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 Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 2:47 p.m.

Meijer hopes to sell outlot properties at Ann Arbor-Saline Road store for development

By Nathan Bomey

Michigan-based grocery store chain Meijer hopes to sell two outlots at its Ann Arbor-Saline Road store, opening the door for developers or retailers interested in commercial real estate in one of the area's most high-trafficked retail corridors.

The retailer hopes to sell two side-by-side plots — a 2.69-acre parcel and a 3.23-acre parcel — fronting Ann Arbor-Saline Road. Currently, a berm separates the Meijer parking lot from the road.

Meijer real estate manager Roger DeHoek told today that the company decided to put the property onto the market after Pittsfield Township recently completed the redesign of its master plan, which favors mixed-use development at that site.


This aerial photo shows the two outlots Meijer hopes to sell at its Ann Arbor-Saline Road store in Pittsfield Township.

Photo courtesy of Meijer

"The intent of any kind of development out there would be something that would complement the brand new master plan of Pittsfield Township," DeHoek said. "We're basically trying to figure out a way to get a mixed-use development accomplished there."

The northern-most plot sits at the corner of Ann Arbor-Saline and Lohr Road. It's a highly trafficked intersection that leads to a shopping center with a Target on the west side of Ann Arbor-Saline and a shopping complex with a Best Buy, Kohl's and Dick's Sporting Goods on the east side.

The southern-most plot sits at the corner of Ann Arbor-Saline and Oak Valley Drive.

"We think the market has picked up from where it was a few years ago when there was nothing going on," DeHoek said. "We feel that the Ann Arbor market as a whole — and specifically Pittsfield Township — remains quite strong. We feel confident, if planned right, we can get something done there."

The retailer is also still marketing a 1.83-acre plot of property on Zeeb Road side of its store on Jackson Road in Scio Township. That property — which was briefly under contract to be sold to a bank until the deal collapsed — has been on the market for some time.

Contact's Nathan Bomey at (734) 623-2587 or You can also follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's newsletters.


Ann English

Sat, Dec 24, 2011 : 12:49 a.m.

Half full or not, I had to park farther from the doors than usual this past week at the Ann Arbor-Saline Meijer because of Christmas shoppers. I think I see what the plans are for the Jackson-Zeeb and Ann Arbor-Saline Road Meijers: to have businesses in front of them and along their long driveways from the crossroads, like the older Carpenter Road Meijer has. Meijer stores are always built at crossroads, wherever they exist.

Rob MI

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 4:24 p.m.

I expect two restaurants to be built on these outlots. One of them might even end up being a Sonic.

Ann English

Sat, Dec 24, 2011 : 1:13 a.m.

Sonic drive-throughs might be good additions to areas that already have crab shacks and pancake restaurants, like this Meijer does. I think the south lot would be a better location for a Sonic. You don't get traffic from other stores coming from your left, on Oak Valley Drive, but there is a lot of it coming from your right if you want to turn left onto Lohr Road. I thought Meijer put the berms in themselves, that the berms would go as soon as other businesses went up in those places.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:44 p.m.

What about the original site plan? Wasn't there a requirement to maintain a set back? So much for trying to avoid another Washtenaw/Stadium eyesore.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:05 p.m.

Meijers has 2 legal and wonderfully located properties that it can sell to retailers that may be interested in a high traffic location. These developments will reduce their massive parking parking lots that many are critical of and provide additional jobs and tax dollars to the local economy once completed. Brilliant!


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:03 p.m.

Yeah, gee thanks everyone for the brilliant insight. So your premise is to automatically assume that Miejer installed the exact bare minimum number of spots as required by the township. I find it pretty hard to believe that the township would mandate such an expanse of non-permeable ground. And if they did, Miejer could have used their considerable legal and administrative resources to push back a little, or argue for a zoning change or exemption based upon reasonable use and examples of other retail outlets and capacity. Just because a township zoning rule is written a certain way doesn't make it impossible to contest or at least examine in a reasonable context. Especially for store of this size - the planning and review process is long and thorough, and all zoning codes and ordinances are eligible for review. How about we simply examine the target across the street - their parking lot is always pretty full, as it is a much more reasonable size. Whoever is truly to blame, it is still really, really stupid. Anyone who disagrees, well, that's sad.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

"Whoever is truly to blame, it is still really, really stupid. Anyone who disagrees, well, that's sad." My what an open mind you have? Dislike opposing opinion much? How about this:you don't own, maintain, or have any other vested interest in the land, so you have no real say in the matter. Maybe if you save your money, you can buy the land and do whatever you want with it.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 4:59 p.m.

Ross - Meijer did build the legal minimum number of spaces. I remember the hearings. Sorry to disappoint, but they don't like parking lot maintenance anymore than you like looking at it.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:04 p.m.

Oops, that was meant to be a reply to all the vitriolic responses to my initial comment. whatevs.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 12:50 p.m.

That's sad. I enjoy those trees and grass when I drive by them. They a graceful transition from the more rural townships to the urban development of the town.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 2:43 a.m.

Meijer is really just another big box, ugly store. I hate shopping there and find I'm regularly ripped off when I do. They make a big deal about their 'low' prices, but the low prices tend to be on some items and then on others they jack them up so they come out way ahead. And Meijer's pharmacy and gas station - ugh. Dirty, poorly staffed. Take a look at Meijer's attempts in other communities to illegally try to sway things their way. Pittsfield Township has to hassle them to get them to clear their sidewalks and they do it reluctantly and under pressure. Not a good neighbor and this will be one more example of it.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 6:52 p.m.

" I hate shopping there and find I'm regularly ripped off when I do" How are you ripped off? Does the cashier take the money from your wallet and force you to pay? If the item you are buying seems priced more than you are willing to pay, there is a simple solution. DONT BUY IT. GO ELSEWHERE. There is no such thing as something being over priced. Whatever someone is willing to pay for something is what the price is. If I am at Disney World and it is 90 degrees and I want water, paying $3 for a bottle is worth it to me. If I go to Target on December 23rd and am buying water, I may pay $3 for a case. Neither case is being ripped off. It is what I was willing to pay at any given time.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:08 p.m.

You can tell by their traffic and heavy business that Meijers is very successful at this location :)


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:06 p.m.

Agreed. Their gas station is directly in violation of several laws. The employees do not even know what an "MSDS" sheet is, nor could they provide me one was asked what kind of "bio-diesel" they really had. Nor was the pump adequately labeled as required by law.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 1:30 a.m.

I have a suggestion. Why don't all you commenters buy the property and put what you want on it, instead of telling other people what to do with there land.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

Asking is not the same as telling. Expressing an opinion is a basic right, and asking or suggesting that Meijer do is that telling them what to do with it? I'm confused about the concept.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:32 p.m.

Ugh - please don't anyone buy those lots.... those grassy knoll adds much needed beauty to store fronts, which are unfortunately not as attractive as trees and grass. Please leave the grassy areas there!


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:07 p.m.

I would like to see the buildings there be multiple stories, much like that which is outlaid for the Ellsworth/State intersection. A three story street facing building with maybe shops on the first floor and restaurant space on the second and third floor. My question is - is there enough need in that very congested area now? Maybe make the first floor a transit stop and then do shops and restaurants on the second and third floor (think first floor being 1/2 under ground as the land slopes there.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

With all the vacant storefronts in the strip mall across the street that has the Outback? Seriously?


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 6:47 p.m.

Do you understand the difference between owning your own place and leasing a building? How about the idea that convenient location is more important to customers today. I have not gone into the Outback strip mall in years. I have passed by Meijer. Which property will most likely get my business? The one I actually can SEE. Why would Meijer want to put more money into the landlord of Oak Valley and several other strip malls when they can get the money themselves? There was a developer who built a strip mall across the street and lo and lehold Best Buy moved across the road. I guess that mall should never have been built because there was already available space at Oak Valley?


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Aren't there like 7 or 8 vacant retail spots in that Target and Outback plaza directly across the road? I'm all for shopping and having options, but I do agree that putting things in places that are already built would be better than making new places next to vacant ones.

longtime AA

Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 8:25 a.m.

Do you think there is a correlation between the number of vacant spots in Target and Outback plazas and the height of the berm that Pittsfield required? The outlots at Meijer would have visibility. If I am a retailer/restaurant, why would I want to put (big) money into a location that is hidden from public view?


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 3:07 a.m.

I think the rent over there, when you add in the NNN is around $35-$40 a sqft. Main street is only $25 and campus is around $35. Someone needs to break up the monopoly the strip mall owner has on the corner.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:37 p.m.

PS: I also love Meijer. Low prices and they don't make you carry around a card to get the sale price.

Mom in Town

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:26 p.m.

I'm thinking the vacant Borders behind there should probably rent first before they decide to build more stuff.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 10:12 p.m.

The Borders space would be a lease situation....the two outlets would allow an entity to own the land.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:22 p.m.

I love Meijer


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:01 p.m.

Note to Miejer: Ever notice how your disgustingly large larking lot is never more than half full? Please return ~5 to 8 acres to permeable ground and natural habitat. You will never have 10,000 people shopping in your ugly big box store at one time, hence no need for such capacity of parking. Once the CostCo opens up just down the road, even less customers will be parking in your lot. Sincerely - the people's commission for a more thoughtful, natural world.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

Ross, do not blame Meijer for the large parking lot. Thank local building ordnances that require X amount of parking spaces per every square foot of retail space.


Fri, Dec 23, 2011 : 2:38 a.m.

I use to shop at Meijer. Then I discovered Wal Mart and how I can use Meijer fliers at Wal Mart and save a boodle. Thanks Meijer for saving me money. Every now and then i do shop at Meijer when I need to stock up on wine and such. Their wine prices are much cheaper.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:10 p.m.

Ross - If you want to see the parking lot get smaller, then get with the township and change the zoning laws. I am sure Meijer would be happy to reduce the amount of parking lot they have to maintain. The lot size is not a Meijer choice, but a zoning requirement.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 11:04 p.m.

Doesn't Meijer use some of their lots for Park and Ride donations. I think Zig' has it right, zoning rules govern the location, quantity, and sometimes layout of parking lots. It's why sometimes you see handicap parking spaces in the middle of nowhere. For a while (may still be) laws and regulations indicated every lot needed to have a certain % of handicap spaces but it was flawed in that you could not add more spaces closer to a building and not add handicap spaces to your new lot, instead, the new lot had to have handicap spaces, even if it was an overflow lot. So next time you see handicap spaces in the middle of know where, you can thank a poorly drafted accessibility law. The real losers, are those who are most in need.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 10:11 p.m.

Ross...feel free to spend your money and purchase those two lots and then you can plant your own little, natural garden as you see fit.


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

Zoning requires a minimum number of parking spots based upon the size and capacity of the building. They don't have a choice.

John of Saline

Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

"Sincerely - the people's commission for a more thoughtful, natural world." My, we are full of ourselves today, aren't we?


Thu, Dec 22, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

That parking lot sure will be a big plus for anyone wanting to developed a new store there. Or should I say, "larking lot."