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Posted on Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Downtown Ann Arbor's ex-Fifth Quarter building will be converted to offices after major facelift

By Lizzy Alfs


The former Fifth Quarter building in downtown Ann Arbor will be home to Arch Realty and Oxford Cos. following interior and exterior renovations.

Photo from Oxford Companies

Oxford Companies President Jeff Hauptman has major improvement plans for downtown Ann Arbor’s former Fifth Quarter nightclub building.

Following a foreclosure, Hauptman, via his investment arm, purchased the 12,000-square-foot building at 210 S. Fifth Ave. and it’s now being converted into offices.

“In the downtown, there’s a strong demand for more office space and there’s not a lot of other uses you could put in that property that would fit,” Hauptman said.


The former Fifth Quarter building is getting a facelift.

File photo

“We have completely gutted the space and we’re in the process right now of putting the windows back in. It’s really a cool space,” he continued.

Following the renovations, Oxford and Arch Realty Company — a 750-unit management company that Oxford acquired in May — plan to consolidate their corporate offices in a move to the South Fifth Avenue building.

Hauptman said the two companies will occupy the entire second floor and part of the first floor. The move, expected to take place in January, will bring 25 employees to the building.

“In our format, we’ve brought the systems together for both companies — HR, accounting, office management, IT — it’s all shared,” he said. “It didn’t make a lot of sense to try and have the two locations.”

Arch Realty is currently based at 616 Church St. near the University of Michigan campus. Oxford is based at 312 S. State St.

The move also leaves 4,500 square feet of office space on the first floor of the Fifth Avenue building, which is being marketed by Oxford’s Nick Zagar. It’s listed for an annual $19.50 per square foot.

“It’s basically just a huge, wide open space with lots of light, right in the middle of downtown,” Hauptman said. “It’s something that’s very attractive for a tech user or some kind of design-oriented company.”


A rendering of the former Fifth Quarter building shows Oxford's improvement plans.

Photo from Oxford

The purchase of the former Fifth Quarter building was one of several for Oxford’s $8 million Ann Arbor Opportunity Fund. Using cash raised from 40 different investors, Oxford purchased five properties in Washtenaw County with plans to renovate them.

According to city documents, Hauptman purchased the former Fifth Quarter building for $1 million. The property has an assessed value of $1.9 million and was listed for sale for $1.4 million earlier this year.

“We were able to acquire it from the bank for a price that allowed us to gut the building and rebuild it from inside out,” Hauptman said.

Over the years, the building has housed a theater, offices, a hookah bar and a nightclub. The nightclub closed in 2011 after a string of problems with the city, police and lawsuits. Hauptman said the new use and renovations will have “a really positive impact on the neighborhood.”

“It’s going to bring a large population of people working during the day, it’s going to improve the whole look of the property and the safety and security of that part of the block,” he said.

Hauptman’s portfolio — which tops 1 million square feet in Washtenaw County — also includes East Liberty Plaza, the building that houses Afternoon Delight at the corner of South Fifth and East Liberty.

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



Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 8:06 p.m.

I don't remember there being a lack of office space in A2... weren't there complaints about too much empty office space dragging rental prices down?


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 9:18 p.m.

That's a good question for Ms. Alfs. What is the current downtown office vacancy rate? And if the info is available what's a reasonable cost / sf ? Thanks!

Bertha Venation

Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 6:58 p.m.

Perhaps with the "face lift" we could name it the "Joan Rivers / Phyllis Diller" Building.

Ron Granger

Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 1:21 p.m.

I miss those whacky police reports from the nightclub. And the outrageous claims that they were going to sue the city for their own problems. I was entertained by that place without even going there. I doubt the office conversion will be similiarly entertaining.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 9:17 p.m.

Samshoe, you are such a sentimentalist.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

Oh yes, I will miss the cigarette butts, trash, broken beer bottles and used condoms on the sidewalk next to the building too.


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

It would be nice if Arch Realty could spend some money on their rental dumps all around town. Do they have no shame?


Mon, Sep 24, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

This is a great plan! Oxford did a terrific job re-developing their offices at 312 S. State. I bet the new Fifth Quarter will have some nifty design elements.