Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

McKinley Towne Center goes chain-chasing

21. April 2005 • Murph
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Michigan Business Review provides a glimpse of McKinley’s plans for the old TCF building on Liberty, plans that will drastically overhaul the building physically, but also serve exclusively national chains.

McKinley is charging $30-35 per square foot for Class A office space that includes parking, and about $40 per square foot for retail and restaurant space.

Both of those rates are at the high end of any building downtown, where State Street restaurants can pay around $35 per square foot and office tenants have balked at some buildings charging in the range of $25 per square foot.

To seek those rates on a corner that historically has marked the end of the campus district signifies belief that the area can command the price.

McKinley’s confidence comes in part from the building redesign, Polsinelli said. Walkway and façade improvements should draw people along Liberty, and around the corner where the lower concrete walls will be replaced with glass, an entry area will be converted to outdoor restaurant seating and other design changes are planned. They could include changing the color of the building.

MBR says the chain-oriented prices will contribute to the “potential sophistication” of Liberty Street, which also includes an American Apparel store in the old Mast Shoes location (Sam’s is thrilled) and, says MBR, Harry’s location will soon be filled with an Aveda salon.



  1. Hmm. There is a brand-new structure in Portland’s (formerly-?) Bohemian Hawthorne District featuring just such an Aveda salon and American Apparel outlet… as well as a Ben & Jerry’s and Noodles & Co… there goes the neighborhood.
       —Brandon    Apr. 21 '05 - 12:07PM    #
  2. So is this Aveda salon in addition to the Aveda store and cosomtology school around the corner in the Collegian?

    And, well, bleh.
       —Scott    Apr. 21 '05 - 01:37PM    #
  3. The article says, “a salon affiliated with the Douglas J Aveda Beauty Institute, which opened in 2004 on Maynard Street.”

    So I don’t know if that means moving functions, or adding functions, or what. I do know, though, that the Aveda institute is fairly popular; Cara, her sister, and two more of our housemates all have basically the same haircut because they all go to Aveda. It’s really kind of frightening when the haircut cycles line up and everybody suddenly looks eerily alike. . .
       —Murph    Apr. 21 '05 - 02:03PM    #
  4. Huh. They’re opening another Aveda salon? that’s odd, that Douglas J would open another one around the block. I wonder if the Collegian space isn’t working out for them…

    And I’m sorry, but no color change on that bank building is going to draw the crowds necessary for demanding $40/sq. ft. in that building. That’s insane!
       —KGS    Apr. 21 '05 - 02:23PM    #
  5. Could be that they’re opening a “real” salon, and not just a training salon where everybody gets the same ‘do?
       —Murph    Apr. 21 '05 - 04:16PM    #
  6. murph, you can totally get whatever haircut you want at aveda, not just the one haircut that we all have.
       —kelli    Apr. 21 '05 - 04:50PM    #
  7. Oh, do you all just prefer the quickly-modifiable-to-Meg White cut?
       —Murph    Apr. 21 '05 - 05:11PM    #
  8. I went to the Aveda salon twice. $14 and no tip ain’t a bad price, especially when it includes a hair washing and free coffee. However, the whole process takes at least an hour (long for a guy with short hair!); one of the students kept trying to sell me a $20 container of goop; and the students who cut my hair really weren’t terribly interesting people. One guy who did my head bitched about how he hated Ann Arbor and wished he’d gone to the Lansing school instead, where the parking was better.

    On js’s endorsement, I went over to Dascola for my last haircut. Ron did my cut, and it was better than the cut than I got at Aveda; Bob & Ron are much more interesting people; and hey, they’re a local business. It didn’t cost much more, so, when I’m not shaving my head with clippers at home, I found my new barber…
       —Scott    Apr. 21 '05 - 05:15PM    #
  9. Aveda weirds me out. Never doing it again—I don’t need some dude massaging my head. Just cut my damned hair.

    I like Orbit or Above Ground if I decide to spring for it. Otherwise that place at Maynard & William always works out pretty well.
       —Brandon    Apr. 21 '05 - 11:18PM    #
  10. Hey, guys – if you really want to support local businesses – go to Bob Dascola!
       —Leah    Apr. 22 '05 - 09:00AM    #
  11. Heh. I should ask Bob for a referral discount. Lord knows that I could use the two-bits combo.
       —js    Apr. 25 '05 - 03:15AM    #
  12. Heh. I have exactly two, both DIY, cuts: clippered down to 1/4” and all-shoulder-length. No need to pay anybody.

    (Now, granted, when switching from one to the other, there are some awkward Farrah Fawcett-flipped mulletty periods that could probably be made less weird with some actual skill, but I’m too impatient to sit down for a haircut…)
       —Murph    Apr. 25 '05 - 11:08AM    #