Arborland Center

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Arborland Center
Arborland Northwest side.JPG
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
Coordinates 42°15′21.8″N 83°41′15.2″W / 42.256056°N 83.687556°W / 42.256056; -83.687556
Opening date 1961, redeveloped 1999
Developer Taubman Centers (original mall)
Simon Property Group (1980s mall)
Management AmCap Incorporated
No. of stores and services 26
No. of anchor tenants 6
Total retail floor area 406,736 sq ft (37,787.0 m2).
No. of floors 1

Arborland Center is a shopping center located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States. Opened in 1961 as an unenclosed shopping mall, the center was redeveloped as a power center in 1998.[1] Current anchor stores include Marshalls, Petco, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Toys-R-Us.


Arborland was Ann Arbor's first suburban mall, opened in the early 1960s. The original Arborland featured J.C. Penney,[2] Kresge, Kroger, and Montgomery Ward among its anchor stores. In 1973, the larger Briarwood Mall opened, and J. C. Penney moved to a newer store there. Competition from Briarwood caused Arborland to lose tenants throughout the end of the 1970s.[3][4] E.N. Maisel & Associates purchased the mall in 1980 and enclosed its formerly open-air concourses, while replacing the vacated Penney store with Crowley's.[5] Despite these additions, the mall continued to lose tenants, including Montgomery Ward, Sibley's Shoes, and Pearle Vision in early 1983.[6]

Melvin Simon & Associates (now Simon Property Group) began renovations on converting the mall to discount and outlet stores in 1983,[7] which necessitated closing of the Crowley's store as it was incompatible with the discount format.[6] At the time of Simon's purchase, the center had only 13 tenants.[8] Simon attracted over 45 new stores, including new anchor stores Burlington Coat Factory, Service Merchandise, F&M, Toys "R" Us, and Marshalls, along with a food court.[3]

In the late 1990s Freed and Associates purchased it on the cheap and razed most of the structure, transforming it into a big box cluster. Toys "R" Us was rebuilt during the "de-malling" of the center, while Marshalls and the former F&M building (now occupied by OfficeMax) were retained. Freed's purchase price was around $6 million; within a decade, in 2005, Freed was said to be seeking a buyer for over $100 million.[4] Freed did shortly find a buyer for the 409,000 sq ft (38,000 m2) center. The facility was purchased by AmCap, through a joint venture with Los Angeles-based Hart Realty Advisers for a reported $102 million.[9]

The Borders in Arborland closed in April 2011.[10][11] A year later, its space was split between Five Below and Ulta.[12] Nordstrom Rack was confirmed in 2013 for a space vacted by Circuit City in 2009.[13]


  1. ^ "The Company – Timeline". Retrieved 2008-01-18. 
  2. ^ Clark, Sandra (February 18, 1990). "GALLERIA'S DRAW MAY ACTUALLY BOOST OFF-PRICE THRUWAY MALL". The Buffalo News. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Chandler, Michele (November 1, 1984). "Arborland gets off to a new start -- off-price". Detroit Free Press. p. 4a. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b GARDNER, PAULA. "Owners list Arborland mall for sale". Ann Arbor Business Review. Archived from the original on 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  5. ^ "Arborland will become mall". Detroit Free Press. January 31, 1980. p. 4B. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Hansell, Betsey (May 5, 1983). "Crowley leaving Arborland". Detroit Free Press. p. 9D. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Baacke, Cheryl (May 26, 1983). "Arborland promises big bargains". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Conklin, Carole (April 11, 1985). "Can you teach old mall new tricks?". Detroit Free Press. p. 6B. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  9. ^ "News From October 14, 2005". Real Estate Business. REBusiness. 2005-10-14. Archived from the original on 2008-06-14. Retrieved 2008-01-17. 
  10. ^ Paula Gardiner (16 February 2011). "Arborland Borders will close; downtown Ann Arbor & Lohr Road not on bankruptcy closing list". Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  11. ^ Angela Smith (15 April 2011). "Somber mood sets in as Borders store at Arborland plans to close Sunday". Retrieved 10 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Retailer Five Below opening first Ann Arbor store this week". Retrieved 24 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "Nordstrom Rack confirms it plans to open a store in Arborland". Retrieved 24 September 2015.