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 Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 5:57 a.m.

McKinley acquires Ann Arbor apartment complex, plans $1.2M renovation

By Lizzy Alfs


McKinley purchased the Westwood Apartments on West Liberty Street and plans to renovate the complex.

Joseph Tobianski |

The Westwood Apartment complex on Ann Arbor’s West Liberty Street is getting a major facelift after McKinley Inc. finalized a deal to purchase the property in late December.

The 120-unit, garden-style apartment complex is located on West Liberty Street, just east of Stadium Boulevard.

McKinley’s purchase comes shortly after the Ann Arbor-based company acquired and renovated two apartment complexes near Plymouth Road: Ironwood, now called Traver Heights, and Travel Knoll, now called Traver Crossing.

“We obviously have enormous confidence in Ann Arbor and we are equally confident in the future of this community and the region,” McKinley CEO Albert Berriz wrote in a statement.

Berriz said McKinley plans to invest $1.2 million in renovations at Westwood, which will be renamed Manchester West — a “sister” complex to the Manchester Flats that McKinley owns on West Stadium and Pauline.

Westwood will become a smoke-free community and will undergo interior and exterior renovations. Plans include siding, painting, wood repairs, landscaping, signage and common room improvements.

"This community is superbly located within walking distance to downtown, however it needs a major investment to make it competitive and consistent with what our customers expect in our communities" Berriz said.

The purchase price of the complex was not disclosed, but it has an assessed value of about $3.67 million for the 2012 tax year. The property was previously registered to Westwood Associates, according to city records.

Marketing materials show the units rent for $650 to $700 for a one-bedroom and $750 to $800 for a two-bedroom.

McKinley, founded in Ann Arbor in 1968, owns more than 5,400 units in the region. The company owns and manages multifamily and commercial real estate properties in 25 states.

Berriz told in November that Ann Arbor, particularly the north side communities, are the best performing in McKinley’s entire Midwest portfolio.

“We can be using those dollars to invest anywhere that we operate, but Ann Arbor really commands some of the strongest rents in the Midwest. There’s no question…that’s why we’re electing to expand in our own town,” he said.

View 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, Jan 4, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

Capitalism. It's our system folks. One company is choosing to invest in our town. They will charge what the market will bear. The people who can't afford that will move elsewhere. We can discuss affordable housing if we like but McKinley is doing exactly what companies are there to do. I think they did a great job with their commercial properties on Liberty near division


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

McKinley...ugh. Years ago when I was an apartment renter, the worst properties I rented were McKinley. I talk to students and young professionals, other renters now -- McKinley are still the worst managed apartments, but they are legion! Two years ago my place of work finally left a McKinley-owned/managed space -- it was awful: bad air quality, poor lighting, electrical, heating, and plumbing problems -- everything done the shoddiest way possible. In my experience, Wilson White or First Martin are 50x better companies: skilled workmen/women, fair-leases, quality, respectful to renters concerns.


Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 1:43 a.m.

they start you off at 800 a month then the jack it up 50 bucks each year. I dont know where that 700 came from. Sounds like the new guys are going to give it a "face lift" and then just run us poor folks out. I find it interesting that no one was informed that this was going to happen. I came home and there was a new sign. boom. Really odd.

Linda Peck

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

I am happy about the future improvements that 1.2 million will bring to this west side neighborhood.

Nicholas Urfe

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 6:10 p.m.

Sad news. I rented there in the early 90's. It was quiet and decent, with a nice view of the woods. Remember the game monopoly? How your ownership of a monopoly in a region allowed you to charge outrageous rates and reap the rewards? I'm guessing this will be like that.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

Section eighters, pack your bags!


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 3:40 p.m.

Well, I live near the Manchester Flats apartments and those apartments were upgraded quite nicely. But, it may have been more of a compositional change rather than a wholesale upgrade to the units: raise the rents and get yuppies to live there rather than the previous tenants. With the demolition of the Title 8 apartments on Pauline to the upgrade to these units on Liberty, I'm not sure where all the poorer folks are moving to.

Stan Hyne

Thu, Jan 3, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.



Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

McKinley keeps upping the size of its area holdings. Now any school/library tax millage will impact them so much that they will have to be consulted.


Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

"McKinley, founded in Ann Arbor in 1968, owns more than 5,400 units in the region. The company owns and manages multifamily and commercial real estate properties in 25 states." In 2011 NMHC - National Management Housing Council ranked McKinley 38th out out the largest 50 apartment management corporations in the United States. Up from 45th in 2010. Kind of like office space in Ann Arbor, those who control the larger blocks set the rent. Also called Monopoly. At least its a local concern. The poorer and single parent families living in those big block apartments will soon be supplanted by multi-working singles (rooming townies) able to afford the coming rent increase. AAPS will have to start closing schools while more bars and fast food joints will likely open. Hence the DDA's "vibrant" community vision. It rocks - literally - until 2 AM.

Donald Martin

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

Whatever marketing materials that were used for research are quite off in the rates for renting an apartment here at Westwood. I pay considerably more that what's quoted there. Otherwise, nice li'l article.

Eric S

Wed, Jan 2, 2013 : 11:40 a.m.

The name change is pointless. It doesn't add information, and it doesn't market the place as a more comfortable place to live. I don't get it.