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Posted on Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Top 5: University of Michigan's biggest commercial real estate leases

By Lizzy Alfs

The University of Michigan is one of the largest renters of private commercial real estate in the Ann Arbor region.

The university leases more than 20 percent for various offices at Domino’s Farms Office Park in Ann Arbor Township, which is Washtenaw County’s largest office complex at close to 1 million square feet.

dominos farms photo.jpg

U-M leases 222,775 square feet at the Domino's Farms Office Park in Ann Arbor Township. files

U-M on Monday released a list of its five property leases for more than 50,000 square feet, which it's required to do annually. Here they are:

1. 222,775 square feet on Frank Lloyd Wright Drive at Domino’s Farms in Ann Arbor Township: University of Michigan Health System departments use the space.

2. 125,815 square feet at the KMS Building on South State Street in Ann Arbor: The space, which is leased from Kosmos Associates, is used for hospital clinical billing and other UMHS groups.

3. 65,693 square feet on East Eisenhower Parkway at the Burlington Office Center in Ann Arbor: The space is used by various departments, including physical medicine, rehabilitation, spine rehabilitation and dental school.

4. 63,920 square feet at 2301 Commonwealth Boulevard in Ann Arbor: First Properties Associates leases the space to various UMHS groups.

5. 51,534 square feet on North Canton Center Road in Canton: UMHS Canton Health Center leases the space from Saltz Center.

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



Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

I have heard that some of the offices on the leased properties will move to the pfizer complex when the lease is end. The most the staffs working at UM live on pay check to pay check. Only those "who is in charge" like ken Magee are well paid. Does anyone see ken magee recently?


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 4:39 p.m.

There are both real estate leases and service agreements that run between the City of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan. These are debated and approved by City Council. Notably, a number of City Council members are U-M employees, including Marcia Higgins, John Hieftje, and Steve Kunselman. Higgins has a full-time position in the School of Engineering as an administrative assistant and Hieftje is a lecturer in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. This is verifiable at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> There are conflict of interest issues for City Council members that draw a salary yet vote on matters such as these leases.


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

Are we to hear from the crowd complaining about the UM not paying taxes now? I presume they pay lots of taxes for these and all all of the other leased properties they operate in. It would be helpful to know to put some of those constant complainers to rest. Its not enough that UM is the largest employer in the county, larger than the next 25 combined, and that those wages allow employees to rent or purchase homes (and therefore their landlords or they pay property taxes), these employees support our restaurants, grocery stores, malls, gas stations, car dealerships, etc.

Michigan Reader

Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

The U-M, as a government entity, pays no taxes on property it owns, and only pays rent to the landlords it leases space from. Those landlords pay municipal taxes, and business taxes.


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

Javajolt, wouldn't it be against the law for the private business leasing space to UM to not pay taxes on the rent they are paid ? I didn't address whether UM pays taxes on property they lease to commercial interests because I don't know if that is the case. Does know ?


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 5:28 p.m.

you mean the owners of the properties they lease pay taxes? I would like to see a PILOT by U of M, especially considering that they made the city pay for a right of way for the stadium bridge, and even in the proposal for TIGER funds the city points out how big a priority it was to have a new bridge to deal with university traffic and issues.


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

Well hold on there......Presuming is not the same as saying they do. I'd like to know this and whether they pay taxes on property they own but lease commercially to other non-university interests.


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 2:12 p.m.

Nothing like a &quot;RICH&quot; school! Where is the &quot;OCCUPY CROWD&quot; to protest this kind of GREED!


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 2:40 p.m.

Greed? How about a growing health care business employing thousands, providing top notch medical care to thousands, needing superior facilities to provide this care? Would you rather not have medical care? Or do you like high unemployment? Maybe empty office buildings?


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 2:21 p.m.

Greed? Most of this is medical buildings. They have to have some physical real estate for the staff to work in. Where do you go for your doctors appointments?


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 1:18 p.m.

How about a top 5 of the biggest leases that people have singed with the U? like those at the pfizer complex


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 4:46 p.m.

@javajolt: Please enlighten us by identifying some of the leases to which you refer. If by leases, you mean the cost incurred by researchers for their 'per sq. ft.' fee, then you need to investigate that relationship more closely before calling them commercial entities.


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Would UM have to pay the city taxes on property it owns but leases commercially to others?

Lizzy Alfs

Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 1:28 p.m.

@manbearpig Great idea.

Silly Sally

Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 12:59 p.m.

Good to know, since the UM Police can &quot;poach&quot; and give traffic tickets within 300 feet of any leased building


Tue, Dec 13, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

Is the UMHS spending wisely or not? I cannot tell from this story. It is essentially just repeating a required public disclosure by the University. How about making a call to the finance department and asking; How much do these leases Cost? How long have you leased these properties? Is there a long term need for this space? Would UMHS be better off purchasing property? I understand that reporters a required to fill space but if the story is worth reporting, how about adding some value to the piece with a phone call or two.