentrout

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : midnight

I've been involved at the margins with the publishing industry for the last 20 years. I've watched what has been an historically important industry in Ann Arbor dwindle. Edwards was a big part of that. I won't recount all the others. Obviously, this is in part a reflection of global changes in information exchange. But I hope Ann Arbor never gives up its love of books and those who make them.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

Tough to make the decision, but I'm sure it's the right decision. They have been incredibly loyal to Ann Arbor.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:02 p.m.

Sad news, but inevitable, given how technology has changed. This is a great company that prints small run journals and books for many small publishers and does a great job.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Another business out from under the dome...good move...

Michigan Reader

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:24 p.m.

Somebody from Edwards Bros. commented in an article in the print edition (article subject:Ann Arbor property taxes) that if he could, he'd lift up and move the company's facility and put it outside of Ann Arbor. Looks like that's why they chose the Scio Township location to consolidate with.

Michigan Reader

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:03 a.m.

johnnya2--"I doubt it has ANYTHING to do with property taxes. The value of the land on State Street is MUCH higher than anything on Jackson Rd." It follows then, that Edwards Brothers will be paying MUCH less in taxes on the Jackson Rd. facility, right?


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

The State Street facility is totally inefficient compared to the Jackson Road one, so not only are taxes higher but so are the energy bills. The company is not doing well, this is not about making a profit from selling the land. Who wants to close their family business???


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 12:57 a.m.

I doubt it has ANYTHING to do with property taxes. The value of the land on State Street is MUCH higher than anything on Jackson Rd


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

As an 20 year employee of Edwards Brothers Malloy I think we have all felt it coming! It's been a stressful few days for all of us, as 40 employees were let go/layed off yesterday. Those layoffs spanned from the North Carolina plant to the two Ann Arbor Plants. And some were let go today and some were told they would not have a job in 3 to 6 months. Luckily I will be moving with the equipment that I operate! Its a sad and scary time for some of us! Even for me because anything can change!

Paula Gardner

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Here's a story that discusses some of UM's plans to expand the athletic campus. Expanded pool (possibly displacing the track that's now next to Canham) and lacrosse facility are mentioned as part of the plans.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 3:21 p.m.

I think it's unfortunate that UM is planning to move more of the athletic facilities away from central campus because most students do live within walking distance to the main campus and are able to walk to most athletic events. Moving the facilities further away will decrease student attendance at athletic events. Also, UM plans to put a surface parking lot in place of the historic Ferry Field, where track legend Jesse Owens set 3 world records in one day. Personally, I think it's pretty cool that you can literally run in Owens footsteps!

Brian Bundesen

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 10 p.m.

My money is on a new lacrosse stadium & much more UM Athletics facilities. Will be interesting to watch it play out.

John of Saline

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

Moving the track to the new open piece of land? Huh. It would be more room than they have now; they're pretty hemmed in as it is. I'm guessing javelin/discus/shot/hammer practice would be easier (and safer) with more room to work with. Plus one could imagine two tracks for running simultaneous events or something.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

Edwards brothers have been true to Ann Arbor for a long time. I think many of us, myself included, have had employment there over the years. I wish them well in whatever they plan. It's gratifyuing that they will remain here at all.

John of Saline

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

While I was typing, Paula answered my question: the U. has that fragment of forest. Makes sense, as there is a road running behind the plant from the tennis facility parking lot to the commuter parking lot.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 2:24 p.m.

Yes, UM does own it. I drove on that road connecting the lot with the athletic compound this morning. The Edwards Brothers property definitely stands out with UM on surrounding it on all sides.

John of Saline

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:09 p.m.

(Looking at Google Maps): It's a big piece of land, and it's right next to the U-M tennis/gymnastics complex, with a U-M parking lot on the other side. I can't figure out what the deal is with the forested area behind the plant, between the plant and the apartment complex that faces Main St. Does that belong to the plant or someone else? There's only one rough track through it. Nice little nature reserve.....


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

"The building is also surrounded by property owned by the University of Michigan. Time to expand the athletic department's footprint.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:06 p.m.

Here's what the State Street Corridor Plan says about this site: Site 1-E– This 16.7 acre site is located on the west side of South State Street and is surrounded on three sides by land owned by the University of Michigan. The site currently is being used as a book manufacturing facility. This use and similar light industrial uses, in addition to office uses, are consistent with the existing M1 (Limited Industrial) zoning and should be allowed to continue. If this parcel is redeveloped in the future, residential and a mixture of office and residential uses would be appropriate for this site. Office uses would be consistent with existing office uses along South State Street just north of the site. Residential uses would support the intensification of the University of Michigan's South Athletic Campus as well as provide housing opportunities for students and employees working at nearby office uses. The O (Office) zoning designation would be the most appropriate zoning designation to support these future land uses.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:24 a.m.

bars too far away for athletes


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:30 p.m.

One drawback for some of the athletes would be the inability to play beer pong in the front yard.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

The question about the student-athlete housing is interesting, too. Can you imagine the impact on the neighborhood by State and Arch if they had dedicated U-M housing? When my brother played football in the 1980s, he shared a run-down house on Arch with 6 or 8 other players. New student housing at UM would be pretty luxurious in comparison!

Paula Gardner

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

I find this property interesting. While being surrounded on 3 sides by UM is pretty distinctive (and puts a very obvious buyer in line), this also is a very rare large city parcel with main road frontage and close to I-94. That has to be compelling to a developer who'd consider housing or office use. And the 16 acres is one shy of the 17 that Costco used to build its store in Pittsfield Township - could retailers want to look at it, too?


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

Are you hinting at campus housing for student athletes?

Resident A2

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Best of luck to Edwards Brothers. They have worked well with the students from Ann Arbor Public Schools giving many of our students employment opportunities. We can only hope that they get a good price from someone other than a university.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

I know someone who works at the Jackson Rd plant. She and my late daughter worked for Malloy and she is worried about her job. Hope everything works out for all involved.

An Arborigine

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

If UM can't buy it, they'll just claim it under eminent domain!


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

Given its location, I think it very likely that the University will try to get the property, which will further erode the AA tax base. The remaining tax payers will pay more, once again.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

Seeing this has been on the UofM's radar for years to extend the athletic campus doesn't take much speculation. I personally would much rather see the University use the property for their athletic campus than another housing complex or office building the only nice part of that stretch of road is the University's properties. All the other buildings are pretty bland and boring. Also the University is the largest employer; the city grew around the University . A2 benefits way more from the relationship than the University does. So no more if I could get my hands on tax money cries. Your taxes would still be outrageous with the folks running the city -- 750K for the piece of dare I say it ''art" in front of city hall think about that next time your writing the city a check. just sayin


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

ohboy, another stadium

Widow Wadman

Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

This was a smart business decision. Best of luck to Edwards Brothers Molloy.


Tue, Jul 30, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

Gee, I wonder who will buy that and take it off the tax rolls? Well played, Edwards Bros.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

I'm guessing the question was rhetorical but it will taken off the A2 tax role as the: UM Offset Printing International Research and Development Facility Incubator of course.


Wed, Jul 31, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Oh yes, what a joy for them to be posting losses and to have to let long-term employees go. The article doesn't mention how many people were laid off on Monday....