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Posted on Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Carrabba's, LongHorn Steakhouse sign leases for project proposed on Ann Arbor-Saline Road

By Lizzy Alfs


A prototype rendering of the proposed LongHorn Steakhouse building on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.


National restaurant chains Carrabba’s Italian Grill and LongHorn Steakhouse could join the Washtenaw County dining scene if plans are approved for a six-building development on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

Southfield-based Versa Development submitted a preliminary site plan to Pittsfield Township for Pittsfield Place: a six-building retail and restaurant development on the property fronting the Meijer store at 3145 Ann Arbor-Saline Road.


The parcels fronting the Meijer store were put on the market last year after Pittsfield Township completed a redesign of its master plan.

Joseph Tobianski |

Pittsfield Township’s Planning Commission will consider the plans at its 6:30 p.m. meeting on Thursday, July 11.

If approved, one building would be a Carrabba’s Italian Grill and one would be a LongHorn Steakhouse, according to township plans. It would be the first Washtenaw County location for both national restaurant chains.

“We do have deals with them,” said Michael Lippitt of Landmark Commercial Real Estate Services, the broker marketing the Meijer outlots for lease. “We have three other leases out right now and a whole variety of negotiations going on.”

Several parcels fronting the Meijer store were put on the market last year after the township completed a redesign of its master plan. The redesign favors mixed-use development at the site.

Lippitt said Versa is under contract to purchase the properties from Meijer. A representative with Versa did not return requests for comment.

The development — which would transform the stretch of Ann Arbor-Saline Road from Oak Valley Drive to Lohr Road — would be constructed on an existing berm that separates Meijer from Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

It would consist of full-service restaurant buildings and retail/fast casual restaurant buildings fronting Ann Arbor-Saline Road, with an access drive separating the project into a northern section and a southern section. The Carrabba's and LongHorn Steakhouse buildings would be separated by the access drive.


The proposed six-building development would be constructed in front of the Meijer building on Ann Arbor-Saline Road, with 444 parking spaces located behind the buildings.


“The development of an entire Meijer store frontage is unprecedented,” Landmark’s marketing materials say. “The availability of this type of retail/outlot project in Ann Arbor is equally rare.”

Plans include 444 parking spaces located behind the buildings, and an outdoor seating area at the Lohr Road intersection.

According to a site plan review conducted by a Pittsfield Township planning consultant, the project would turn an “underutilized area into a viable commercial development.” Before it can be approved, Versa needs to make a number of modifications to the plans, the report says.

Comments in the report include:

  • Add architectural interest and details to trash enclosure walls

  • Provide architectural details and entrances accessible from Ann Arbor-Saline Road

  • Amend two of the buildings to meet a 26-foot building height requirement

  • Create a strong visual presence on Ann Arbor-Saline Road

  • Amend development landscape plan

  • Provide a landscape island or peninsula every 10 parking spaces or seek waiver from planning commission

  • Incorporate better pedestrian circulation

Pittsfield Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal said a goal of the township’s master plan is to eliminate berms and big parking lots in front of shopping centers, while creating pedestrian-friendly environments.

“It is definitely one of the goals of our master plan to use existing spaces and to use them more densely, so this is definitely moving in the right direction,” she said.


A rendering of a retail/fast casual restaurant proposed on the southern section of the site.


The Ann Arbor-Saline and Lohr Road intersection is one of the most highly trafficked in the area. It leads to the Target shopping center on the west side of Ann Arbor-Saline and a shopping complex with Best Buy, Kohl’s, Big Lots and Dick’s Sporting Goods on the east side.

Just across the street from Meijer, developers have targeted a vacant plot of land behind Chuck E. Cheese’s for a multi-family residential project. The owners of the Target shopping center intend to build an apartment complex on the site.

Lippitt said tenant interest in the Meijer outlot properties has been strong, and he continues to receive inquiries from “name brand” businesses. In addition to Carrabba’s and LongHorn Steakhouse, marketing materials list Einstein Bros. Bagels, Rx Optical, Halo Burger and Aspen Dental as possible tenants, but those leases are not confirmed.

“There’s such a good dynamic at that location,” he said. “There’s great co-tenancy, and really strong retailer volumes in the area.”

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



Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 11:04 p.m.

Meijer in Monroe has two restaurants on land it owned in front of the store so Ann Arbor Saline Rd. isn't the first one and quite likely won't be the last one.

Ricardo Queso

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

Thanks for the warning on the meeting date Lizzy (Not!). Was this sprung on you the day before the planning meeting or were you asked to hold the information?

Basic Bob

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

Welcome to Pittsfield. Did you get the announcement any earlier for the State Road Corridor Improvement Authority? The one where they siphon off commercial property taxes to make State Road a 4-lane boulevard from Costco to Upper Saline? It will only cost $32M and require purchase of airport land adjacent to the too-short runway. Inadequate public notice, minimal public input, and unanimous voting by the elected board violates the spirit if not the letter of the law of the Open Meetings Act. And the Federal discrimination case against them continues unreported. Can't blame the media for all of this.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

what happened to the bus/ rapid transit allocation?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:10 p.m.

I hope Bloomin Brands changes their mind and makes it a Bonefish Grill instead of a Carrabba's. Going to Canton is not a stretch if you really want Carrabba's but going out to Novi Town Center for the closest Bonefish Grill is a drag.

Ricardo Queso

Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:12 a.m.

Why would you drive for either one?

John Campbell

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Outback, which is across the street, has the same parent company as Carrabba's. I don't consider Outback much different from Longhorn, so these additions don't seem to be a big gain. I am not a hater, I just think the area would benefit from more non-chain lunch options if the area is going to become further developed. With Macaroni Grill, Panera, Olive Garden, Max and Sam, Red Robin, Bagger Dave's, McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, and Taco Bell not that far away, I was hoping for something locally owned and different. Will give the unconfirmed Halo Burger a try if it comes...

David Waligora

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

non chains also usually don't the capital to fund new construction.


Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 11:06 p.m.

non chains have a difficult time making it in any business.


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:30 a.m.

You're in denial, John. Unless you e-jaculate exclamations in breathless support of everything and anything "new", you are indeed a hater.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Would LOVE Bonefish and P.F. Chang in addition to these new restaurants.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Second on Bonefish. It's a step up from Red Lobster.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:45 p.m.

Haven't the outlots at the Scio Township Meijer been for sale for years? Why are they having trouble selling those?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

Some possibilities... Recession? Plenty of undeveloped land nearby on Jackson Rd to choose from? Less traffic? Less shopper density? Out-lots not sized right?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

Wow another steak house. I guess Outback is too busy - I thought the idea of the grassy berm is to not take on the look of Carpenter Road.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Might as well use the space if there is demand for new businesses and restaurants. Traffic should be real fun.... But one note to the township, please encourage some porous surfaces. Too much contiguous asphalt!

Laurie Barrett

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

Chains, my Pittsfield Township's got me locked up in chains. And they're the kind you can't help but see Oh Oh these chains of Corporate People Chow food Won't let me be


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:42 a.m.

People love to slander chain restaurants like they do mainstream music. Not every chain restaurant is microwave food(Olive Garden certainly taste like a frozen meal I can buy at my grocer's freezer) .


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 5:43 a.m.

These are not restaurants to get excited about in my opinion. Still, they will provide jobs Which is good. Complaints about the road in this area are legit, it is bad. Someone mentioned that Main Street went bad because of the loss of local shops and addition of restaurants. Which local shops are they referring to? Riders hobby, kresge? People don't want to shop downtown or there would be more interest from larger chains such as jcrew or gap. Conversely, the many new (and current) restaurants opening downtown are locally owned, but if you prefer the chain restaurant and all the negatives that come with it, then that Is your choice. Not me though.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:49 a.m.

Sears used to be downtown, as was Goodyear's department store. Also Red Wing shoes. Several shoe stores - men's and women's. A real sporting goods store, Stein&Goetz (which got bigboxed out of existence and is now MDen). Feigel's Men's store, where you could buy work clothes to dress clothes. And don't forget the travel store which sold suitcases, leather goods and such. Quality Bakery, best baked goods around, too.

Ricardo Queso

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:29 a.m.

Someone blogged, "With Big Lot's coming in, there goes the neighborhood". Wow weren't they prescient.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:41 a.m.

Why no head shops or dispensaries? Way to keep it square Ann Arbor!

David Waligora

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:29 p.m.

this isn't ann arbor


Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 11:08 p.m.

the way to go for sure.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:26 a.m.

hey do not forger the bike paths. got to get them in someway we need more of them. NOT


Wed, Jul 24, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

how about putting bike paths down the middle of the roads.then u can ride until your hearts content.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:25 p.m.

I really don't get how so many people get upset over the idea that some people ride bikes, and you should plan for that.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:45 a.m.

How about bike paths around the new restaurants (just an oval). That way the neon loving bike fanatics can go eat a steak and work off the calories too.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:40 a.m.

What is this, 1990? Wayne and Garth want their catchphrase back.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

typo. fast fingers . should have been forgot not "forger" sorry

Laurie Barrett

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:22 a.m.

Bread and circuses


Fri, Jul 12, 2013 : 2:26 a.m.

That's freedom of the press being exercised in the service of the citizenry, Laurie. Instead of being watchdogs, they ensure we know that government has done everything necessary to expedite the permits necessary for getting us something else to eat, and how well the out-of-state teenagers playing games under the banner of the local university are doing. Further, they make sure one can read it in 45 seconds or less no matter which type of electronic device one uses to maintain his myopia!


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

Hopefully this will help motivate Pittsfield to repair the gateway to their township.

David Waligora

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:28 p.m.

I think she means the I-94 overpass?

Basic Bob

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:32 a.m.

Do you mean Washtenaw, Michigan, or State?

Lucas and Kevin

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:05 a.m.

Halo Burger in there as we're talking! We wish all new businesses the best of luck. Nothing wrong with utilizing some unused space. Haters going to hate!


Thu, Aug 29, 2013 : 5:11 a.m.

Former Flintoid? So am I...Haloburger with Olives and a Creamale! Before it was Haloburger, it was Kewpie's...there is still one of them in Lansing MI. The man who started Kewpie's invented the square hamburger.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1 a.m.

I really wish A2 would get a PF Chang's.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:59 a.m.

Jimmy John's!!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.

Why is this blog obsessed with openings of chain restaurants? Since when is schlock dining news?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:31 p.m.

I think most people are more interested in what new businesses are opening than every breath the U of M takes.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

Still dreaming of PFChangs!!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:52 p.m.

I'd much rather it be a Pei Wei, which is owned by PF Chang's -- it's their fast-casual entity. Far more affordable, faster, and a lot of the same/similar food options (like lettuce wraps, etc.) at a better price.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

I understand PF Changs is still circling the Washtenaw County market...waiting to see where they land, but I'm convinced it's coming!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:39 a.m.

I've been to to PF Changs at 3 different locations, and not one bad experience yet! From the food to the service.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

Definitely! I was just going to make that post!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:10 a.m.

444 parking spaces for the new shops that will be subtracted from the Meijer lot? I realize the lot isn't full normally, but I seriously doubt there are that many empty spaces during the time between Thanksgiving and the end of the year.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

An If you check the map included in this article, and assume that the green area is the existing berm and the grey is the existing parking lot (a logical assumption), then clearly some of the Meijer lot will be going away to the new development.

An Arborigine

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:39 a.m.

The development is being built on currently unpaved berm between the current Meijer lot and AA Saline Rd

Lynn Liston

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

Well, I don't think Palio's, Gratzi or Mediterano have much to worry about. I think these new places will provide a good service to the travelers who lodge at the hotels on the south side of town and to residents in that are looking for family dining in their neighborhood.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:55 p.m.

Running head first into the bland brick wall that is Anytown, U.S.A. It may as well be another TGIChillibees. I hope they have good microwaves.

David Waligora

Wed, Sep 4, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

It's the type of use which a large percent of people do like, especially those who may leave outside of the Ann Arbor. You may think it's bad, and honestly I'm not thrilled about it. Also it's an opportunity to improve the area with nice buildings and better pedestrian connections. The market will determine if the TGIChillibees will stay or not. And if not, it will open up space for the small independent places to fill in the open suites, because usually they can not afford new construction.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 3:08 p.m.

"Main St is a joke. You have highly overpriced restaurants with draft beers at 6 o 7 a pop, then throw in the fact that you have to PAY for parking just to patronize a restaurant, then throw in the fact that most parking decks are near capacity by 7 PM, then throw in the fact that the typical wait time to get served in downtown is anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, " Maybe it's because of the large crowds that show up on Main St and want to dine there. I believe that is supply and demand at work there.

Ricardo Queso

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:34 a.m.

JBK, if you don't mind your food frozen and microwaved you can save a ton by shopping at GFS and buying your sud's at Costco. If cheap beef is your desire, get a tenderizer and marinate that mystery cut to death. Given the crowds every night of the week Main St and the rest of the locally owned eateries in town do not miss you.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:38 a.m.

I don't think I've EVER paid to park downtown after 6pm. If you know how to parallel park or don't mind walking it is easy to park for free.

An Arborigine

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:38 a.m.

@JBK, I absolutely concur, well put!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:40 p.m.

JBK Thank You! I could not have said it better. Probably momma and daddy paying for 1/2 the meals on Main st.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:16 p.m.

I guess the other option would be to sit on Main St with all of the other wannabees, with their Coach purses, Guchi sunglasses, etc.. and act like someone really cares if they live or die. Get over it. Main St is a joke. You have highly overpriced restaurants with draft beers at 6 o 7 a pop, then throw in the fact that you have to PAY for parking just to patronize a restaurant, then throw in the fact that most parking decks are near capacity by 7 PM, then throw in the fact that the typical wait time to get served in downtown is anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, and forget it........ I could go on, but I am sure you get my point. I will gladly take bland over paying for food that is 3 x over what it should be. Parking starting at 4 and then it steadily goes up..........


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:13 p.m.

Pittsfield Township Supervisor Mandy Grewal might want to check the site plans again. Those berms for all the development in that particular area were to provide for transition. But hey, why look at history or hold anyone accountable for promises made, especially when it's the same property owner.

Basic Bob

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:30 a.m.

I'm sure it's in the Master Plan. But one would need a PhD, a pack of developers and consultants, and some campaign contributions to know for sure.

Sharon Moskwiak

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

We love Carrabba's! The food is really good and they have a pretty decent wine selection. It's a great family restaurant, as well as a place to watch a football game on a Saturday afternoon. We always stop there when we are in Hilton Head twice a year! I'm so excited to see the plans to do something with that stretch of land and while the traffic is pretty heavy there, I suspect the same people who travel that road every day will be the ones stopping in for dinner at Carrabba's or Longhorn. It's nice to have other good choices so close to home.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Worst place in Hilton head. Seriously. You go to a chain restaurant on vacation in Hilton head? Try old forte pub, red fish, Alexander's, smokehouse, one hot mamas... I could go on. Point being, carrabas are everywhere, I don't get it.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:38 p.m.

That is awesome. Carraba's is a wonderful place to eat.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:26 p.m.

More bland food for bland palates. Glad to see that space getting developed, but it'd be nice to see something other than mediocre chain restaurants getting those leases. I know that Rx Optical has been looking at Ann Arbor for a long time. I wonder if they'll finally follow through on adding a location here.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Lots of off hand comments here I'll give you that.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:16 p.m.

Some people don't know the difference between off-hand comments and preferences and 'having all the say' in development. If I don't eat Thai and a Thai restaurant is going to open up, I would certainly have a preference that it be something else. Doesn't mean I am against it or am trying to have any say in it. And I certainly don't have to try and open my own restaurant before I am allowed to state my preference.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

You could be wrong, and in fact you are.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

fjord "it'd be nice to see something other than mediocre chain restaurants getting those leases." Doesn't sound like the comment of someone that does not " particularly care what happens on this property," But then I could be wrong.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

@Babonx, I wasn't endorsing Rx Optical. I just happen to know that they've been looking at Ann Arbor locations for quite a while. So what was your point, exactly? @jcj, you're under the mistaken impression that I particularly care what happens on this property, or any other. And I'm free to comment whether I have an interest in it or not.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

Rx Optical.... just more bland glasses for people with bland eyesight. Point being... a chain is a chain, so don't drop you standards for one if it fits your preferences.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:46 p.m.

As I have said many times all you have to do is invest some of your money if you want all the say in what someone else does with their property.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Meh, big deal. It's not like that area could possibly get any worse.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

I am ecstatic! I love Longhorn Steakhouse and Carraba's and hate driving to Canton/Westland to eat at those places. Let's hope for Einstein's too. The only one around here is in the U-M Hospital! Any plans for a Chicken Shack too? That would just be heaven for me :)

Willie Reid

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

Halo Burger in Ann Arbor would be too good to be true.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

I tried to get confirmation from Halo Burger and Einstein's, but both said there was nothing to report yet... Stay tuned!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:36 a.m.

The Master Chef probably will work at Halo Burger, pwning n00bz and serving fries to Grunts and l337s. Can't wait!

Lucas and Kevin

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:06 a.m.

Bring it on!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:56 p.m.

Love Halo Burger!

An Arborigine

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

@Willie, you know, seven days without a Halo Burger makes one weak!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

Wasn't there previously a Longhorn on Eisenhower where Panera is now?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:48 a.m.

The Darden chain I'd love to see in Ann Arbor is Seasons 52. It's a fresh grill and wine bar with a huge menu, and each entree is less than 475 calories. You would never know it, though. You certainly don't feel deprived after leaving there.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 10:49 p.m.

You are confusing Longhorn with Lone Star. Very different companies. One is owned by Darden (Red Lobster and Olive Garden) now, the other is owned by a private equity firm from Texas


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

There was previously a Lone Star steakhouse at the location.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Looking forward to the new food options.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

I'm implying no such thing. I just wondered what "new food options" were in the offing, since neither of those chains, in my experience, serve anything unique.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 7:01 p.m.

Are you implying that someone shouldn't want to go to Carrabas because an Olive Garden is nearby? (And calling a 15-min drive nearby is a bit of a stretch.) Sorry, this isn't the USSR of the 50's and 60's where exactly one of everything is all that is needed and no more is granted!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

What do Longhorn and Carrabba's serve that isn't already available within a 15-minute drive of that intersection?


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:45 p.m.

The better option is to encourage developments like this to locate further out of town & create more sprawl. NOT! Great idea to infill underutilized land adjacent to existing plots. Great restaurant options and tax base too.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Any chance they will include some road maintenance in that area as part of the project, especially the I-94 overpass sections?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 6:53 p.m.

My memory on this was that it is scheduled for 2014. Coordination by the state, city of Ann Arbor, and the township. I sincerely hope that traffic disruption from building on the Meijer property is minimal, as traffic is likely to already be a mess with the road reconstruction.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

@Gordon: I don't know the answer to that, but I do believe the township is talking with the road commission about what needs to be done.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:40 a.m.

Gordon - the road surface in that area is either a well disguised speed reduction device or a kick-back to the local auto repair shops. Or both.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

Too bad that AA-Saline Rd is such a mess in terms of traffic, congestion and road deterioration. If more retail and restaurants are going into that area, the road definitely needs to be fixed and congestion needs to be dealt with.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

They definitely need to paint the lines on AA-Saline Rd too.

Little Patience

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

Watch out, we might get a few more roundabouts put in.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:49 p.m.

@JRW - Not that it solves anything, but Grewal said in January that the township is in discussions with the Washtenaw County Road Commission to look at the traffic impact of the developments off Ann Arbor-Saline Road and how to best ease traffic congestion in the area.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Good to see more businesses popping up. Is it possible to see a list of retailers and restaurants going into the new strip mall at the corner of Washtenaw and the Huron Parkway? It looks like the building there is going pretty fast. Also would be nice to see a list of retailers and restaurants going into the old Borders store downtown. If there were prior articles that listed the tenants in either of these locations, does anyone have a link? Thanks.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

No problem!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

Thanks, Lizzy.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

@JRW: Here is the tenant lineup for Arbor Hills: There are still a couple of leases that are still being negotiated. As for Borders, the only confirmed retail/restaurant tenants are Slurping Turtle and Knight's. The upstairs has been leased to PRIME Research and U-M.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

I wonder how the folks at Outback across the street feel?


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

@Walking Joe, Outback is not part of the Darden Group. Longhorn is.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 1:24 a.m.

its is business. the strong will survive


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 11:46 p.m.

Since they are owned by the same parent company I think they'll be ok with it.

An Arborigine

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

Croikie Mate!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Outback is only open for dinner.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

Who cares how they feel?

John of Saline

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

They'll throw another shrimp on the barbie.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:37 p.m.

Perfect. More restaurants and more traffic. Does anyone ever do a traffic impact study anymore? And, why does all vacant land need to be developed? Ann Arbor is losing some more of it's charm by being overdeveloped and adding more traffic congestion.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:43 a.m.

Ann Arbor lost its "charm" when Briarwood was built, taking the business out of downtown. We have the developers of Bloomfield Hills to thank for that.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 6:14 a.m.

"Ann Arbor lost all of its charm when they took out all the stores and put in restaurants..." Not sure who "they" is. If you mean all the people who didn't patronize the stores but went to malls and big boxes instead, or who moved out of the city into the outlying areas and go home at 5 pm then I see you're point. If you mean that some conspiratorial group of investors plotted with the CIty Council and restauranteurs for the demise of all the stores on Main, then you watch too much tv. It's a natural progression of business. People eat more than they buy clothes or books or office supplies or anything else--especially downtown where people gather during lunch or after work or after plays and concerts. Shops will return as more of those apartments/condos and student housing fill. The economic debacle of the past decade is easing and more people may return to the city to live. Shops will then return. It's a lot better than downtown Lansing. By 6 pm, that city is closed down practically. All the State employees go home to Haslett, Okemos, or wherever and the town empties. Kind of bleak.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

They could reevaluate the timing of the traffic lights in the area for one. As is true for most of Washtenaw County these seem poorly thought out for optimal traffic flow and convenience.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Ann Arbor lost it's charm when they took out all of their nice stores downtown & put in the restaurants. It's not what it used to be& parking is a nightmare & over priced.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

AnneArbour ' And, why does all vacant land need to be developed?' It doesn't you can keep whatever piece of land YOU pay taxes on as Vacant as you want! Buy some land and have at it!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:48 p.m.

There already is a lot of traffic there. These restaurants are to be located in an area with plenty of traffic already. This does little to impact the green belt.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:35 p.m.

I've been to a Carrabba's down in Houston and it's very good IMO. It's a lot like Macaroni Grill- maybe a little better. Since this location is close to me, I'll welcome more options.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:32 p.m.

I thought Outback was Australian. Did I use the sarcasm font correctly?


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:15 p.m.

Carraba's started in Houston.... Partnered with Outback to expand, and now both owned by a parent comapny


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:33 p.m.

If you don't like the new development or these restaurants, then stay away. The rest of us will enjoy our steak and our noodles. Glad to see underutilized land being developed.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

Tiny That will make seats easier to get!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

One person's underutilized land is another's respite from the wall-to-wall insanity that many areas have become. I think I will accept your invitation to stay away.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:05 p.m.

I'm going to miss the green space that buffere the big box of Meijer from view. It's a nice transition the more rural townships to town. Not looking forward to this.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:47 p.m.

Noodles? You mean PASTA. Italians don't serve noodles.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

After all those mouth-watering ads on tv for Longhorn's, it's great they will be closer than Canton. Cant' wait!!


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

@NSider: That's funny -- I'd been reading the article and comments as Lonestar and, until you pointed it out, I didn't even realize it was about "Longhorn."


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Used to be one in AA, on Eisenhower. They went out of business, not enough steak eaters in AA. (It was called LoneStar back then, but can you really tell me the difference?)


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.

Gosh, Just what I've always wanted to be able to do - enjoy the traffic noise and fumes from outside seating at the corner of Lohr and AA- Saline Rd. Can't wait!


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

DeeDee - Let's really examine your statement. Now, if one were to sit on Main St in downtown A2, he/she is sitting no more than 4 feet from traffic, versus the Longhorn where you will be at least 50 feet away. Do us all a favor and eat at McDonalds. Oh, one more thing. I don't have to pay anyone to park for the honor of patronizing their establishment.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:45 p.m.

Then sit inside !!!!! No brainer.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:46 p.m.

Duh - no one seems to have a problem sitting next to a semi passing along Main Street. Don't like it, don't go. Simple.

Elaine F. Owsley

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:29 p.m.

So, eat inside.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:27 p.m.

People don't seem to mind traffic noise and fumes from outside seating on Main St. in downtown Ann Arbor


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 7:21 p.m.

Reminds me of my favorite place in the whole world. Ford Rd in Canton.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

aabikes gets it and JimmyD doesn't.... Canton (aka Ford Road) is neon and franchise HELL. What a pit of a place on earth. Sure, sure, people just want to make money, but come on... just how many nail salons do we really need? Tell you what JimmyD, I'll go for allowing the commerce and the free enterprise, but how about all versions of electric signs become prohibited? No neon, no halogen, no incandescent and even no spotlights. Just good old hand painted signs (better yet, hand carved signs) with no illumination. And don't forget, within 10 years all those beautiful new stores will be rundown, graffiti painted and converted to either mini-marts, shoe stores or liquor stores... miles and miles of them. AnnArbor-Saline does = Ford Road, I think Jackson is more akin to the miles and miles of Telegraph though. And the developers haven't even discovered all the barren land between Baker Road and M-52.


Thu, Jul 11, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

AAbikes - have you considered opening something non-boring with your money?


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

You're right dogman, here's the Ford rd to Ann-Arbor Saline comparison: Meijer - check Target - check Kohls - check chuck e cheese - check Carrabba's - check TGI fridays - check jets pizza - check petsmart - check party city/land - check outback steakhouse - check mcdonalds - check jo-ann fabrics - check ugh - i could probably keep searching, but I've proved my point. BORING.


Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

Did I miss something in the article? I thought it was AA-Saline Rd, not Jackson Ave.

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Jul 10, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

As someone who grew up in Canton it is amusing to compare the businesses on two roads...let's see, Bowling Alley-check, Lowe's-check, Movie Theater-check, Panera-check, Pizza Hut-check, the list goes on. I will give Jackson Road the upper hand when it comes to traffic flow as Ford is an absolute nightmare.