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Posted on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 1:08 p.m.

Briarwood Mall announcing major renovation project

By Ben Freed


Briarwood Mall is Washtenaw County's largest shopping center, with anchor stores including Sears, Macy's, Von Maur and JCPenney.

Melanie Maxwell |

Briarwood Mall’s parent company, the Simon Property Group, will announce a major renovation of the Ann Arbor mall at a press conference on March 5.

Simon has managed the property since 2007, but purchased ownership of the mall in 2012 as part of a $1.5 billion transaction with previous partners Farallon Capital Management, LLC. The shopping center is the largest in Washtenaw county and the city of Ann Arbor’s biggest taxpayer.


A rendering on the Simon Group website shows what a renovated Briarwood Mall could look like.

The renovation comes on the heels of announcements from a series of luxury brand stores making plans to move into the shopping center including Michael Kors and Soma Intimates.

The mall’s taxable value has fallen by approximately $6 million since its $43.8 million assessment in 2010. The center remains comfortably ahead of Arborland Shopping Center as the highest taxpayer in the city and is still a Class A shopping center thanks to its anchor stores and tenant mix.

The one million square-foot mall was originally developed by A. Alfred Taubman at the corner of I-94 and South State Street in the early 1970s.

Mall manager Ida Hendrix will speak at the announcement, along with the lead architect for the project and representatives from the A2Y Chamber of Commerce.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2



Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 5:14 a.m.

Casino, Bars and Clubs!!!

kindred spirit

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

My elaborate answer didn't post, so here's the abbreviated version: 1) Bring in elaborate and distinctive holiday decorations that would draw folks from miles around. Think two-story Santa castle. Think gigantic Christmas tree. Think giant bulbs hanging from the ceiling. 2). Study Somerset. Lots of natural light. Two floors. Fountains. Soft music. Live music. Food court. Shops people can get help at, like Nordstrom. A place to register for a wedding. A destination place that is a beautiful space to be in. Or restore it to a wetlands.

Jay Thomas

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

The kiosks are at other Michigan malls as well. They make it like being in a third world country and drive people away.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

What I suspect is happening to Briarwood Mall: 1) JC Penney's is leaving 2) A new anchor has been found and will be replacing JC Penny's 3) As part of that work, some expansion will be done in the JC Penny wing of the mall because the new anchor does not need the total floor space that JC Penny's has 4) Several new tenants are coming and will fill the gaps in the interior store area 5) Center court has turned into a hodge podge and so it will be reconfigured to meet ADDA standards and also provide a less cluttered look 6) Lighting will be overhauled to improve energy consumption in the main parts of the mall 7) Some re-paving will happen and some traffic re-configuration, maybe full time valet parking like 12 Oaks has 8) Maybe a 12 Oaks style food court, but that would mean construction and permission from the City to change the mall footprint and reduce parking slightly - I would put this on the I-94 side of the Mall, if the new anchor is trendy enough - then between Von Maur and what is now JC Penney's this would become the new main entryway and the valet parking would be centered here.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:37 p.m.

Actually the biggest taxpayer in Ann Arbor is not Briarwood Mall. It is DTE Energy. Mich Con And Detroit Edison are all under the "umbrella" of DTE Energy. Just think of what the tax base would be if the U of M didn't keep taking property off the tax rolls.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 6:06 a.m.

Bring back the fountains! Bring back the discounted movie theater. Even if I have to pay $5 I'd still go! Wasn't it renovated recently? I mean, 10 years ago? And they want to do another one? I haven't been to the mall in over a year. I don't really miss it. Stuff is either cheap crap or too expensive for me. I'd love to drop a ton of cash at William Sonoma, but... Mostly I just get stuff online or stop at something closer.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 5:16 a.m.

Here is my wishlist: 1. Large theater (Emagine with bar and bowling like Royal Oak). 2. More restaurants and a food court like Great Lakes Crossing. 3. Arcade/Rock Climbing/Lazer Tag/Mechanical Bull/Trampoline (or whatever combo). 4. A parking structure on the ground floor, valet, sidewalks that go all the way around the perimeter of the building and around Briarwood Circle. 5. More stores. 6. A second and third level like Somerset. 7. More indoor nature (trees, flowers, grasses, whatever). 8. Keep the seating areas throughout the mall. 9. No kiosks but low cost spaces that are not in the aisle for the small businesses. 10. A kiddie area so parents can let them out of their strollers for fun (I don't have any but I love kids so they deserve a spot for themselves). All of these things will make Briarwood a more successful mall.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:49 a.m.

JC Penney is misspelled in the lead photo's caption. Editors, anyone? Apart from that though, a very outdated mall that should have been remodelled many years ago. And its anchor stores are weak, esp. given that it's situated in one of Michigan's wealthiest communities.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 3:23 a.m.

A lot of work needs to be done in this mall, which is aging and the parking lot and surrounding access roads are crumbling. Get rid of those obnoxious kiosks for starters.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

The only time I get dragged in there is if my child needing to see if she needs anything from Aeropostle or Forever 21. Other then that? I avoid this place like the plague.

mike gatti

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

I hope there will be green space and a dog park.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

The fastest way to class up that mall is to lose the kiosks. I do not like people grabbing my arm as I walk by and I avoid certain stores if I have to walk past a kiosk seller who has grabbed at me in the past. When I am at the mall to shop, I do not like being asked if I want a massage or my teeth whitened every time I turn around. And the ones who insult you by telling you that you really need their hair care products aren't so hot either.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Completely agree. These aggressive salespeople make for an unpleasant shopping experience. Also, the prices are insane. Clerk wanted to charge me $20 for a cell phone case (or $30 for 2). I went home and bought a similar one online for $3.99 with free shipping.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 3:24 a.m.

Totally agree with Lewanster.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:36 a.m.

Thank you. I feel like I am being chased. Zombies anyone?


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:34 a.m.

Add me to the list of people hoping they finally spruce up the parking lots. The parts without lines somehow turn people into morons who don't realize their car is blocking the whole row.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:35 a.m.

That would be the lady who drove her car onto the lake from MacGregor Road. blocking.

Tim Hornton

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

This is good news for yuppie snobs in AA like You and Me! Bout time briarwood to catch up with much better malls in the state.

Ann English

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

I half expected to read that the Sears and J C Penney anchor stores there were going to close. Sure, I want to know which Briarwood Mall entrance streets are going to be closed, if any, during the renovation. I don't shop there, but exercise nearby often.

Tom Joad

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

Briarwood is a temple of consumption. Got dragged into it for a walk and the entire experience was depressing. One store we walked into was a body lotion emporium selling thousands of colors and flavors lotions and emollients at vastly inflated prices, all with the exact same ingredients only the various dyes to distinguish them. I nearly had a chemical sensitivity attack from that organic chemical soup. I don't know how employees can subject themselves to the powerful odors and organic vapors wafting through the air. You can find any similar lotions at any drug store or Meijer for a fraction of the cost. It's a mania in the mall. I will never step foot in that place again.


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 5:45 p.m.

Amen, my brother.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:24 p.m.

Briarwood needs quality anchor stores. The current anchors, JCP, Sears and Macy's are old and past their prime. JCP is trying to reinvent itself and seems to be headed toward extinction. Sears hasn't been "where American shops" in decades and Macy's is not the Macy's of years past when it sold quality merchandise and was well staffed with knowledgeable sales personnel.

Justin DeNeen

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 9:59 p.m.

I disagree.. Macys @ both Somerset and 12 Oaks is a MESS, it might not be "shabby" but if you actually TRY to shop there it's the same story. Clothes are a MESS, not racked properly, clumped up on tables, and in general disarray. Compare the shopping experience at a Nordstrom to a Macys and notice a HUGE difference.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:18 a.m.

Macy's elsewhere are not nearly as shabby as this one seems to be. I can only speak to the women's clothes, but they are vastly inferior to the quality of days past. I don't understand it, either, because it seems like there is a lot of money in Ann Arbor, but no decent stores.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

Briarwood is boring and deserted. It looks like it is closed most of the time -- all those brick walls, little light, poor lighting in the parking lots. It just looks like no one is there. I don't go to Briarwood to shop; I go to get something specific and then I leave.

Dave Reid

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:37 p.m.

I stopped going to Briarwood years ago for two reasons: 1) the peddlers accosting folks trying to stroll through the mall making shopping unpleasant, and 2) Management's decision to bar licensed concealed weapons permit holders from carrying their firearms within the premises - making shopping risky (criminals don't obey the rules). I'll take my business is safer and saner.

Elena Chesney

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 5:27 p.m.

oops - meant thumbs down.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:38 a.m.

The Segways are for target practice.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:13 a.m.

Ok I'll bite..why on earth would you need to carry a concealed weapon at feel that threatened? By the way the Mall Cop carries. I've seen them scooting around their Segway..isn't that enough.

Elijah Shalis

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:31 p.m.

They should really tear the whole thing down and build one like Grand Rapids RiverTown Mall.

Tim Hornton

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.

Grand Rapids has 3 malls compared to AA's 1. But then again GR is a real city and AA is nothing but a suburb of UM.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:19 p.m.

Mostly in the fall during football season. The size of the place is a little daunting and it's a little intimidating to go there and shop at only one store. A nice innovation would be access to all stores from the outside as well as the inside.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:58 p.m.

Please, please, please get rid of the kiosks. They seriously diminish the experience of shopping at Briarwood. I loathe stepping foot in there, and only rarely go in and out of the anchors without going in the mall itself because the place has such a lousy atmosphere. They also could use some better stores.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:52 a.m.

Just curious, but what kind of stores do you have in mind?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:38 p.m.

I am quite surprised to learn that Briarwood mall is considered a "Class A" shopping center. The anchor stores are very mediocre and the architecture, design, and layout of the mall are very poor. Twelve Oaks, Partridge Creek and Somerset are in a different class of mall in my opinion. Major renovations are really what is needed. I hope that they are to the scale necessary to bring this mall into the fold.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

The caption under the pictures states that Macy's is an anchor store. I must really be behind the times because I didn't know that! I was there in December but did not cover the entire mall.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:42 a.m.

When you have nothing to do for 2 hours while waiting on your child to finish drivers ed, walk the entire mail and get 1 mile of exercise and reminisce that there once was two cookie shops, a deli and a tee shirt place that kitty corner from it use to be a movie house. I have noticed it has restaurants all over the place. It use to be right near the movie house. Please keep the food courts close together. Otherwise, I am not walking to Sears for pizza or mexican.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

Laura, it was Hudson's, then Marshall Field's and now Macy's. It has been Macy's for several years.

sun runner

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

The only store for which I ever made specific trips to Briarwood-- the Origins standalone store-- closed several years ago. After that happened I had no reason to go there again unless something truly exceptional was needed (like when I got an iPhone in October 2011). As I get older my tolerance for malls and shopping in general has plummeted. I get stuff I need or want at small businesses near my house or online,


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:23 p.m.

Briarwood underwent a major renovation about 8 years ago. Are they going to install a new level or something? Anything short of that will just be cosmetic. In any event, I like Briarwood and look forward to the new changes coming.

Jody Durkacs

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:18 p.m.

Fix the road, put in a decent food court, kick out the kiosks and bring back the movies!!!

A2 Born n Raised

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

YES!!!! We used to go all the time for the movies. I now go about once a year and treat the kiosks like an obstacle course, avoiding at all costs!!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:50 a.m.

Succinct and well-said. Exactly!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

Amen. It seems all the food courts are gone and the expensive stores with skinny models are in. What is up with that? Especially with Cinnabon giving a reason to get sick. Loose Cinnabon folks.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Briarwood has been "dumpy" for many years. We rarely go there. JC Penney, not that we go any more since the "new" pricing, is better in Canton on Ford Rd. Sears is awful anywhere. We can't even come up with more than 2 trips in the past year for the survey.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Hopefully this means they'll add something significant, maybe a 2nd floor, to the mall. I'd much rather drive to Novi than go to Briarwood. Unless I'm a teenaged girl, there aren't many stores in the mall I particularly like.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Hard to belive, but Briarwood will soon be 40 years old. It does need renovations and I hope it is done right.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

This is fantastic news. I work for a company within Briarwood Circle and hope the renovation plans include extensive parking lot/sidewalk improvements.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

More stores carrying women's plus-size-but-petite clothing would save me trips to 12 Oaks. I agree with almost everything everyone else has said (ring road, parking revamp, interior simplification, more rest rooms, eliminate kiosks, possibly a food court). From the merchant perspective, significantly more storage & "back office" area would help a number of existing retailers as well. Finally, how about a real AATA transit hub with highly visible signage inside & outside & a decent sheltered waiting area?

Top Cat

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

There is no place in Briarwood that sells beer so I have no reason to go.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:09 a.m.

California Pizza Kitchen sells beer--and wine! I am a frequent visitor.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

It's about time! Briarwood has been ghetto for the past 15 years. The one store I like is Von Maur, otherwise, I strongly prefer Twelve Oaks. I never understood why the city would make you go thru the mall parking lot rather than allowing one to turn left onto Eisenhower.

free form

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:27 p.m.

Do you really believe you are SUPPOSED to cut through the mall rather than make a "Michigan left" from State Street on to Eisenhower? You are purposely avoiding the traffic signal by cutting though the mall parking lot. This is actually illegal and can get you a traffic ticket.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

I hope, as part of the renovation, they plant a lot of new trees and new landscaping to replace those which died over the past ten years, particularly at the Sears end of the mall complex. Entering the Mall complex/parking circle from the State Street, one sees very few trees and a lot of asphalt parking. One does not a good impression of the mall, particularly if Briarwood wants to known as "high end".

Holy Cow

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

I thought it was a great article. Hopefully they will increase the size of the mall. I know that a lot of people from this area drive to Twelve Oaks for its greater size and variety. Teenage girls especially like to go there for Delias and Charlotte Russe. More seating would be great as well as a big food court.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

I was all ready to rip mady a new one for the "slow news day?" comment. How unnecessary can one be? Then I saw where Kyle, Ben, and Paula all posted the same answer to the same question (by Tex Treeder, above), and couldn't help think... yeah, must be a slow news day. Then I realized, SO WHAT? Slow news days happen. Nobody's fault. They just do. But these folks have a local news website to run and we expect new content every day. Give 'em a break, I suppose. Then I remembered about 2 hours ago, I was at the post office on Liberty, and there were two cop cars partially blocking the street out in front of Wild Side Smoke Shop. Looks like they had some young folks in custody, or questioning, or something. Couldn't tell for sure. Yeah, crazy day in Tree Town.


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 5:41 p.m.

a2miguy, rip to your heart's content, I have the hide of a rhinoceros and I stand behind everything I said. Yup.

Paula Gardner

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

We got a chuckle out of the simultaneous responses on our end, too. Funny thing is, Friday was actually a deadly slow news day. Slowest day outside of a Sunday or holiday in a looonnnnggg time. Guess I'm glad no one called us out on that!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:18 p.m.

If Briarwood is "still a Class A shopping center" and attracting a "series of luxury brand stores," how is it that the taxable value has decreased by $6 million?

Angry Moderate

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

Well, there was that giant recession in which the real estate bubble imploded a few years ago.

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

I remember watching a giant helicopter carry the air conditioning units and carefully set them down on the roofs. I actually haven't been there to shop but once in the last five years.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 12:44 a.m.

I too remember when it was built. It was out in the middle of nowhere and seemed like it took forever to get there. Of course i remember Arborland being built, it too was in the middle of a corn field.

Bruce Koldys

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

I really like Briarwood although a good sprucing up would be fine. Its easy to get to from Canton or other areas, unlike 12 Oaks. Novi is a driving pit. I love the Apple store and the comfy couches in which to chill between stores. If they keep these two I am quite happy.

Ryan Martin

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

The flow through the center court area needs to be drastically improved. Having to go up and around if cutting from JCPenney to Sears is a bit of a pain. The lighting and flooring are an obvious place to upgrade. On rainy days some of the corridors are dark and dreary, and not inviting at all. The mall as a whole needs an update to fit the image of Ann Arbor.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:03 p.m.

Maybe this time they'll put in more public bathrooms.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

The ring road around the mall is in deplorable condition. I hope that gets fixed first.

Mark Salke

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

Well, taking it out the the 70s will be a start. Maybe the renovation will attract some attractive food choices. And I miss the theatres there.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Stopped shopping there years ago and this won't make a difference to me. But the place is a dump and sorely in need of renovations.


Thu, Feb 21, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

@djacks and kindred spirit, nice to know that there are a precious few of us who feel this way....

kindred spirit

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Spot on!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

I would love to see more child-oriented things at the mall. The clothing stores and shoe store is nice, but what about toy stores? Also, I was just there yesterday and was sad to see Game Stop was no longer in business. :(. It seems like the only things that Briarwood has is shoe stores, cell phones and ladies clothing. Add some variety!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded.

Tom Teague

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:53 p.m.

My comment was for djacks, and not intended to denigrate fjord's well-played use of a Berra-ism.

Tom Teague

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:52 p.m.

That's a famous phrase attributed to Yogi Berra. He used it to decline an invitation to Toots Shor's restaurant.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

The irony in that statement. How can it be too crowded if nobody goes there?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

Good one, fjord.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

A good start would be to fix the parking lot (many places don't even have lines on the pavement) and to keep certain stores from stinking up the walkways with their "perfume."


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

Good to hear. I love Briarwood. I do wish they would add Club Monaco and more upscale clothing stores for men.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

Do you consider Club Monaco to be an "upscale mens clothing store?"


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:08 p.m.

Maybe they'll update the flooring, which is over 30 years old.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:53 p.m.

I meant to say repainted the fountain; same fountain, different color.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Actually, they have replaced the tiles once. The original tile was brown. They changed to the white not that long ago; back when they replaced the fountain.

Ben Freed

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

It said in the release that a "ceremonial tile breaking will mark the official start of construction." One can only hope that this means there will be new flooring included. Ben


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

They could add another level to the mall...not many modern 1-story malls out there today. The current system of crowded walkways, stairs, ramps, and haphazzard kiosks is pretty vulgar... but at least they're getting some better stores/tenants. For awhile there it was looking like a 3rd-rate flea-market, all shoddy booths, fly-by-night gimmicks, and pushy salesman peddling junk.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:14 p.m.

The mall I grew up closest to in MA added a second floor and lengthened. It was a huge remodel and pretty awkward shopping for a bit. But it really has flourished since then!

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

I'm not sure if anyone in the Ann Arbor area has made the lengthy drive out to Partridge Creek in Clinton Township, but I've thought for a while now that a "Lifestyle" shopping center similar would be an interesting remodel for Briarwood. Granted it would be a massive project to convert the existing mall into that format, but the design of it seems much more fitting to the Ann Arbor area and better compete with the nearest major mall, Twelve Oaks. Anyone agree or disagree?

Justin DeNeen

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 9:52 p.m.

I have to agree, I love this format of mall (3rd St. Promenade in Santa Monica, Biltmore Fashion Park in Phoenix, Fashion Valley in San Diego) They all have one thing in common tho, MUCH nicer climates than we get here in SE Michigan. I have been to Partridge Creek, in June when the weather was great. Was nice to be "out" but the thought of xmas shopping there in 20 degree weather isn't appealing even a little bit.

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 3:43 p.m.

Hey DonBee- The Fountain Walk design was much different from that of Partridge Creek, essentially they were trying to create some weird downtown setting you could both drive and walk through. It seems pretty obvious the era of big box retailers is nearing an end and as a result that whole development was doomed due to the fact it relied so heavily on that type of retailer vs the smaller 'normal' mall stores found at Twelve Oaks. The type of mall I'm referencing is essentially a mall like Briarwood in its mix of smaller stores but with no roof over the walkway. A smaller version of this concept was proposed for a parcel of land in I-275 and Michigan Ave in Canton a while back but was ultimately shot down which was probably great news for Briarwood as it would have most likely lost a signifiant chunk of its current customers to that new center. Back to the indoor v outdoor debate it appears it is just one of those personal preference debates. It even surfaces a number of times in the Yelp reviews of P-Creek with one person saying they love it and another hating it:


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Kyle - Go up to the 12 Oaks area (Fountain Walk) and see how that lifestyle mall fared. Most are doing poorly because they become 6 month shopping areas here. Many people don't like to be outside on sidewalks when it is below freezing and they have both hands full of shopping bags. Most of the stores that did not have their own parking are closed and you see people park - go into a store - come out - get in the car - move 100 yards and repeat.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

If you want in indoor mall go to toledo.

John of Saline

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Retractable roof. Best of both worlds. ;)


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:07 p.m.

Kyle, I love Partridge Creek! It's so fun to bring my dog shopping with me and I love all the activities such as bocce ball, fountains for the kids to play in, live music, and fire pits in the winter. My parents live near by so whenever I visit them I do my shopping at PC.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

Arborland fits our current "lifestyle" shopping experience. I've been to one in San Diego, and sadly, A2 ain't San Diego. We need mild/hot year round weather for fancy open air malls.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:04 p.m.

From a shoppers perspective, I actually enjoy the outdoor environment vs the isolated mall experience. Granted I understand the bitter cold and precipitation can be an inconvenience for those just looking to wander through the mall and window shop all day, but if I'm going to the mall to visit a couple stores to buy something having to wear my coat isn't going to stop me from going. If I wanted to live in a perfect climate control bubble I'd move to SoCal, but alas we live in Michigan and surviving the few months of winter just comes with northern life.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:40 p.m.

With our weather, an indoor mall is a much better option in my opinion.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:32 p.m.

Kyle - have you done any research into the sales per square foot Partridge Creek, or Eastwood up in north Lansing are vs. Briarwood? Do you really want to walk around outside in the rain and snow?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

sweet! more stores, more taxes for the city, more stupid projects the city council and mayor can waste our money on.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

I think it's a great article. It is ridiculous to suggest that the County's biggest taxpayer will be undergoing a major renovation with more details to come is not a news worthy item for Ann I hope that the announcement will include a major, significant fix of the parking lots, service drive, and curbs around the Mall and that an investment will include more casual restaurants inside the restaurants so that you don't have to leave to get something comparable to the Red Robin or Max & Erma's outside of the Mall ! There should also be a food court with the traditional fast food places for those with a need for a quicker stop while shopping.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:04 p.m.

Sorry Sparty, we don't have an editing function for the comments.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Where is the editing function,

An Arborigine

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

Get rid of the carnival hawkers that accost customers strolling through the mall. Would be nice if they added a fountain of youth too!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:46 a.m.

I emphatically agree with you about the hawkers. They are so intrusive.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

I'm not a big fan of Malls, but I will say Briarwood is sorely outdated and boring compared to some Malls I've been in. I really hope this renovation includes updating the food court area and kids play areas. And please please please reduce the number of Kiosks.

E Claire

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Nothing more off-putting than the constant harassment by those kiosk employees!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

I'd be happy if they got rid of the kiosks. It makes the mall feel very dumpy, especially when you compare it to Somerset and other first-class malls.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

Don't get sucked in to the samples... "Would you like a free sample?" "Ok thank you." Grabs your hand: "Oh your skin is so (insert phony compliment here). Let me show you something..." And we never saw her again. Or the phony compliments... "Oh your hair is beautiful? How do you get it so straight?" "I was born with straight hair..." The are both true experiences I've personally had...I am forced to walk by as fast as I can and not make eye contact ...I feel like I'm hiding.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:15 a.m.

Agreed - Somerset is lovely with interesting fountains and great stores. Walking near kiosks with people trying to bait me in "can you try this hand cream for me??" does not make the mall a fun experience, kind of like legitimate panhandling.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:26 p.m.

Oh yes, the kiosks have got to go. They are taking up valuable walking space for customers.

Jody Durkacs

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

I concur with this as well. Kiosk stores are really annoying.

Andy T

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

I'd sign that petition too. If I wanted an iPhone case with rhinestones on it, I'm sure I can acquire one at any of the many dollar stores that pepper the area. I also love the shirt vendor that makes me glad I don't have kids who can read.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:37 p.m.

Do you find the people working the kiosks to be as pushy as I do?

Tex Treeder

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

I like the aerial picture. Is that recent?

Kyle Mattson

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2:11 a.m.

We wish we had a jet A2c or better yet a helicopter, but unfortunately this trip was limited to a 1970's era Cessna.

Boo Radley

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:25 p.m.

I don't think you would get too many usable aerial photos from a jet ....


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:03 p.m. has their own private jet now? REALLY? Let's do a story on that! :)

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Yes, Melanie Maxwell shot several new aerials on a recent assignment. Thanks for noticing!

Ben Freed

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

Yes, our ace photographer Melanie Maxwell took a series of aerial photos for us recently!

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:27 p.m.

Yes Tex, Melanie and I took a flight a couple week ago to take some photos and video footage. It was interesting to see the city from that perspective. We plan on doing similar trips in the future let use know if there are any other landmarks we should be sure to capture from a bird's eye perspective.

Tex Treeder

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Maybe they'll fix the parking lot. On the other hand, I have to agree with Mady somewhat. This is an announcement announcing that there will be an announcement on March 5.

E Claire

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:56 p.m.

On the other hand, if they hadn't reported it (as both the Detroit News and Free Press did) you'd complain that they didn't let us know.

Ben Freed

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Tex, We tried to get more information from Briarwood but they are keeping plans very close to the vest until March 5. We felt that it was important for the community to know that something big was coming.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

I hope the renovations include a traditional food court with affordable meal options that are not just pretzels and fro-yo, a discount theater, and an updated play area. Please make the mall a family destination. I would spend more time there if I could get affordable food instead of having to go in to a restaurant or eating snacks. We go to one or two stores but when we get hungry we leave.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:42 a.m.

I agree. Sometimes I have to take care of some business, like getting glasses, and I'm hungry. I just want to spend a couple bucks and get some fries or a hotdog. Not the most nutritious thing going but something fast and simple. Or even a little shop to buy a yogurt or a baguette or whatever.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:28 p.m.

Agreed. If they had a traditional food court in place many of the chains would flock. There is no place for the traditional mall food places to set up shop. Sticking a restaurant in the middle of one of the wings wouldn't do nearly the business that it would paired up with other places. The food courts are successful because they off varieties for people in your party at an affordable cost. Plus they are great for the mall employees.

Boo Radley

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Briarwood may not decide which retailers lease space in the mall, but the fact remains ... they do not have a food court area like most shopping malls have. If they would put one in, as obviouscomment suggests, it would probably fill up with vendors who are looking for that type of smaller and less expensive spaces. Perhaps some of the vendors who set up in Mark's Carts downtown?


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:51 p.m.

@johnnya2 Whoa simmer down. Sorry I forgot about the NEW Panda Express. Really Chipotle is the only real quick meal option besides that. I do not count CPK as a "pizza place" because they do not sell by the slice like the type of restaurant I am referring to. Ok so Briarwood does not decide, but why can't they reach out to some places they don't have that their customers may's called marketing. Maybe those other restaurants aren't there because they do not have a food court for them. All the other places you mentioned are, as I stated before, mostly for snacks, and ok, drinks. Am I the only person that has ever been to malls with food courts? I love the convenience of having all the choices in a central location for everybody to choose what they like. That's all I'm saying people. And we do eat at the restaurants outside the mall, but I'm not talking about restaurants outside the mall. It is hurting mall business when I have to leave to get food because I'm not going back after. And designing space for a food court IS about changing common areas. If they make the space available then maybe these vendors will come. Wow I didn't realize this comment would hit a nerve with so many people.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

@ Obvious, Briarwood does NOT decide what retailers are int he mall. Sbarro had to declare BK and closed HUNDREDS of locations. As for Chinese, there IS a Panda Express in Briarwood. In looking over the restaurant offerings at Briarwood, there is a Mexican fast casual (Chipotle), Chinese (Panda Express) a smoothie place, a Starbucks, a pretzel place, a pizza place (CPK does TO GO), and Olgas. If you hit the outer ring on mall property there is also Red Robin, a sit down Mexican place and a fine dining restaurant in the Kensington Hotel. It sounds to me like you have an unrealistic expectation that because YOU want it, the entire world will jump to give it to you. Remodeling a mall is NOT about the vendors, it is changing the common areas.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

I have walked the entire mall and it seems they have gotten rid of all the traditional mall restaurants that we like. We love California Pizza Kitchen but it is not always ideal to sit down for an hour meal. And we do like the pretzels and froyo but whatever happened to the traditional mall food courts with Sbarro, Chinese, and other misc fast food joints available for a quick and easy meal? I know other malls have them and actually Briarwood is the first and only mall I've ever been to that doesn't.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:11 p.m.

So California Pizza Kitchen is your kind of thing eh Obvious? I say bring back Hot Sam's! Just get your brats a pretzel and some froyo to go!

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

I remember when they added the play area during a renovation about 10 years ago. It was fun for a while, but my kids very quickly outgrew it. And on busy days, it was small enough that it got very crazy very quickly! It's funny how difficult it can be to realize what food options are there. My daughter loves to go there with her friends and eat at a Japanese restaurant. I don't even know where it is in the shopping center.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:21 p.m.

We don't consider it a slow news day when we find out the city's largest taxpayer is announcing what they call a 'major renovation' with 2 weeks notice. I'm not going to speculate, but it does sound like a significant investment. I'm also curious about what kinds of changes beyond cosmetic ones could be in the works. The mall has a lot of parking spaces that aren't fully utilized for more than just a handful of days per year.


Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 4:40 p.m.

Paula, Briarwood Mall doesn't have one single thing that I can't buy somewhere else at a much better price. In addition, the management took away my last reason to go there when they closed down the dollar movies and put in yet another sporting goods store. Considering what first-run movie theaters charge, it made good financial sense to wait a while and get the same experience for a lot less $$$$. I stand by every word I've said. Madeleine Baier, a.k.a. Mady

Tom Teague

Wed, Feb 20, 2013 : 1:52 a.m.

Sadly, I can "vote up" Urban Sombrero's comment only one time.


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 4:37 a.m.

The negative 94 (and counting) shows that your readers support you!


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 2 a.m.

Some people are never happy. matter what you say do or write.

Urban Sombrero

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

Someone could go on a rampage and shoot fifteen people, rob a bank and steal a car and someone on this site would, inevitably, comment, "Slow news day, huh?" You can't please all the people all the time...

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

@pchbob: No news yet on Arbor Hills Crossing tenants yet. Although I've heard Lululemon, Brooks Brothers, Anthropologie and Pizzeria Biga are possibilities.

Stephen Landes

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11 p.m.

Paula, I remember being in a shopping mall in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and being totally blown away by the excitement, color, crowds, activity -- and that was just a children's' clothing store! It just got better the farther in I got! In Briarwood, on the other hand, one could fire a canon down the main hallways and not hit anyone -- deserted, drab, unexciting stores, zero interest.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

Thanks for the info Paula. Not on Briarwood posting but related; any latest news on tenants for the center coming up on Washtenaw and Platt? Thanks!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

Apple: "Simon is the cream of the malls" Har-D-Har. Briarwood needs some sprucing up what with the glut of carts clogging the concourse. Simon is a huge player but not necessarily a quality one in the mall scene.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Thanks, Sassy. PS I have to use my own name here; otherwise I'd want yours!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9 p.m.

Those handful of days that parking space is utilized is very important. Home U of M football games and Art Fair make those spaces very worthwhile. The Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve holiday shopping season also makes for good use of those spaces. It sees to me that during he holilday season, the lot is almost full. I hope those parking spots are maintained.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:10 p.m.

I also find this encouraging - we live in one of the most elite sections of the mid west - this is exciting news - Simon is the cream of malls - lets hope we get the mall of america touch!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

WOW you people are hard on Paula. I for one liked the article and found it encouraging for the economy. Thanks Paula keep up the good work.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:34 p.m.

The parking spaces are probably code driven. 4-5 per 1,000 sq ft of GLA. Perhaps have one of your interns go count them and tell us how many are there? Just Kidding!


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 7:20 p.m.

Just repaving the circle drive would be a significant investment; one that would likely invite increased customer traffic throughout the mall.

Ben Freed

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:29 p.m.

Obvious, While I could have easily posted one sentence, we felt that giving context to the announcement was an important part of delivering this story. By giving those extra details and linking it back to our previous coverage we try to give readers more of an idea of what's happening and not just present it in a vacuum.

Paula Gardner

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

We do wish there was more information available, but the mall management is declining to comment. Our other alternative would be to know it was happening for a couple of weeks and not say anything ... neither are great options, but we decided to put the pending news out there.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:24 p.m.

I understand the excitement but this is a rather empty piece that could just be summed up on a brief announcements page with something like: "Briarwood Mall to undergo major renovation. Details will be announced at a press conference on March 5th." Because that's honestly all the information these 6 paragraphs really contain.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 6:15 p.m.

Whoop-de-doo. slow news day?

mike gatti

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:34 a.m.

To paraphrase Howard Cosell, "Down Goes Mady! Down goes Mady!"


Tue, Feb 19, 2013 : 1:03 a.m.

I sure hate to admit this but you are right Bill.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

If you aren't interested in a specific article, it is very easy to simply skip the article and move on to the next. Since the online publication is provided free of charge, what is there to complain about with the reporting? I realize it is always easier to criticize, but sometimes we just need to give the staff a break and appreciate that we still have local news available.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 10:23 p.m.

Just imagine Rich Kinsey wrote the article - it'll seem better.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 9:12 p.m.

@mady Please tell us what YOUR idea of news is!

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:54 p.m.

News is news. Beats more killings and house invasions and dispute over tearing down old houses.


Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:51 p.m.

You are now the most downvotes I have ever seen on a non-removed comment on this blog.

John Spalding

Mon, Feb 18, 2013 : 8:29 p.m.

What does someone have to die for news to be important nowadays?