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Posted on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 : 5:12 p.m.

Briarwood Mall among 26 properties in $1.5B transaction

By Paula Gardner

Ann Arbor’s largest shopping center is part of a $1.5 billion transaction announced this week by Simon Property Group.


Angela Cesere |

Briarwood Mall is among 26 U.S. shopping malls that Simon, based in Indianapolis, is acquiring from its joint venture partner as Farallon Capital Management LLC sells its ownership interest in the properties.

Briarwood is the only property in Michigan affected.

Simon - the largest real estate company in the U.S. - has managed the property since 2007, when it acquired the Mills Corporation. Mills owned 50 percent of the mall with Farallon as its partner. Mills also managed Briarwood for about five years. The other owner is GM Pension Trust.

The mall, built by the Taubman Cos., and located at Interstate 94 and South State, is about 1 million square feet. It’s anchored by Macy’s, JC Penney, Von Maur and Sears.

Briarwood is Ann Arbor's largest taxpayer, with a taxable value of $38.7 million.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Paula Gardner is News Director of Contact her by email or follow her on Twitter.



Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

I miss the fountain in the middle of the mall, wish they would bring that back but that'll be the day!

r treat

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

Sparty: I said nothing about U of M whatsoever. Read the comment before going off on a tangent that has nothing to do with the comment. Now, since you brought up the U of M I will comment on your comments'. I am tired of hearing that Ann arbor would be nothing without the u. While it may be true, it's not a realistic argument. Is the u going to take all of their non taxable buildings, dirt, turf, etc. and move? Our mall is our biggest taxpayer and that's unacceptable. The university hires and pays many people, most of whom can be seen flocking to 94, 23, and 14 at 5:00, while you complain about our potholes!


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

The U's employees mostly live in Washtenaw County according to most polls, the vast majority in AA. You did say that "I remember when u said "we won't even miss Pfizer in a few years". Yeah, right!", so your claim that you said nothing about U of M whatsoever clearly is not truthful. You did bring up U of M. I did not go off on a tangent. By the way, the majority of the potholes are on State supported roads. And the potholes I was complaining about are at Briarwood Mall, a private business owned by Simon Property Group. Boy, you are stretching a bit. LoL.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 7:51 p.m.

The STATE and the U are one in the same. It is a STATE university. Why would the U pay the STATE? The U could and DID pick up its roots and leave an area before, so don't be foolish. This is STATE law. MSU pays no property tax, WMU doesn't either. Why not go after every church in this town that brings ZERO property tax revenue to pay for their efforts.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

UM is the largest employer in Wastenaw County, bigger than the next 24 combined. Those salaries pay for rent or homes, buy food, cars, pay taxes, allow people to shop, travel, etc., much of it here. A lot of UM physical space is leased, meaning that rent is paid to landlords who pay taxes on it. 40,000+ students come here each year to study, bringing money for housing, entertainment, eating and shopping. The health system brings in thousands upon thousands seeking top level medical treatment. Ann Arbor would be a ghost town without UM, but the haters keep on hating.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

@motherof3, The system is a STATE University would not pay the STATE taxes. That is just silly. It would be like you buying a home, and charging yourself rent. By the way, if that is the issue people have, i suggest they ask how much property tax St Francis of Assisi or any other church pays in property tax.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.

You make very valid points regarding the positive impact of the University. However, I don't think anyone of the comments above reflects "hating". I really beleive that people just don't understand how the system works.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

I guess they would like to see UM close up shop so A2 could be more like the Utopian Battle Creek, devoid of pesky "liberals"and overeducated business incubators.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

How about fixing the car-sized potholes along the entrances and service drive all around the mall? The outside lanes/curbs are a danger to cars, passengers, and anyone standing nearby! It is ridiculous. Suggestion #2: how about some additional dining options inside the mall ??? Even more fast food would be welcome at this point. Chik-fil-A? TGIF Fridays? Ruby Tuesdays? A good Coney with decent seating? Food Court?


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

Food courts are in every new Mall developed around the country. How 2012 of you not to notice, johnnya2! There are very few food options inside the Mall, and having to drive outside to find a place to eat is an inconvenience to shoppers. Chik-fil-A (Check your spelling) is available for franchise in Michigan, by the way. And, Simon, like every Mall owner provides incentives to every type of business to operate in their facilities including restaurants and various types of retailers, so it's certainly in their realm to consider additional food options. You do realize that McDonalds has stores on State Street and right next door to Fridays? That operating in a Mall and having a free-standing restaurant and a smaller facility in a Mall are different concepts? Perhaps you don't. Those that don't like some else's suggestions have to term them "useless and meaningless"? Grow up.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 7:46 p.m.

Food courts? How 1980's of you. Ruby Tuesdays WAS in the mall at one time and failed miserably. Why would TGIFridays open a location less than a mile from a current one? Chik Filet is not even in Michigan. Simon does not have control over dining options in the mall. They rent space to companies that open businesses. Your suggestion is useless and meaningless.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

I don't think that those that ask the much does the University pay in taxes, deserve to be ridiculed! It would seem obvious to me that they simply don't understand that UofM is tax exempt, just as churches and charitable organizations are exempt. We are a community of people that value receiving a good education, yet fail to patiently educate.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

If Briarwood Mall pays almost $39,000,000 in taxes every year, How much does U of M pay since they oun half of Ann Arbor?????


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 11:39 a.m.

How much tax does the UofM give to Ann Arbor ? Is it $0 ?


Mon, Mar 12, 2012 : 4:23 p.m.

Clownfish: It has to do w/ this article because I found it surprising that a mall is ann arbor's largest taxpayer. That reminded me - Michigan has all their property TAX FREE! It also reminded me when Phizer shut down and sold the property to UofM we lost that Tax Base FOREVER. That's not to say the University doesn't give Ann Arbor a huge demandin other areas, like rental housing..... but I wanted to clarify.... UofM gets all it's land TAX FREE. Are you debating that ? That was my only point.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

I believe UM leases around 10 medical buildings around the mall and across the street. That means pays rent, that means employs people who can then spend that money here on homes, food, shopping, cars, taxes, etc. Is that zero? Those patients may then shop or eat nearby. Money.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

What does that have to do with anything? A better question is : how many people does the UM employ and what are the economic benefits of that?

r treat

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 4:34 a.m.

Ann arbors largest taxpayer is the mall? Great job John H! I remember when u said "we won't even miss Pfizer in a few years". Yeah, right!


Sun, Mar 11, 2012 : 6:47 p.m.

Unless I missed something recently, I don't believe there are anywhere near 3000 people currently working at NCRC (former Pfizer) - I believe that is the goal for a few years down the road - as UM leases less space, and moves those operations to North Campus Research Complex. This is not a net gain in employment - just UM cutting costs by utilizing space they already own. When Pfizer was courting the city, they proudly predicted that upwards of 10,000 people would ultimately be employed there. So much for predictions.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:39 p.m.

3000 employees are working there now. Earning money, which allows for them to buy homes or pay rent, pay taxes, buy cars, food, shop, travel, etc. Did you see anyone else lining up to buy it before the State and Pfizer begged UM to buy it after it sat empty for 18 months?


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

The article's pretty clear. Simon owned this mall and others in a JV with Farallon. They're simply buying out Farallon's 50% share in the mall. There is no NEW owner. There's simply one less owner (Farallon). The article also states Simon has managed the mall since 2007. There's no much griping about content/lack of depth/research, but, honestly, this gets filed under "read for content." How can they make the transaction any clearer/plainer in the story?


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:42 a.m.

I'm just hoping whatever or whoever is taking over gets rid of things like flying pocket animals and hair extension kiosks....


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

What does this mean for the mall? Will some shops be removed? New stores added?

Paula Gardner

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

I'd expect it to not change, since Simon already manages it. However, my call to the management office wasn't returned.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 2:54 a.m.

In the Agile day of news reporting, it's quick releases and continual improvement. Expect new releases every so often and the features to fluctuation not the release date.


Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

A little addition research would have been nice... but then again unexpected from Like why is one party selling (financial problems?) and what else does the new owner have in its portfolio? I guess there's Google for those kinds of questions.

Paula Gardner

Sat, Mar 10, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

If you click "Simon Property Group" in the first paragraph, you can learn more about the company. It's not a new owner - it just owns more of the mall.