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Posted on Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

The Shoppes at Plymouth Road: Plans submitted for retail, restaurant development in Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs


CBRE marketing materials for 3600 Plymouth Road show the location of the proposed development.

Photo from CBRE

Five years after Pfizer shuttered its Ann Arbor research complex and retail activity dwindled in the Plymouth Road corridor, developers are starting to take notice of the area again.

An Ohio-based developer submitted plans to the city of Ann Arbor last week that would allow him to construct a 9,490-square-foot building on the vacant outlot in front of the Holiday Inn hotel, located just east of Green Road.

Ken Hicks of Diverse Development and the current property owner, Ann Arbor Farms Hotel Corporation, are requesting a land division from the 10.58-acre hotel property for the 1-acre outlot. They are also requesting a rezoning from R-5, motel/hotel, to C-3, fringe commercial.

Hicks then plans to construct a single-story, 9,490-square-foot retail building with one drive-thru and 33 parking spaces.

“This use will be consistent with the development along Plymouth Road and will be used by the tenants of the hotel, also,” according to the plans.

The 10.58-acre property’s assessed value was $4,917,000 for the 2012 tax year, according to city documents. The 1-acre outlot is listed with Lisa Loesel of CBRE for $995,000.

Loesel said the outlot, which has been listed for sale since December, is currently under contract with the developer. She said she received a lot of interest and had several offers from potential buyers.

Hicks could not be reached for comment regarding his plans. The requests will be considered at Ann Arbor Planning Commission’s Oct. 16 meeting.

The development proposal comes just weeks after developers broke ground on a larger retail and office project less than a mile west on Plymouth Road.

Developers Louis Johnson and Jack Edelstein are constructing a 21,000-square-foot commercial and office building on a 1-acre parcel in front of Plymouth Road Mall, just east of Nixon Road.

They got approval for the project in 2007, but it was sidelined when Pfizer closed its research center and the economy turned south.

Edelstein said they received “a lot of interest” from potential tenants, noting the increase in traffic since the University of Michigan purchased the Pfizer site.

Tenants on the 11,000-square-foot first-floor will include Starbucks, Little Caesars Pizza, DFCU Financial and LaVida Massage. Negotiations are under way with an office tenant for the 9,000-square-foot second-floor.

Next door to that project, Ann Arbor-based First Martin Corp. recently completed a reconfiguration of its south end cap, the former Blockbuster space, in Traver Village shopping center. The project relocated the site’s frontage to give retailers storefronts directly off Plymouth Road.

Bank of Ann Arbor has since moved a branch from the rear of the shopping center into about one-third of the reconfigured space.

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



Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

I hope this will prompt a look at the traffic flow through that parking area and on/off Plymouth Rd. It doesn't seem to be well designed right now.


Wed, Mar 20, 2013 : 2:08 a.m.

Amen! Not well designed is an understatement. More appropriate: chaos!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:20 p.m.

Movie theater on this end of town!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 2:02 a.m.

I might be the one of the only ones, but I am really excited about Little Ceasars. I love that crappy, fast food pizza and now I won't have to drive all the way to the other side of town for it. Happy to be everything that's wrong with America in this particular instance. ;)


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

Always good to find another Little Caesar's pizza lover :)


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

The article says that there is a Planning Commission meeting on 10/16 re: some of these possible uses. Getting more information and expressing opinion....positive or that forum might be a lot more productive than just venting online. I would hate to see another fast food drive thru, Starbucks, cheap-looking strip mall, etc. in that area, and I know that there are lots of Ann Arbor residents who agree. Interacting with the Planning Commission would be a start.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:20 a.m.

"Developers Louis Johnson and Jack Edelstein are constructing a 21,000-square-foot commercial and office building on a 1-acre parcel in front of Plymouth Road Mall, just east of Nixon Road." This development has taken away a HUGE chunk of the parking at this location for existing shops, and yet they are adding more unnecessary shops. Does this location need a Starbucks when there is one directly across the street in Kroger's? No. Does this location need more pizza fast food when there is a Domino's in the same strip mall? No. Once again, fat cat developers get fatter while building totally unneeded strip malls. When these businesses go down from lack of traffic, the developers walk away with fatter bank accounts.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

As someone who lives on that side of town, I can think of plenty of things that would be nice to have nearby. Starbucks and Little Caesars are NOT at the top of the list. There are already more than enough options for pizza and coffee along Plymouth Road.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 8:20 p.m.

Could it be Tim Hortons? I do not think there is one on that side of town.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:34 p.m.

Not Tim Hortons. We need a Dunkin' Donuts!


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

How about using the parkland money to buy this lot up. It would make more sense to upgrade the current retail structures up and down Plymouth Road as opposed to adding to it. We don't need another Washtenaw Avenue in Ann Arbor.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

Bravo! Only the developers get rich from these totally unnecessary strip malls.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 5:44 p.m.

"The Shoppes at"... really? How unoriginal can one possibly be? This name makes me cringe everywhere I see it. Sorry, but spelling 'shops' in Ye Olde English doesn't make it original, just contrived. Gross!


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Ha! Only Rif-Raf shoppe at Shoppes! I only shoppe at Shoppppppppes!


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

They probably paid a fortune to a "consultant" to come up with this name ...

Rod Johnson

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

You're not thinking outside the box. Normal stores are for people who just want to shop. This is for people who want to SHOPPE.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 5:13 p.m.

Oh, good, more shoppes to make the Busch's/Holiday Inn parking lot entrance on Plymouth Road more congested and frustrating. It's hard to get upset at people trying to make 'illegal' left turns when it's obvious the traffic engineering geniuses who designed and approved the entrance weren't even trying. Maybe part of the $1,000,000 (lolz) sale price will be put towards traffic flow improvements... haha, two jokes in one sentence!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:24 a.m.

That intersection is very congested already, and MORE unnecessary development only helps the developers, no one else. There are already plenty of services and shops in that area, and another strip mall is not needed. How about the existing businesses on the NW corner of Plymouth and Green that are already struggling and some have closed?


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

How about a new, improved round about? Maybe 2 or 3, that would fix the issues - right? Gotta Love those Round Abouts - need a few hundred more in Ann Arbor.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:44 p.m.

Prediction: Two Walgreens, DUIFriday's, T.J. O'Pootertoot's, The Standford Cheesecake Experiment, and another Walgreens. And a CVS.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Really. Not enough drugstores.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

What, no Rite Aid?


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:33 p.m.

the more that open the more that close


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

Yay! Midwest Financial C.U. was absorbed by DFCU Financial and my convenient, neighborhood banking went far away. Now it is destined to return. I'm happy. I just wish that some of the other shops could be something a little bit more upscale than unhealthy, fast food.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

Oooooh...not just shops, but "Shoppes"! Ann Arbor is set for some real high-end strip malls, that's for sure.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

So sad that it's franchises, franchises, franchises.....

Angry Moderate

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

You are more than welcome to purchase one of the parcels with your own money to open a new business of your choosing. Typical commenter...would rather see the area full of vacant buildings and crumbling parking lots than filled with the stores that people who live here actually demand.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

...Because the only thing a franchise has ever brought you was standardized products at known prices and levels of quality. Crazy stuff, I tell you. Just crazy.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

Both this proposed store and the hotel have one big issue, no left turn onto Plymouth Rd. Cars do it anyway... This location would require cars coming from the east on Plymouth Rd to make a left turn into the parking lot, just as cars heading to southbound US 23 are getting into the turn lane. Sounds like a potential problem.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

I bet it is fast food of some type. Smallish, drive thru. right off the freeway. Probably not mcd, as there's one down the street. And wendys. BK maybe, or taco bell?


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : noon

Sports Bar Please!!!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

SEC you better patent that fine idea before someone steals it.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 10:31 p.m.

oooh...but a Sports Bar with a drive that's a concept!!!


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

A sports bar - or a decent bar of any type - is desperately needed on the Plymouth Road corridor.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 12:38 p.m.

Sports bars don't usually have drive thrus...


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

'Shoppes' means these are very high class joints.

Rod Johnson

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

It definitely has that je ne sais quoi.


Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 10:56 a.m.

Use the space wisely - located near a freeway entrance, and not far from downtown, the location should be at least three floors and contain office space. It would be a great location for a startup where out-of-towners need to stay (in the hotel across the parking lot).

G. Orwell

Tue, Sep 4, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Three stories only if there is demand/market for it. Should not force developers to build things they don't want to build.