Owner of PizzaPapalis restaurants signs lease for first floor of downtown Ann Arbor high-rise
The owner of the PizzaPapalis restaurant chain in Metro Detroit plans to open a new pizza concept on the first floor of a downtown Ann Arbor high-rise.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
PizzaPapalis specializes in “authentic Chicago pizza,” according to the restaurant’s website. The first location opened in Detroit in 1986, and there are now more than a dozen locations in Michigan and one in Toledo.
But the downtown Ann Arbor restaurant will be a new concept for PizzaPapalis owner Joe Sheena: NeoPapalis.
Jim Chaconas of Colliers International said NeoPapalis will be a “gourmet pizza restaurant at a regular price.” It will be a fast-service, casual restaurant, and slightly different than the PizzaPapalis restaurants.
“It’ll be kind of fun,” he said. “They’re hard-working guys and it’s good for the building. They will have great salads, sandwiches and pizza."
Construction for Zaragon West started in late 2010, and the 14-story, 199-bed high-rise is nearing completion. The developer is Rick Perlman of Chicago-based Zaragon, who also developed Zaragon Place on East University Avenue near the University of Michigan campus.
A cafe and market called “revive + replenish” occupies the first floor of Zaragon Place.
In late 2010, Colliers began marketing the retail space on the first-floor of the Zaragon West building for $42 per square foot per year — a rental rate that signaled a shift in the market downtown.
Chaconas said the retail on East William Street — particularly with the amount of students Zaragon West will bring to area — has a lot of potential.
"We tried to offer something good for the tenants upstairs,” he said.
The restaurant should open sometime in late summer or fall, Chaconas said. Zaragon West is aiming for a Sept. 1 opening.
Joe Sheena and Rick Perlman could not immediately be reached for comment.