Arbor Hills developers reveal tenant lineup for project on Washtenaw Avenue
Photo By: Terry Robinson
“We did (this) more because the synergy of who was going to be in the (Arbor Hills) center and what was going on,” Step said.
Step is among 15 tenants that have signed leases to open in the 90,700-square-foot shopping center, located on Washtenaw Avenue between Huron Parkway and Platt Road. He said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to open a store in the same center as athletic apparel retailer lululemon athletica and outdoor products retailer The North Face.
“I love to be next to like-minded businesses,” he said.
From local players, like Running Fit and Cafe Zola, to national chains, like Anthropologie and Sur La Table, Arbor Hills has a unique mix of businesses, said Max Reiswerg of Chicago’s North Shore Properties Group. Reiswerg is partnering with Tom Stegeman of Ann Arbor’s Campus Realty to build the project.
Photo courtesy of CITYCENTRE Houston
“We thought Ann Arbor needed something unique,” Reiswerg said.
The developers have 15 signed leases and they are in various stages of negotiations with other tenants. There is room for about 23 businesses, depending on how space is divided.
Many of the tenants are new to Ann Arbor, and some of the companies have been circling the region’s real estate market for years. About half the tenants, including The North Face and Arhaus Furniture, have a presence in the Somerset Collection — an upscale mall in Troy.
“What (many of these tenants) do is they’ll go to really special malls,” said Reiswerg, referring to Somerset. “But these are (tenants) who prefer to be on the street. To entice these tenants, we had to look a certain way.”
He added: “I think a lot of it has to do with the trust of the developer plus, they do extensive research. They’re coming into this market knowing pretty much the type of volumes they can do.”
Some of the other tenants in Arbor Hills:
Paper Source: This specialty paper retailer operates more than 50 stores in 19 states, including a store in downtown Birmingham.
Bluemercury: This luxury beauty products and spa retailer is opening its first Michigan store in the Arbor Hills center.
Glassbox Coffee: Jason Friend opened Glassbox Coffee at 1335 S. University Ave. near the University of Michigan campus last month. He plans to open a new location in Arbor Hills. Glassbox sells specialty coffee, espresso and artisan juices.
LILL Studio: LILL Studio was founded in 1999 as a customizable handbag company. Customers can design handbags and accessories online, at a home party program, or in the company’s boutiques in Chicago and Boston.