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Posted on Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 5:53 a.m.

Dahlmann Properties buys high-profile Ann Arbor office building for $10.6M

By Lizzy Alfs


The office building at 301 E. Liberty was sold this week from Larson Realty Group to Dahlmann Liberty, LLC.

Melanie Maxwell |

Editor's note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Mike Giraud represented Larson Realty Group in the transaction.

Ann Arbor's Dahlmann Properties finalized a deal Monday to purchase a high-profile office building on the corner of Ann Arbor’s South Fifth Avenue and East Liberty Street.

The company, owned by Dennis Dahlmann, purchased the seven-story, 95,000-square-foot building at 301 E. Liberty St. from Bloomfield Hills-based Larson Realty Group for $10.6 million, property records show. Swisher Commercial's Mike Giraud represented the seller in the deal.

“301 E. Liberty is being returned to local ownership and management for the first time in 20 years,” Dahlmann said in a written statement.

“It is a trophy building in an excellent downtown location,” he added.

Constructed in 1986, the building sits along the key corridor between Main Street and the Univeristy of Michigan’s campus. Tenants include: MLive Media Group/, Butzel Long law firm, DHR International, JSTOR, BraveSoft, Oppenheimer & Co., Young Basile law firm and Kolossos Printing.

Dahlmann said the building is fully occupied and in "excellent condition." He said he likely will make minor improvements to the lobby and stairwell areas.

City records show two previous building sales: JFK Investment Company purchased it for $5.25 million in 1993, and Larson Realty Group purchased it for $9.6 million in 2001. The building was listed for sale again in 2008, but it was later taken off the market. The property has a 2013 assessed value of about $5.82 million.

Dahlmann Properties owns Ann Arbor’s Bell Tower and Campus Inn hotels. The company also owns a number of commercial properties, including the City Center Building at 220 E. Huron and the KeyBank Building at 100 S. Main.

“Operating efficiencies and synergy will come from the fact that 301 E. Liberty is only a few blocks from two of our other downtown office buildings, the KeyBank Building and the City Center Building, where we already have a veteran office management team in place,” said Ben Dahlmann, the company's senior vice president..

In an email circulated to the building’s tenants on Monday, Larson Realty Group CEO Eric Larson said his company “enjoyed being a part of Ann Arbor” through its ownership of the building. 301 E. Liberty was the only Ann Arbor property in Larson Realty Group’s portfolio, which includes properties in Birmingham, Troy, Southfield, Warren and Detroit, among other places.

In February, Eric Larson was named co-managing partner for Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, the real estate arm of Dan Gilbert’s Rock Ventures LLC.

“The Dahlmann family has owned real estate in Ann Arbor for a very long time and they are committed to the community,” Larson wrote in the email. “We are pleased that the building will be in good hands and wish them the best moving forward.”

Larson could not be reached for further comment.

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


Dirty Mouth

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 1:37 a.m.

The Quality Bakery used to be there.

This Post Doesn't Have A Name

Thu, Jun 13, 2013 : 12:11 a.m.

This means that as leases expire, rent will be going up more than they ordinarily would have under the previous owner., are you reading this?


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 3:33 p.m.

I think this is a good thing. The Dahlmann's have been responsible property owners around town for many years. You can't make everyone happy -- there's a negative person in every crowd....Geesh.

Jay Thomas

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

Having some decent office space downtown was a good idea. Now if they can just do something with that derelict hotel.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

Great building and best location in town for a company to locate. (stones throw from the new great underground parking structure). The building can only get better with little modifications. The views from the top floors of A2 are amazing.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Jun 14, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

As one gazing out one of the windows from the top floor a this very moment, I wholeheartedly agree with you. The city looks mighty fine from up here.

David Cahill

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:55 p.m.

This building was originally known as "Belcher's Folly".


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

It was in the Lou-Belcher-as-mayor era, I believe, that someone wrote the following graffiti on the brand-new construction: "Now tear it down!"

Dog Guy

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

I was expecting AATA to buy this ancient 1980's building to tear it down and build a new one with a windmill on top.

Dirty Mouth

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

Only 10.6 million? That's cheap.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 11:46 a.m.

Now it's assured that this building will never make it out of the eighties, like the Campus Inn.

Geoff Perkins

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:43 p.m.

What an odd thing to say. Lobby - entirely renovated late 90s Front terrace and entry entirely renovated late 90s Victors Restaurant - complete makeover and renovation 2007 Regency Ballroom - complete makeover and renovation ~2008 Huron Ballroom - complete makeover and renovation 2011 Terrace Ballroom - complete makeover and renovation 2012 Corridors on all floors - complete makeover and renovation 2007-2010 In room renovations including custom coffee bars, and custom refrigerator cabinets 2009-2012 Also including furniture, carpet, draperies, and bathrooms My firm did many of the above projects, and I can say with certainty that the Dahlmanns take seriously keeping their properties in Class A condition. You know not of which you speak.

Lightnin' Bug

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

You got that right.


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

When is the last time you stayed at the Campus Inn? Our clients like it there.

dave french

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 10:16 a.m.

You forgot to mention they also own the local Ypsilanti eyesore, the train depot.

Katrease Stafford

Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 1:36 p.m.

SemperFi, Dahlmann purchased the train depot in November 1999 from James and Carol Kovalak for $179,000. Prior to the Kovalaks owning the property, the National Railroad Passenger Corp., Amtrak, was the owner. Here's a link to a story I wrote about that property last November:


Wed, Jun 12, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

Are you saying that the Dahlman's are responsible for the decades of neglect of the Ypsi train station? When did they buy it?