Ex-Borders redevelopment will bring restaurants, retail and office space to downtown Ann Arbor
Photo from commercialiq.com
Oakland County developer Ron Hughes of Hughes Properties said the building at the corner of East Liberty and Maynard streets is being subdivided into five restaurant and retail spaces on the first floor, with contemporary office space on the second floor.
“The Borders building is such a high profile and important location for the city,” Hughes said. “I think the city and residents will be very proud of the retrofit of the building.”
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com file photo
Borders vacated the two-story, 44,000-square-foot building in September 2011, and Hughes, also the developer behind the Landmark student high-rise, acquired long-term rights to redevelop the space in May 2012.
“There will be a really different look to the whole building,” Hughes said.
Windows are being installed on the exterior and each first-floor tenant will have its own entrance. Although Hughes considered a building addition or a rooftop deck, he said the plan is just to renovate the existing structure.
He expects renovations will be completed and the businesses will open in late summer 2013. The building’s listing broker, Colliers International's Ann Arbor office, is in various stages of negotiations for about 80 percent of the building, Hughes said. Tenants also are expressing interest in the 20,000-square-foot basement.
The asking rental rate for the first-floor is an annual $45 per square foot and the asking rate for the second-floor is an annual $24 per square foot, according to marketing materials.
“We believe, prior to the building being completed, it will be 100 percent occupied. The demand has been just far beyond our expectations. Inquiries on the building just continue; it’s been excellent,” he said.
Hughes declined to reveal the names of possible tenants, but said two companies with Ann Arbor offices are negotiating for space on the second floor.
“It’s such a buzz building,” he said.
Right next door to the former Borders retail building, Barracuda Networks recently moved hundreds of employees to a 45,000-square-foot space that was once used for Borders’ offices. Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for AnnArbor.com. Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lizzyalfs.