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Posted on Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 5:57 a.m.

High-rise development to open East Liberty Street leasing center after candy store closes

By Lizzy Alfs

When the This & That candy store closes on East Liberty Street this month, the space will become a leasing center for the Zaragon West high-rise development, real estate agents confirmed this week.

This & That announced Sept. 29 that it would close the store at 611 E. Liberty Street by November, opening up a 1,260-square-foot space in downtown Ann Arbor.


The This & That candy store on East Liberty Street, which is set to close by the end of the month, will become a leasing office for Zaragon West.

Lizzy Alfs |

Zaragon West, the student high-rise development being constructed on the corner of East William and Thompson, will now use the space as a leasing office for 10 months, said Brendan Cavender of Colliers International, who represented Zaragon in the deal.

The East Liberty Street building is owned by a trust, which is managed by Ann Arbor real estate company Oxford Cos. In early October, the space was listed for an annual $38 per square foot with Bluestone Realty Advisors.

Deb Pearson of Bluestone said that although she is sad to see This & That close, the space is great for a Zaragon West leasing office.

“It is the perfect use for the space and the timing couldn’t be better for everyone involved,” she said in an email. “We are excited about this new development.”

Landmark, a student high-rise formerly called 601 Forest, has its leasing center just down the street from Zaragon’s new office at 527 E. Liberty St. Landmark construction is under way at the corner of South University and South Forest.

There will be about 250 beds at Zaragon West, and more than 600 at Landmark. Both high-rises are projected to open by fall 2012.

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



Thu, Oct 20, 2011 : 1:15 p.m.

say it plain, KIKIPIE, vicki honeyman: Welcome to the recession! Deb Pearson must be delighted and relieved to lease the property even if it is only for ten months. You can expect the property to be vacant for an extended period of time after this lease expires. Everyone should hope that the leasing offices for the Landmark and Zaragon West will lease all of their beds. However, with the lingering recession, decreasing University class sizes and increased competition for costly leases, either or both of the student residency high rises may fail financially.

vicki honeyman

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 3:37 p.m.

How is it that this is NOT a surprise? Ann Arbor's independently-owned retail community is getting smaller and smaller, at the same time that corporate businesses are taking over first-floor retail rental spaces. It's sad. Until recently, State, Main, and Liberty Streets were vital retail destinations and were a large contribution to what made Ann Arbor unique. What will our out-of-town visitors find interesting in Ann Arbor when what is offered is being reduced to only a handful of unique stores and the rest all restaurants or chain businesses? Fortunately, over on the side of town where my business is located (E. Ann & 4th Ave), all you'll find here are small locally-owned shops selling a variety of goods such as Birkenstocks shoes, antique books, specialized dog and cat goods, clothing and art, specialized teas, the food coop. Our little shopping district is a draw to out-of-town visitors looking for somewhere to shop that is unique to where they come from.


Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 2:08 p.m.

Shame on "whoever owns" that building. Ground floor level space is RETAIL space. Why don't you try lowering your rent so a retailer can make a living while operating their business? Does AA really want mom and pop stores to go away?

say it plain

Wed, Oct 19, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

Perfect. Makes it crystal-clear what that part of town is becoming--not "this and that" anymore...just *all* student-housing and related student-basic-needs development/investment (wild wings, seven-eleven, cvs, sub shops, and spiritwear), *all* the time! I presume they'll keep the big windows, set up desks for leasing agents, and put signs and flyers out-- Lease now!! Best bedrooms going fast!! Hurry--your $1000/month bed will go to some other student while you snooze! Free wireless!