You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 11:50 a.m.

Borders is considering a move to former Visteon Village complex in Wayne County

By Nathan Bomey

(This story has been updated several times with additional information.)

Ann Arbor-based Borders Group Inc. is considering moving its corporate headquarters to western Wayne County in a bid to save costs by shifting to a smaller office complex, confirmed today.


Borders may move to Van Buren Township's Grace Lake Corporate Center, seen here in December 2009.

File photo |

Borders confirmed that the company is considering a move to the Grace Lake Corporate Center in Van Buren Township, a campus of office buildings formerly known as Visteon Village.

In response to an inquiry, Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis said in an email that the former Visteon Village complex "is one of the properties we have looked at but, as of today, nothing has been finalized."

The statement comes after Borders recently announced that it would exit its headquarters on Phoenix Drive on Ann Arbor's south side.

Borders CEO Mike Edwards told last month that the company would focus its office search on a 10- to 15-mile radius surrounding its existing headquarters. He said the company currently has fewer than 400 workers occupying about 25 percent of its 460,000-square-foot building, which is owned by Agree Realty.

"We’re not averse to moving in Ann Arbor or moving anywhere else," Edwards said. "We just need far less space than we have today. And there’s far more economic deals than there were when this building was constructed."

Grace Lake Corporate Center, which is located at 1 Village Center Dr. in Van Buren Township just east of I-275, is about 20 miles away from Borders' current headquarters.

The bookstore chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February and is actively seeking bids for most of the company's remaining stores while simultaneously preparing a reorganization plan that would have to be approved by a judge.

A move out of the area would end the company's 40-year corporate relationship with the city of Ann Arbor, where Tom and Louis Borders started the company.

At the Grace Lake Corporate Center, Borders would join General Electric's 200,000-square-foot Advanced Manufacturing & Software Technology Center, which the company opened in 2009 with plans to add 1,300 jobs.

Visteon, which built the complex, still has a presence there but it's much smaller than it used to be.

Grace Lake Corporate Center, which has 850,000 square feet in office facilities, has about 175,000 square feet ready to be leased, according to a real estate listing by broker CB Richard Ellis.

A real estate agent from CB Richard Ellis was not immediately available for comment.

Paul White, the supervisor of Van Buren Township, said he was not aware of the company's plans.

It's not clear how Borders' plans to move would be affected by an acquisition of the company. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Phoenix-based Najafi Companies joined Los Angeles-based private equity firm Gores Group on the list of companies that are publicly known to be considering a bid for Borders.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.



Thu, Jun 9, 2011 : 8:12 p.m.

Borders has been an institution of Ann Arbor for so many years, I hate to see them leave.


Thu, Jun 9, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.

If the reason for the move is to "shift to a smaller office complex" why move to Wayne county? There are lots of smaller office complexes in Ann Arbor.


Thu, Jun 9, 2011 : 5:04 a.m.

Borders should consider a move to NeverNeverland. This company stinks of insolvency and failure.

Wolf's Bane

Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.



Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 5:59 p.m.

Prolonging the inevitable, painful death.......... poor management - right up to the last breath.

Rob Pollard

Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 5:23 p.m.

That is one depressing file photo. It looks like pre-fab office buildings surrounding a nice alley with absolutely zero characters. Look more like frontage for a movie set than a real place. Won't matter anyway. Unfortunately for its employees, Borders is not long for this earth.

Will Warner

Thu, Jun 9, 2011 : 11:02 a.m.

In a funny way, its zero character gives it character. The building on the right looks like a new factory—and the thought of a NEW factory is cheering to me. The "ally" has the look of a service road through the heart of a manufacturing complex, a sight that suggests purposefulness and productivity. I'm probably reading too much into it.


Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 6:25 p.m.

I can see that. My first thought was buildings on a pier, but movie backlot also fits.


Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 5:09 p.m.

Why bother? It is like swabbing the decks of the Titanic as it sinks. Aren't there costs associated with moving - breaking lease, refurbishing new location, etc.? If Borders will be around for another few years, the move makes sense, but if it is kaput by Nov 1, don't waste the effort. And, if I were the owner of the new property, I'd treat them like a deadbeat renter - first and last months deposit and strict eviction rules - rent check late/bounces you are out the door.


Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

Obviously you have no idea of the law and or bankruptcy proceedings. There is no such thing as "strict eviction rules".

Jojo B

Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 6:39 p.m.

Exactly, excellent analogy! Except in the case of the Titanic, I'm pretty sure the captain knew the ship was doomed near the end and he didn't get paid several million dollars bonus for the sinking.

John B.

Wed, Jun 8, 2011 : 5:22 p.m.

Agreed. It kind of sounds like the move is really on the back burner, though. I'm sure Borders management is currently pursuing all sorts of 'potential options.' If the sale doesn't happen, then they will need to have other possibilities that are cookin' (so to speak).