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Posted on Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor's newest shopping center announces first tenant

By Angela Smith


Construction continues on Arbor Hills Crossing; the shopping center's first tenant announces a spring opening.

Angela Smith for

For those who've been watching construction on Washtenaw Avenue between Platt Road and Huron Parkway in Ann Arbor, wondering what retail businesses are moving in, here comes the first answer.

Arbor Hills Crossing, the new shopping center under construction across from Whole Foods in Huron Village, has signed a lease with Hot Mama, an upscale nationally recognized boutique that will be opening next spring.

Founder Megan Tamte and husband Michael opened the first Hot Mama in Edina, Minn., in 2004.

According to an email, the shop caters to “the mom niche,” particularly those who are over 30 and wants to stay on-trend in fashion, parenting and lifestyle.

Hot Mama offers over 50 boutique brands, focusing on contemporary designer apparel and premium denim, according to the website.

Hot Mama has two other Michigan locations, in Rochester Hills and East Grand Rapids.

Jennifer Hartley, who works for the corporation, said Hot Mama aims to add multiple locations within a metropolitan area to make shopping more convenient for on-the-go, active moms.

Hartley calls Arbor Hills Shopping "a new retail center that promises to be the dominant center in the Ann Arbor market."

The shopping center's property extends over 7.45 acres, at 3000 Washtenaw Ave. where it meets Platt Road. The area was previously targeted for development in 2006 as the Shops at Arlington, but it went through foreclosure and was sold.

The new site plan calls for four buildings that will make up 90,700 square-feet of new development by O'Neal Construction of Ann Arbor. The O'Neal website shows renderings of the project, which is to include retail, residential and business tenants.


Hot Mama Clothing Boutique in Gaslight Village, East Grand Rapids, MI

photo sourced online

Nationwide, there are more than 30 Hot Mama Boutiques, and the company has plans to open 11 additional locations in 2013.


Duc d'Escargot

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Oops, looks like the proofreaders missed the disagreement of subject and verb in the fourth paragraph. Oh, I forgot: doesn't *have* proofreaders.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 6:43 a.m.

Jobs, jobs, jobs. Isn't that what the Republicans are campaigning on? No, that was 2010, my mistake. Anyway, we should be happy to see more jobs and more business income in Ann Arbor. They could have picked Pittsfield Twp as Ann Arbor dithers it's way around new businesses.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:45 a.m.

Hot Mama sounds like an expensive specialty clothing store that is not guaranteed financial success when it opens. I wonder how many square feet the store will occupy and the lease rate per square foot. Even if Hot Mama helps make Arbor Hills Crossing profitable the city of Ann Arbor will not obtain any financial benefit because it has already agreed to return tax payments for 15 years, (known as tax incremental financing), as reimbursement for Brownfield remediation and site development. Furthermore, if Arbor Hills Crossing is able to lease all its property and the businesses leasing the space are profitable then the development will have a negative impact on traffic flow along its stretch of Washtenaw Avenue. A traffic light will be required at Platt and Washtenaw to facilitate ingress and egress from the development. Traffic along Washtenaw Avenue will be slowed by the additional traffic light as well as by cars turning into and coming out of the shopping mall. Such impeding of traffic flow is definitely not part of the Re-Imagining Washtenaw plan adopted by the Washtenaw Corridor Improvement Authority. Ann Arbor could regret Arbor Hills Crossing.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

Does this city really need another strip mall?

I love Ann Arbor

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

Looking forward to an upscale shopping option: Hot Mama, Anthropologie (unless Anthro opens at State & Liberty) . . . J Jill, others? :)


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

Lululemon from what I hear!!!!!!!

music to my ear

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 9:58 p.m.

looks like hot mamas just might fit in.cute

say it plain

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 9:46 p.m.

Oh, hmm, wow, how lovely, a place to get 150 dollar jeans and 75 dollar tops, just what we needed in a strip plaza off Washtenaw lol... And I somehow doubt that we'll have quite the quaint-seeming retail experience it seems to be in that Grand Rapids store pictured! But whatever, it'll fly or it won't. I just hope the increased traffic created by this new consumption palace will not make it feel like those main business drags in towns like the westchester county burbs outside NYC, yikes, with *impossible* backups at certain times of day and *horrifying* entrance and exits to and from the shopping plazas along the roads!


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 7:13 p.m.

The last thing that Washtenaw Ave needs across from Whole Foods is ANOTHER retail strip. The congestion along that stretch is already unbelievable, not to mention the vacancies in Arborland, down the street. It doesn't matter which retailers rent here, there are no anchor stores and more important, there is NO reason for this development other than to fatten developers wallets at the expense of more and more and more congestion along Washtenaw Ave. See how many vacant stores will sit there for years and years.......terrible decision just to fatten the tax rolls for A2 at the expense of residents and existing retail on Washtenaw. Take a look at the horrible retail strips crammed into other spots on Washtenaw, for example, the strip with the vitamin store (terrible store, BTW) west of Arborland. It's impossible to turn into and out of these places, and more and more and more retail is NOT the answer.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 2 p.m.

You're correct on both accounts Philly.


Mon, Oct 15, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

What vacancies in Arborland? There is only one available retail space in Arborland, to best of my knowledge.The Borders space is now Ulta and Five Below; the Circuit City space will be Nordstrom Rack. Also, it is my understanding that there will be a new traffic light at the intersection of Platt and Washtenaw, to help traffic entering and exiting the Arbor Hills Crossing businesses. Good luck, Hot Mama!


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 6:38 a.m.

But they lease up fast!

Ann English

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:20 a.m.

Let's see how fast another restaurant will move into the Arby's vacated location, NOT in the strip mall across from the BP station and Verizon Wireless.

C'est la vie

Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 4:11 p.m.

Is there going to be a traffic light put in at the intersection of Platt and Washtenaw? The current stop sign with right turn only is totally inappropriate for traffic in that area. Hot Mama sounds interesting, but I'll probably continue to avoid Washtenaw Ave traffic like the plague.

Ann English

Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 1:14 a.m.

Once I went north on Platt to Washtenaw and would have liked to have gone straight through to Glenwood, but a pedestrian misunderstood and angrily told me I couldn't turn left. I finally turned right, made a left turn into Whole Foods, and came back out on its side of Washtenaw, where I could turn right onto Glenwood. Glenwood has its own right turn only sign, for southbound traffic on it. If a traffic light were put in, the sign might not be necessary any more.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 3:34 p.m.

Good luck for all those folks trying to get in and out of all those traffic-challenging businesses along Washenaw! Sure glad that's not one of our favored shopping venues.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 1:55 p.m.

It is good to see this premium space put to good use. It has been a dead zone for almost a decade, and for those decrying the use of the land, let me remind you that it was a car dealership that occupied much of that space. If Stucchi's can open a store there once more, I will be happy.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 8:52 p.m.

Good use? ummmm, no. More minimum wage jobs stoking the consumption economy. . .more traffic. . .and my personal prediction, a parking nightmare


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 12:59 p.m.

Thanks....I have passed that construction area wondering what was being built there. It's about time someone put that space to good use!


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 6:35 a.m.

Great to see more American jobs coming to town!


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 7:14 p.m.

More retail is NOT good use.


Sat, Oct 13, 2012 : 12:33 p.m.

Arbor Hills Crossing? How about nature's Arbors & Hills Doublecrossing. Or Cement Hills Crossing. Or Poor Excuse For A Pedestrian Crossing. Good luck Rochester - born in '84 (1984) ranked 5th richest city in U.S. Oops - Good Luck Ann Arbor moms.