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Posted on Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Edwards Brothers Malloy's consolidation means prime redevelopment opportunity on State Street

By Lizzy Alfs

073113_2500 South State_CS-1.jpg

Edwards Brothers Malloy plans to cease manufacturing operations at 2500 S. State St. and sell the property.

Courtney Sacco |

Related story: Ann Arbor book manufacturer to sell prominent South State Street facility

Edwards Brothers Malloy’s plan to sell its 16-acre South State Street property creates a rare redevelopment opportunity on one of Ann Arbor’s most heavily trafficked corridors.

Developed in 1954, the 185,000-square-foot manufacturing plant at 2500 S. State St. has acres of vacant land west of the building that fronts State Street and is located just north of I-94. It’s one of the largest undeveloped parcels in the area.

“This is the last big piece that’s left, especially on State Street,” said Jim Chaconas, a commercial real estate broker with Colliers International. “The real estate value has gone way up, so they’ll have no issue with selling that.”

The property is zoned limited industrial, but redevelopment would fit with the city’s vision for the site. The recently adopted South State Street Corridor Plan identifies residential and office as appropriate future land uses.

Edwards Brothers Malloy's property is nestled between the University of Michigan's State Street Commuter Lot and the university’s athletic compound that includes soccer, tennis, gymnastics and wrestling facilities. A road behind the Edwards Brothers building connects the U-M properties.

“This is a prime site, obviously,” said Neal Warling, a commercial real estate broker with Jones Lang LaSalle. “Obviously, having the university surrounding it, it’s natural if they’re looking (to purchase it), but it’s certainly a prime site for redevelopment. Probably, primarily office space.”

Edwards Brothers Malloy, a 120-year-old book printing company, announced on Tuesday that it plans to close the South State Street facility and consolidate operations with the company’s 180,000-square-foot facility at 5411 Jackson Road. The company expects the move will better position it to grow in the digital printing realm — a side of the business that’s experiencing growth.

Joe Upton, Edwards Brothers Malloy's vice president of sales and marketing, said the company expects to start marketing the State Street property for sale in coming weeks. The consolidation is expected to take six to 12 months.

“The State Street property is more valuable real estate than Jackson Road, so if we’re going to sell one, it made sense to sell that property,” Upton said.

City of Ann Arbor records show the State Street property has an assessed value of $3,069,200 for the 2013 taxable year. The company paid $182,266 in property taxes for the State Street site in 2012.

"We've been approached by a couple of developers with a variety of options that they're considering, but as of now, we have not entertained any serious offers,” he said. “We've just had some casual interest.”


U-M's outdoor tennis facility is part of the athletic compound that's adjacent to Edwards Brothers Malloy at 2500 S. State.

Lizzy Alfs |

He said U-M expressed interest in the property several years ago, but the university has not made an offer on the property.

In 2012, Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon announced a plan to pour $250 million into non-revenue sports facilities over the next decade, including the construction of a lacrosse facility. He said the university is constrained in its growth near its main athletic campus, but there is room to expand to the south.

Brandon could not be reached to comment about whether the university would consider purchasing the Edwards Brothers Malloy property.

Jim Kosteva, the school's director of community relations, said: "The university always carefully considers strategic property opportunities, but we have no additional comment to offer about the speculation on this particular site."

Contingent on city approvals, Ann Arbor City Planner Jeff Kahan said the Edwards Brothers property could be redeveloped for various uses, including multifamily or office. The city’s Master Plan does not support a retail redevelopment at the site.

“The plan does not support a large retail component,” he said. “We think South State Street is pretty well served by retail. …However, if someone wanted retail, they would need to convince City Council of that.”

Warling said there’s demand for high-end office space in Ann Arbor, but it’s difficult for developers to get those projects financed right now.

Added Rob Aldrich, president of Ann Arbor’s MAV Development Co.: “Currently, the metrics to build new office space are challenging. It’s difficult to make a project financially feasible given the cost of an office project compared to the rent you can achieve. But that’s just a snapshot of today. I think, over time, that can obviously change as rental rates increase, which we’re starting to see signs of.”

Chaconas called the property a "great apartment site," and said developers are starting to propose multifamily projects in Ann Arbor because vacancies are low.

Because the property is adjacent to a U-M athletic compound, Aldrich said developers might see potential for a student housing project on the site.

“It’s a choice site and one of the few remaining in the city, certainly of its size,” he said. “I would say it’s going to get a lot of attention in the next several months.”

The map below shows a rough outline of the Edwards Brothers Malloy property at 2500 S. State St., outlined in red, surrounded by University of Michigan-owned property, outlined in yellow.

View Edwards Brothers Malloy in a larger map

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



Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 9:48 a.m.

There is zero percent doubt UM is salivating at purchase of this parcel for their track and field program. Adjoined to their already existing sports facilities there, and the only property on that side that does not belong to them. Folks, this is a done deal and probably already was when the U announced moving their track to a new "undisclosed location"...In fact, I would bet that the pending purchase came with an enticement for EB to relocate.


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 9:38 a.m.

Perfect location for that multipurpose theater/rehearsal studio/shared performance space complex many of us have lobbied decades for...with plenty of parking.


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 5:28 a.m.

As the university continues to buy up property and reduce taxes paid to the city, the only alternative is an income tax, including on the many who work at the university and use city services such as streets, fire protection, etc. Of course, employees will not like to pay an income tax, but the university can just pay them more. Ann Arbor can't have the university continually reducing the tax rolls while continuing to expect the city will provide services for free.

Frustrated in A2

Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 4:13 a.m.

When I saw the headline I was going to say I don't want the university to purchase it and take another large chunk of land off of the tax roll but I see I could be too late. Some people talk about the benefits of having the university here and the money it brings in and that they bring jobs etc but I think we can have too much of a "good" thing when they start taking away more money from the university than they bring in.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 7:13 p.m.

The broad interpretation of the Michigan Constitution that has made UM exempt from all regulation and taxation by the the regent system that grants each university a board that have general supervision of its institution and the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds." a total farce and a betrayal of "the very people" who voted for the people on those boards. The regents & this broad tax exemption is being abused at every instance to the detriment of the cities in which these university have decided to exert not only a tremendous amount of unlimited power to destroy the tax base, noise ordiances, building codes, zoning rules and more which is increasingly causing major traffic issues to residents , destroying our public fire, police services, funding for schools, resident services and the overall integrity of our city. Yes, they provide jobs but aren't providing financial or partner support for the city in which they are destroying and making demands to close and even control our streets without any controls. They even control the elected city leaders and the media to a certain extent. Have you noticed how articles tend to disappear with regularity when its against the university? Even if this might be a done deal, it should not be an easy deal. I sincerely wish the best for the employees of this firm and genuinuely hope that this company continue to be kind to Ann Arbor but not selling this property to UM, regardless of what will surely be an insane amount of our public monies or the result of our public monies funding their for-profit activities. Either way, we are paying for this takeover of Ann Arbor becoming University of MI, MI. See (note section 5).


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 6:32 p.m.

Vivienne Armentrout tells us: "It is time to re-examine whether [the Michigan constitutional provision re U-M] really means that activities unrelated to the core business of the University (instruction), such as medical and research facilities, should be exempt from all limitation by local laws." On what dubious theory are the Medical School, the affiliated teaching hospitals, the Dental School, and the research facilities associated with various scientific and other units of the University, somehow "unrelated to the core business of the University"?? If, as your parenthetical word "instruction" seems to imply, you define a university's core business narrowly as classroom teaching alone, then you're touting a crabbed definition of that "core business" that almost no one in higher education, or at least no one at the country's great universities. would think sensible. Maybe you could cherry-pick some programs at the North Campus Research Complex, or in the business school or elsewhere, as narrowly and merely money-making and therefore arguably outside the "core business", but the ones you name are plainly in the core. (I suppose we could talk about the athletic division, although voices would no doubt be raised loudly.)

Vivienne Armentrout

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

I am an academic myself (formerly at another university) and I agree that "instruction" is too narrow a definition of a university. Certainly research that is underlaid by an inquiry into knowledge - traditionally conducted by professors with students - clinical studies associated with a medical school, etc. are suitable activities for the university. Some of the ventures at the NCRC seem to be simply start-up businesses. Some of the medical facilities seem to be little different from any large medical enterprise. I don't have the detailed information to suggest specific examples. I'm simply suggesting a re-evaluation. The encroachment of the UM on the city's land base has become so significant and its impact on the life of the city so profound that it seems needed. Among other things, the UM claims exemption from all local ordinances (not just taxation). I don't believe that universities outside Michigan are able to do that.

Jordan Johnstone

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

Lets just pray that the U of M doesn't get greedy and buy it up and take away another taxable property.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

This is true...they continue to gobble


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Do you know how many people have lost their jobs for this to happen? Several and the others that are still employed have been told they may have jobs for 6 -12months...maybe! Shocking UofM is buying up more property in A2 and more people are losing jobs. Absolutely disgusted!


Sat, Aug 31, 2013 : 6:36 a.m.

Ist I would like to say that I am sorry for the loss of many jobs of people that I have worked with. 2nd. I am glad to to say I have a degree now in Management/supervision since I quit. I am sorry but there were to many politics and very many selfish and hard to work with people there. So to the ones who treated me like crap and lost there jobs. Good luck. Got out just in time. Ha.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

There is more coming in this industry in the Ann Arbor area. McNaughton & Gunn, Sheridan and Thomas Shore are all treading water. The sad thing is some of the leaders of these companies think they are just in a down economic cycle. That train coming at them is much , much more.

Susanne Brace

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

U of M isn't forcing them to was the decision of the company. U of M hasn't even made an offer on the property as of yet. Your disgust is not correctly placed in this case. I'm not surprised though that a book printing business isn't doing as well nowadays. You shouldn't be either. It is very sad.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

It is not the UofM's fault that people no longer wish to receive information on hunks of dead tree.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

and as long as the U will buy it EBM should just price it at 10mil and see how much the U offers for it.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 2:53 p.m.

I don't even know why we are discussing how it could be developed or how it is zoned. We all know the university is going to buy it and they can built what ever they want on it regardless of how it is zoned.

sun runner

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:31 p.m.

Say goodbye to the pleasing expansive lawn, mature trees, and low-slung building...and say hello to some sports-related behemoth and a vast parking lot.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

I think it's unfortunate that UM is planning to move more of the athletic facilities away from central campus because most students do live within walking distance to the main campus and are able to walk to most athletic events. Moving the facilities further away will decrease student attendance at athletic events. Also, UM plans to put a surface parking lot in place of the historic Ferry Field, where track legend Jesse Owens set 3 world records in one day. Personally, I think it's pretty cool that you can literally run in Owens footsteps!


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

Get real...the only thing this benefits is UM, an uncooperative partner to the city of Ann Arbor, which is constantly taking property off the tax rolls and paying little compensation to the city. What about that huge land grab off plymouth road? This would be a great place for any expansion. Another loud stadium, parking lot, dorms, office bldg. whatever is a loss to the city, people and residents of Ann Arbor. I didn't know about a planned extension of Oakbrook but that shows a consistent lack of concern for the residents of that area. Keep your eye on the lawsuit by residents of Princeton against the tax-exempt status of Princeton U., it just might save Ann Arbor. The use of public monies, and profit by UM to destroy Ann Arbor is out of control.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 3:10 p.m.

UoM can buy the place, turn it into a sports complex of some kind, then ask City Hall to have State Street closed on football, basketball and hockey game days, for the convenience of the fans.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

I am with you, Ms. Armentrout, we need to do somethhing about this, and your idea seems like a good one. Of course that would take a majority of voices on city council that have the stomach for a fight, and a city attorney who is willing to publish an opinion.

Vivienne Armentrout

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

Princeton is not in Michigan, where the UM has a constitutional entitlement. Actually, Ann Arbor officials ought to enter a court proceeding to challenge the broad interpretation of the Michigan Constitution that has made UM exempt from all regulation and taxation by the city. See (note section 5). "The regents of the University of Michigan and their successors in office shall constitute a body corporate known as the Regents of the University of Michigan; the trustees of Michigan State University and their successors in office shall constitute a body corporate known as the Board of Trustees of Michigan State University; the governors of Wayne State University and their successors in office shall constitute a body corporate known as the Board of Governors of Wayne State University. Each board shall have general supervision of its institution and the control and direction of all expenditures from the institution's funds." It is time to re-examine whether this really means that activities unrelated to the core business of the University (instruction), such as medical and research facilities, should be exempt from all limitation by local laws. Of course the UM has very deep pockets and would fight this fiercely in court.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:11 p.m.

Why does it have to be redeveloped? Why aren't we considering another small manufacturing operation (which would also pay property taxes) in that location? Ann Arbor continues to become a one-industry, company town. When the education bubble bursts, and it will burst, Ann Arbor will look like Flint. Students will figure out that they do not need to "go to school" to receive an education. Distance learning will replace the tradition of attending school in person. When that happens, Ann Arbor will wish that it had not put all of its eggs in the UofM basket.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

It's sad how people who are in a bubble don't recognize the fact.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

You can't go to medical school over the internet. When the education bubble bursts, U of M will be fine, smaller schools will take the hit. U of M is a school for mostly spoiled rich kids whose parents would send them to a brick and mortar university regardless of market conditions. With so much money coming in as research grants, UM will be in way better shape than the colleges that get their revenues almost solely from tuition.

Dog Guy

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

I could throw a rock east from Edwards Brothers and hit the tracks; let's build another train station!

An Arborigine

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 12:59 p.m.

Two things about this are frightening "The City's vision for State St." and $180K being sucked from the tax base.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 11:47 a.m.

All these developers and other business people seeing dollar signs while people at Edwards Brothers Malloy are losing their jobs.


Fri, Aug 2, 2013 : 12:17 a.m.

Polecat Yes. The writing has been on the wall for quite a while. Life is a heads-up game.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

WalkingJoe, Polecat is right it is a sad fact but it is so true. I know I have a friend who is employed at Edwards Brothers Malloy on State Street.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 12:07 p.m.

People in the book printing business should read the writing on the wall. That industry is dying. young people aren't buying paper books anymore. Anyone working there should be looking for a new job.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

...The property is zoned limited industrial, but redevelopment would fit with the city's vision for the site.... The City's vision or the University's? We all know who will be buying up this property. Give U-M a month, max, to make an announcement that this site will become the next athletic deprtment conquest. In this instance, it makes a lot of sense due to it's location. I see new indoor and outdoor track facilities very soon (much needed by the way).


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

Somargie - even though I agree that loses tax revenue is not good, expanding the athletic footprint here make absolute sense. Look at the map - there is no better place to put a new lacrosse or track complex. As far as displacing residents - again look at the map. Snarl traffic? The day a UM lacrosse game or a track meet snarls traffic will be a day only to be seen in our dreams.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

Eminent domain, here we go again...


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Apparently you don't live in this area because it's horrible for the residents. Whatever new thing the U needs should be built on that huge property off plymouth not here. It doesn't make sense to buy up more property to destroy the city's tax base, displace residents and snarl traffic for shrines of all


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

Now all then need to do is figure out how to get their hands on Ann Arbor Golf & Outing. You know they want it.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 11:01 a.m.

C'mon - we all know who the next owner will be. Is there even a question?

Jim Mulchay

Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 10:55 a.m.

Development - why not make it the State Street "Welcome to Ann Arbor" park? Information center, bus station, parking and walking trails (maybe a dog run?). It is a nice, restrained property now - lots of grass and trees, little signage, buildings set way back - why not keep it that way? Can't we have green spaces within the city (besides golf courses)? Not realistic - it will probably be more U-M property soon. By the Way - is the Edwards Brothers Malloy property on Jackson road in the city of Ann Arbor?


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

No it's Scio twp.


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 10:38 a.m.

Looking at the map, maybe a land swap makes sense? The U buys the contiguous property and sells the property down by the planned-for extension of Oakbrook?


Thu, Aug 1, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Another East-West connector would help traffic flow.