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Posted on Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Brooks Brothers to bring newer retail concept to Ann Arbor this year

By Lizzy Alfs


The interior of the Brooks Brothers Flatiron location in New York City shortly after its grand opening in the fall of 2011.

Photo Courtesy Of: Phaon Spurlock |

Brooks Brothers, a 195-year-old clothing company headquartered in New York, plans to bring its newer retail concept to Ann Arbor this year.

The company announced plans this week to open a Flatiron Shop in the under-construction Arbor Hills shopping center on Washtenaw Avenue.

The concept — which first debuted in New York City in 2011 — is similar to Brooks Brothers but less traditional and geared more toward college students and young professionals.


Arbor Hills shopping center is set to open on Washtenaw Avenue on Aug. 22.

Melanie Maxwell |

Along with both men’s and women’s clothing collections, the 7,200-square-foot Flatiron Shop in New York City features exposed brick walls, antique furniture, a lounge area with a TV, and a basement with a foosball table. (Check out a photo gallery)

The Ann Arbor store will be about 3,000 square feet and is set to open in late August, a company spokesperson confirmed.

The Brooks Brothers’ announcement comes shortly after seven other businesses — both local and national — confirmed plans to open in the Arbor Hills center. The roughly 90,000-square-foot development is on Washtenaw between Huron Parkway and Platt Road.

Since the project broke ground in June, construction has moved along quickly. There will be four buildings on the site, and three will have direct frontage off Washtenaw Avenue. The center’s grand opening is scheduled for Aug. 22.

In addition to Brooks Brothers’ Flatiron Shop, the following businesses have confirmed plans to open in Arbor Hills: Running Fit, Arhaus Furniture, Sur La Table, lululemon athletica, a restaurant by the Cafe Zola owners, Pizzeria Biga and Hot Mama women’s boutique.

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



Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:22 a.m.

Good addition. Love their clothing and will shop here rather than having to drive to Somerset or their not-so-discount outlet at Great Lakes Crossing. I'm liking this new shopping center more and more.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

Excellent news. It's still a shame that the developers of Arbor Hills decided to go with the old automobile-oriented development of the past for this development. They have no windows facing the street and they've even put their gas meters to face the roadway! How ugly! And since the development is facing inwards, towards the parking lot, does nothing to give Washtenaw Ave a new imagine. It simply says, hey, only cars are welcome here...

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

@Michael just a note on the design: I don't have the renderings to direct you to, but there are a ton of windows on the three buildings facing the street. Most of the stores won't have direct entrances from the sidewalk (Arhaus might) but there are still big glass windows giving the stores exposure off Washtenaw. So when you're driving down there, you'll see directly into lululemon, Arhaus, Brooks Brothers' Flatiron Shop and possibly some others.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

It may say that to you, but to me it says "easy, free parking".


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:07 p.m.

This is an automobile-oriented nation. Even the wonderful city of Oz here is automobile-oriented.

Danielle Arndt

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 5:36 p.m.

I'm getting excited about the new Arbor Hills center! It does seem that there are a number of higher-end stores coming, but that's not all bad, as some of them likely will pull people from the whole Greater Detroit area to shop there. Boosts the economy, and it is definitely a great location for these stores... I just might not be able to afford shopping there too often or my bank account will suffer! But my hubby loves Brooks Brothers! :)


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

For upscale men's clothing, I would choose Van Boven, the locally owned store in Nickels Arcade. Superb service, great windows, and the profits stay here.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 7:05 p.m.

I noticed that, of your top three reasons to shop at Van Boven, "Quality of clothing," "stylish nature of merchandise," and "good value for the money" were conspicuously missing. Perhaps some of us are looking for different things in a clothing store.

Jamie Pitts

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 3:32 p.m.

Looks like a fine, high-end cash extraction machine!


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

The staff at the Somerset Brooks Brothers were very helpful when I needed a suit for interviews, and I'd gladly pay a little extra to look professional. I'm happy to avoid the drive to Troy!


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 3:15 p.m.

So excited that the Cafe Zola owners will be opening another restuarant!! They have great food but a lot of times it can be tough to get a table. Hopefully this one is just as yummy :) Also great to see another Lululemon location.... the one downtown has no inventory and the staff there is so snobby. ..... and BIGA! OMG, one of the best places is Royal Oak coming to Ann Arbor??? I guess I don't need to move back to Oakland county now!


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Arbor Hills Crossing would benefit from a large anchor store that would attract a lot of customers to the shopping center. The shops listed for opening are all niche stores with limited customer drawing ability. In view of the high rental costs that should accompany new construction not all stores, or even not many stores, may survive financially. Care to guess how many will still exist in two years?

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

Not having an anchor was an intentional move on the developers part. When he first proposed the project in 2010, he said he didn't want an anchor like the Whole Foods across the street.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

Lizzy can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe this center was designed without a large anchor store, which IMO is a good move by the developer. In the current brick and mortar retail world it seems that it is these larger stores are the ones are struggling to turn a profit. It is also a lot easier to find a new business to replace a small retailer that closes rather than a large anchor store.

Daniel Piedra

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

Too bad they wouldn't open the location somewhere downtown.


Thu, Apr 11, 2013 : 10:26 a.m.

I wouldn't open a retail establishment downtown either...I want my customers to have easy access and free parking and enough square footage to design my space as I want, not cram it into old tiny existing spaces. Hate to say it but unless you already live downtown, i bet lots of us dont want to go shopping downtown.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

You can always walk there. The taxpayers built two really nice paved paths on both sides of Washtenaw in that area.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 1:37 p.m.

They probably wanted convenient parking.

Tim Hornton

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 12:25 p.m.

Brooks Brothers is Awesome! Expensive though, but then again Ann Arbor is a very wealthy town with enlightened and progressive citiziens of the world compared to the rest of Michigan.

Ben Freed

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 2:06 p.m.

This store will get a lot of business from out of state and metro-Detroit UMich students.

Hugh Giariola

Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 11:39 a.m.

Good for them, it sounds like a nice addition to the already named stores. Sometimes you pay a little more because the clothes are made well, fit well, and they last.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 10:42 a.m.

Seems like a very upscale (i. e. expensive) strip mall that I'll never visit.


Wed, Apr 10, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

Good. More parking for me.