You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

U-M School of Information leases last remaining office space in ex-Borders flagship store

By Ben Freed

The University of Michigan School of Information signed a lease this week for the last remaining vacant space on the second floor of the former Borders flagship store in downtown Ann Arbor.

University spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen said in an email that the school plans to move 12-15 staff members into the approximately 4,400 square-foot space, which will include offices for the employees along with “common and working spaces.”


Workers removed the Borders sign from the former flagship store in preparation for its redevelopment into high-tech offices and new retail spaces.

Daniel Brenner |

She said staff members are expected to move into the new location in fall 2013.

The new office will be close to the school's headquarters in the North Quad building on the corner of South State Street and East Huron Street. The school has approximately 570 student in undergraduate, masters, and Ph.D. programs and conducted more than $4.5 million in research during the 2011 fiscal year.

Colliers International Ann Arbor represented represented the landlord, Hughes Properties, in the deal.

The move gives the School of information a foothold in the growing “tech hub” centered on East Liberty Street between South State Street and Fifth Avenue. As information digitizes, the School of Information at U-M has expanded its focus beyond libraries to include the study of “big data” and other tools that are valuable to companies operating in the high-tech realm.

Barracuda Networks was the first technology firm to move into the former Borders building, leasing 45,000 square feet of space that previously housed Borders’ corporate headquarters before they moved to Phoenix Drive.

Communication analysis company PRIME Research was next, signing a long-term lease in January for the majority of the second floor, which has approximately 20,000 square feet of total office space.

The entrances to both Barracuda’s office space and the office space on the second floor will be located on Maynard Street just south of Liberty Street.

The remaining retail space in the former flagship store is also beginning to fill. The owners of Knights Steakhouse signed a lease earlier in June to open a new downtown location on the corner of Liberty and Maynard Streets.

Ron Hughes of Hughes Properties is subdividing the first-floor space into five restaurant and retail spaces that he plans to hand over to tenants in the early fall.

PRIME Research said in January that they intend to move into its office space in later this summer.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Get in touch with Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


John AA

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

So one of 5 is leased out... 4 more to go.... that is a fantastic location so I guess the hold up for the other 4 is the asking rent... it is not easy to survive if the rent is way too high and also low business during summer time does not help either...... but who knows may be some good listing agent can bring some solid businesses and fill up these empty spaces at the high asking lease rates and survive too....


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

"Ron Hughes of Hughes Properties is subdividing the first-floor space into five restaurant and retail spaces that he plans to hand over to tenants in the early fall." And yet, we don't have any names of retail tenants other than Knight's. Why? What is the delay?

Ben Freed

Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 12:48 p.m.

JRW, Knight's is the only retail tenant to have been announced. We have been consistently in contact with the developer and real estate agents working on leasing the remaining spaces and will have names for you as soon as they are available.


Mon, Jun 24, 2013 : 11:35 a.m.

Tech hub!