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Posted on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 11:18 a.m.

Former Borders headquarters sold in Ann Arbor

By Katrease Stafford


The former Borders headquarters on Phoenix Drive has been sold to an undisclosed buyer. file photo

The 330,000-square-foot former headquarters of Ann Arbor-based bookstore chain Borders Group Inc. was sold this week for an undisclosed amount.

The property, at 100 Phoenix Drive, was listed in April 2012 for $6.9 million.

Jim Chaconas of Colliers International was the broker of the deal. McKinley Inc. had been manager of the property

McKinley CEO Albert Berriz said he could not provide specific information about who purchased the property or what the future use may be.

"We can't provide much more data as we are bound by (a) confidentiality agreement," Berriz wrote in an email. "However, Jim and his team did a terrific job disposing of the asset for our client."

Berriz said McKinley performed extensive repairs and maintenance throughout the building and also improved the appearance of the building.

The campus consists of two buildings, one that’s approximately 87,000 square feet and one that’s about 243,000 square feet. They were built in 1970 and renovated in 1998, and the property has more than 1,200 parking spaces.

Chaconas told last October that the headquarters were under contract and a sale was pending with a "significant" backup offer behind it.

Chaconas said at the time there were three individuals interested in acquiring the space, but he would not confirm the potential tenants. The Ann Arbor-based Gold Star Mortgage, had expressed some interest in leasing the building as well.

The former property owner, Farmington Hills-based Agree Realty Co., defaulted on a loan in 2011. Colliers was appointed to serve as the property and asset manager in December 2011.

When Agree still owned the property, the company had listed the headquarters property for sale in 2010 for more than $18 million but reduced the asking price to $10 million in 2011.

The building ranked number 16 on Ann Arbor's list of the largest city taxpayers in 2011.

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


Elaine F. Owsley

Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

Another Taj-ma-headquarters in a long list of company over-expansion and trying to out-do each other in corporate housing. I'm sure the employees were impressed until the ax fell. Nice building. No one is going to get their money out of this no matter who buys it.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 6:27 a.m.

Just Wondering. What If Univ Mich Owned All the Land in Ann Arbor? No Property Taxes! Then Univ Mich could rent-out our homes at a lower price. And the rest of the county could pay Property Taxes to run the County. Hey Dudes! How can we get this done?


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

Collier's must have put a muzzle on Chaconas. I can see his attempt to sell this parcel: "hey, dudes, no one wants to live in this has-been, third-world state. You can get this place at almost 50% off the original price, and I'll be I can get that down to 50% for you if you let me place more quotes in the paper!" You go, Jim.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 1:58 a.m.

Free Press also says a group of local and out of state investors looking for possibly 4 to 5 tenants for the space.

Stephen Lange Ranzini

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 10:28 p.m.

Whomever is in the investor group who bought it for just under $6.9 million (according to the Free Press article) in my opinion made the best real estate purchase in Ann Arbor of the decade.


Sat, Feb 9, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

The trouble with real estate is just like stock. Seller is dumping is as they have information--- it will be going down. Buyer hopes to goodness that it will go up.

Morty Seinfeld

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 9:35 p.m.

My brother-in-law Leo used to steal books out of their stores....I bet he is the one responsible for their demise!


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:55 p.m.

Oooooh, we peasants don't have the right to who bought it and how much they paid? Gee, I'm going home and cry in my pillow(sarcasm).

A2 1

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:43 p.m.

Beautiful building and awesome location, I'm sure whomever purchased it will have lots of interest from companies wanting to relocate there given all the parking they have. Ever try parking anywhere near downtown..its a nightmare!


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

From what I'ver heard (from someone who works there), it's a finance company already in town looking to move to a bigger space.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:57 p.m.

Cole Taylor possibly?

Dr. Rockso

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

This is who bought the property and what they paid.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 9:08 p.m.

Modern Woodmen of America is the seller, not the buyer.

George K

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:43 p.m.

Hmm... I still can't access the link, maybe because I'm behind a proxy at work. Anyways it seems irrelevant.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:31 p.m.

You don't need a password for Rockso's link...but I don't know if this is correct.. Taxpayer Identification -- Year 2013 Taxpayer Name 1: MODERN WOODMEN OF AMERICA (2013) Taxpayer Name 2: Taxpayer Mailing Address: 1701 1ST AVENUE Taxpayer City, State, Zip Code: ROCK ISLAND, IL, 61201

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:45 p.m.

Dr. Rockso, We are still trying to gather details about the purchase. The transaction you refer to seems to be related to the loan default that was made by the previous owner, Agree Realty Co.

George K

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

By the way, that link is not public; you need an account on the site to view the content. Can someone with access please bring the information to the comments section??

George K

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:55 p.m.

Why not be a doll and tell us what it says, so I don't have to follow the link?


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:33 p.m.

I'm sure UofM will love their new digs, on their quest for city domination.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:29 p.m.

Worked there for 12 years... During it's heyday, Borders was a wonderful place to work. And I have many wonderful memories & friends from my time there. Toward the end though, it was very sad. A beloved company…by employees and customers…was destroyed by mismanagement and greed. Hopefully, the new owners will be better caretakers.


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 7:28 p.m.

I worked there for 9 years...was lucky to get out in early 2009. It was really sad just before I left...the managers I had there couldn't manage there way out of a paper bag! I loved getting all of that publisher swag and now have a library at my house with all those free books!I


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

It seems more likely that the print industry is almost gone. From newspapers to books and magazines. All of these resources are now online. US Postal service is the next to go down with bills and emails going the same direction.

George K

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

I will guess it's a company in the automotive industry. That's a biased guess, because I'm in the auto industry - living in A2 and commuting to Northville. The strategic location off of I-94 makes it a straight shot towards the motor city... I can hope, can't I?

An Arborigine

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:12 p.m.

Just a guess, but any company large enough to occupy the entire "campus" will likely seek tax concessions from the City. Best bet may be an investor wanting to chop it up and lease to smaller concerns.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:04 p.m.

It is a very nice building, lots of life left in it. it would make a great headquarters for any company, I am sure they will be standing in line to rent this very utilizable buildings.

Paula Gardner

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:03 p.m.

@Jessica, Agreed - it will be interesting to see what this deal means. While we don't know the buyer or sale price yet, the very fact that it sold is significant in this market. It's likely an investor deal - and, as one of the larger office buildings in the city, it will have tax base implications.

Jessica Webster

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 4:59 p.m.

"Disposing of the asset," is a rough thing to read about the building where I spent ten years of my life. It will be interesting to see what this new building owner will bring to the local economy. We (Borders Group) had something in the neighborhood of 1800 people working in that building when things were good - it'd be great if we can look forward to some significant job growth as a result of this sale!

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:18 p.m.

I agree, Jessica. Whenever I see a building has purchased, I always hope to see new jobs following closely behind.

Mike H.

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 4:53 p.m.

Could likely be the sign of a large company moving to Ann Arbor, maybe?


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 4:46 p.m.

I love these articles that basically have nothing in them.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 8:21 p.m.

thanks glimmer I could not tell I have Bad eyesight( and comments ) lol


Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

It's Keith Richards.

music to my ear

Fri, Feb 8, 2013 : 5:10 p.m.

it is just to notify the public of it status, perhaps you are not willing to rent .therefore why read the article ,there is nothing in it for you I J S. but your little pic icon it Marlyn manson alice cooper or goth.