You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, May 28, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Video: Watch the demolition of Ann Arbor's former Georgetown Mall

By Melanie Maxwell

Demolition crew members, excavators and other heavy equipment were on scene Tuesday for demolition of the long-vacant Georgetown Mall property on Packard Road in Ann Arbor.

Bloomfield Hills-based developer Craig Schubiner of Harbor Georgetown LLC, has proposed a mixed-use project called Packard Square for the space. The development would include a four-story building with 230 apartments and more than 20,000 feet of retail space.

Melanie Maxwell is a staff photographer for


Ann English

Wed, May 29, 2013 : 3:24 p.m.

I had to watch the video again, after the question about water being sprayed. It was rainwater, all right, that was falling from the roof as it was torn off earlier in the video. Satellite dish left on roof? I guess there ARE buildings for sale that come with satellite dishes. If a business did put that satellite dish up after moving in, why wasn't it taken with them? Which brings up the question: Were all the businesses there before just leasing space, and will the retail businesses moving in later be leasing space there? Or will they OWN their places?


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

..........."and the walls came a-tumblin' down!!!!"


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 10:02 a.m.

Hell finally froze. Time to do a drive by and see what all the fuss is about. Now, about that complex by Rawsonville Road.


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 9:33 a.m.

Years ago, the Ann Arbor News had a link to a list of the then-current investors in Schubiner's Georgetown Mall. There were many names and some were identifiable as professionals (dentists, etc) or possibly retirees. I think "insufficient backing" was one reason for the "poor" (hah!) maintenance of the mall. One wonders if he hasn't based his current ideas on similar weak financing.


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

If Craig Schubiner is true to his past then he will not have enough financing to complete the project, but may still take a fee off the top of his financing. The result will be another half-built project similar in appearance, though on a smaller scale, to the following pictures of his failed Bloomfield Park. For the whole Craig Schubiner's Bloomfield Park history read the following article at


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Melanie: What is the orange-barrel-looking thing spraying something near the end of the video?


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

@hawk - I walked by and I believe it was a water mist - probably to keep the dust down. Actually I was sort of surprised to see that the machine operators weren't wearing any sort of masks/respirators/etc.

Melanie Maxwell

Tue, May 28, 2013 : 10:52 p.m.

@thehawk - From what I could see from the sidewalk, it was spraying water on the building. It's my understanding that water helps keep the dust down during demos like this.

Jack Eaton

Tue, May 28, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

@regularjoe - There are a few other examples of abandoned, blighted property that demonstrate the range of possibilities for this site. In 2008, the old Michigan Inn on Jackson Road near I-94 was sold and demolished. That site is still empty. In 2009 or 2010, the lowertown Kroger site, at the bottom of Broadway hill, failed and that site is still empty. On the other hand, the site of the old Greek temple on North Main also had an ambitious project fail and that site is about to be developed into a reasonable housing project. The site across Washtenaw Avenue from the Whole Foods store also had a grand plan fail. That site went into foreclosure or bankruptcy and was later sold at a reasonable price that allowed for moderate, market driven development into the sort of strip mall that is common in that area. Let's hope that either this developer suddenly gets his ducks in a row or the property goes through foreclosure and is developed by someone else. Until then, having the blight removed is a great leap forward.


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 12:23 p.m.

I'm an optimist and totally agree with your last paragraph. It would be a nice project if built. My experience and observations of development projects built on a tenuous financial house of cards, leads me to believe that Shubiner's project has a less than 50% chance of completion at best. Probably less, considering his past history. Your first two examples bear this out and don't forget the 6 houses that the city had to step in and demolish on N. Main near Summit. Also, notice that the project on the Fox Tent site has yet to commence.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 8:24 p.m.

As I said on the other story about this. The county sat on this paperwork *FOREVER* because they didn't know how to finish it. Also - hope they abated the asbestos before they started ripping things up.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 8:11 p.m.

It will be nice to have a new open space in the city. Hopefully they will plant some grass and trees because you know darn well nothing will ever get built there.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 7:41 p.m.

About time! What an eyesore!!


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 7:22 p.m.



Tue, May 28, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

Thank Goodness, thank goodness ... please let it finish and get cleaned up without further delay !!!! And, please, please, please .... let us not see the Invisible Women of the 4th Ward City Council show up to claim credit that they are certainly not entitled to. Neither Higgins nor Teall deserve to be on the Council, they fail to represent their Constituents, fail to attend (or stay til the end) the meetings, fail to respond to correspondence or voice mails, etc. etc.


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 3:38 a.m.

And Teall has attempted to take credit for this redevelopment several times, while nothing had started. She had no individual role in this project and is a poor Representative of the 4th Ward. She refused to even debate her political opponent. And, Johnyya2, just like you, I am entitled to my opinion. You share yours online over and over and I've not criticized your right to do so, so please give others the same courtesy.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 7:42 p.m.

The demolition and reconstruction of this property is/was dependent on $1m DEQ grant, city and county approval. If he had not gotten those guarantees/approvals, he would not have been able to redevelop this property. He was supposed to have shown that his financing was in order to unlock the demolition grant but the county decided to get the thing torn down first, then wait for financing. "Schubiner won approval from the City Council in January for revisions to his plans for a roughly $48 million mixed-use development called Packard Square, which includes retail and apartments." So the gov't- state, county AND city- has had quite a bit of control over it.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

So people who receive the most votes do not deserve to be on the city council because somebody online named Sparty thinks it? Nice to know where you stand. Funny how people like you are quick to blame the politicians when things do not go your way, but loathe to praise if something is done. Neither member of the council had ANY control over this. Just as they had no control over the Michigan Inn or any other PRIVATE property demolition Maybe you do not understand this, but this property is owned by a PRIVATE party. IF the city went and tore it down they would be in violation of the law.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 6:23 p.m.

I'm still skeptical - this video might be a fake. I must see with mine own eyes!


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

Thru rose colored glasses we are viewing a new phenomenon. Folks another historic day to mark with another holiday day off. Wow.


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Topher, I just came past this site not more than 15 minutes ago, it is in fact coming down.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

No, I personally viewed it from the grassy knoll.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 10:15 p.m.

You're correct; it was actually filmed on the moon.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.



Tue, May 28, 2013 : 5:48 p.m.

That's what Gaul Village is gonna look like in the furture


Wed, May 29, 2013 : 9:53 a.m.

ACO is closing in 5 to 7 months.

Hugh Giariola

Tue, May 28, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Yeah, it looks like its halfway there already.......


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 5:37 p.m.

Well, it is about time! Does anyone know if Craig Schubiner has obtained enough financing to COMPLETELY build his project, and not just half of it as he did a few years earlier when his Bloomfield Park project entered bankruptcy.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

I'm not crazy about this guy, either, but this is just the sort of mixed-use development that should be encouraged. So I hope he succeeds here.


Tue, May 28, 2013 : 6:30 p.m.

Who cares? As long as it gets torn down, I don't care if it stays empty forever.