News


January 8, 2008

CEOs praise Ann Arbor area's talent, see challenges

Source: Posted by Nathan Bomey and Greg Migliore | Ann Arbor Business Review

January 03, 2008 02:22AM

There are few ways for local corporations to directly counterbalance daunting variables like the rising cost of materials and the ailing housing industry.

But finding the right people in a talented pool of Ann Arbor employees may be their best hope.

Six of the Ann Arbor area's top corporate executives interviewed by Business Review expect challenges in 2008 from sluggish economic growth in Michigan, the struggling housing industry and rising commodity prices. But they envision a year in which talented employees, sensible pricing solutions and reasonable national objectives will be key to their success.

The economic vitality of the region affects some local corporations more than others. But the executives agreed that in some sense their businesses are encapsulated by the economic environment here - including state tax rates and job growth.

However, a few of these executives said the success of their businesses is tied to the rising cost of commodities such as paper and goods such as food.

Their plans to address their circumstances center on what they can control: the cultivation of talent, structuring of their business plan and effective communication.

Ultimately, though, the health of the Michigan economy will play a significant role in their vitality.

"We're anticipating a fairly bearish [Michigan] economy where we would expect trying to keep our sales flat in this environment to be a challenge," said David Brandon, chief executive officer and chairman of Domino's Pizza. "We don't expect there to be significant growth for Michigan."

State economy poses challenges

Sluggish economic growth in Michigan is weighing on the minds of local corporate executives, although its impact on their businesses varies.

For John Busch, president of Busch's Markets, the grocery store chain, the state's economy looks murky in 2008.

"It's probably a very flat (market) to even down a little bit," Busch said.

Brian Wenzel, CEO of Brighton-based consulting and engineering firm Atwell-Hicks, said stimulating job growth is critical to revitalizing the economy.

"I think fundamentally, the biggest challenge facing Michigan today is job growth," Wenzel said. "Put everything else aside for the minute. Job growth in its heart of hearts is the most critical thing we can do because it drives activity. It creates demand. It creates the need for population. It creates the need for people to look here and to be willing to make investments and do those kinds of things."

For companies like Ann Arbor-based real estate firm McKinley Inc., a sluggish economy can mean opportunity. McKinley experienced considerable growth opportunities as the residential market softened in 2007.

The largest apartment company in Washtenaw County was able to attract back many of the tenants who had left its properties to buy homes, and increased its institutional work on Wall Street.

The weakened market also allows McKinley to acquire new properties at better prices, spurring additional growth.

"We can expand in down markets more than we can in up markets," said Albert Berriz, CEO of McKinley.

He said his company expects to expand in Virginia, Florida, the Carolinas and Georgia, and said it's critical Michigan remakes its economic structure to become more competitive with other states. "We've have seen significant grown in our Eastern Seaboard states," he said.

The Michigan economy, meanwhile, didn't keep Con-way Freight Inc. from deciding to locate its consolidated headquarters in Ann Arbor Township.

The company considered establishing its corporate headquarters somewhere outside of the Ann Arbor region after parent firm Con-way Inc. combined three of its subsidiaries into one in summer 2006.

But the talented pool of "knowledge workers" available in the Ann Arbor area kept the company - which already had an operation here, Con-way Freight Central - in the area.

The $3 billion firm, which has about 21,000 employees throughout North America, is consolidating its operations at the Earhart Corporate Center in Ann Arbor Township - where it will occupy 120,000 square feet of space. The company is also adding 120 workers to its operation here.

The trucking services company has 440 service centers throughout North America, so the success of its business isn't directly tied to the Michigan economy.

In fact, national economic statistics are a better indication of how the company's business will perform, said Con-way Freight President John Labrie.

"Our business is very leveraged to GDP. As GDP and the U.S. goes, typically our company goes as well," Labrie said. "The outlook for 2008 is obviously somewhat gloomy depending on the economic forecast that you look at. But we are expecting ... that we will make it a good year."

Broader economic issues hit home

In a sense, the rest of the country has been insulated from Michigan's economic troubles. The state's shrinking manufacturing sector is reflective of a national trend, but it hasn't levied a sizable impact on the national unemployment rate, for example.

But Michigan is not insulated from trends throughout the rest of the country.

Increasing pressures in various commodities and the declining housing market have added to the worries of local companies.

Brandon said Domino's expects its growth in 2008 to come from its international markets, including Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and South Korea.

Domestically, the company is forced to deal with major increases in the price of cheese - which represents 35 percent to 40 percent of the cost of a pizza - and other food. The prices of cheese, tomatoes and meat toppings are at or near 10-year highs, he said, while "wheat prices have fundamentally tripled in the last year to 18 months."

"Just about every commodity that we buy in large quantities is having a detrimental impact on our business," Brandon said.

The price of food has been driven up by various factors - including the nation's increasing focus on the development of corn-based ethanol.

Busch said the economic indicator he watches most is the "Food at Home Index." But in general, he said utility costs and the rising price of health-care insurance have a significant impact on his business, as well.

"You've got runaway utility costs. Medical costs continue to spiral. They're nothing new," Busch said.

John J. Edwards, CEO of Ann Arbor-based book manufacturer Edwards Brothers, closely watches the fluctuating cost of paper.

Edwards said his company experienced a 5 percent increase in revenue in its 2007 fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. But the number of books the company manufactured increased by 10 percent.

"In 2007 we were very busy, but we're feeling intense price pressure, so while the top line was up, the bottom line wasn't improved at all," he said. "So we're doing more for no more money."

Con-way Freight's revenue is tightly connected to the price of oil. The spike in diesel fuel prices has caused the company to adjust the "governor" speed of its trucks from 65 miles per hour to 62 mph. That saves 116,000 gallons per month, which equals savings of about $350,000, officials said.

Increasing material costs have presented challenges to these companies - while the struggles in the housing industry have had an uneven effect.

Atwell-Hicks expected the downturn in the housing industry, Wenzel said. But the shift in the housing market has altered the composition of the firm's business anyway.

"We're certainly doing less residential work today than what we were doing last year. And we expect we will do less next year than we did this year," Wenzel said. "From a learning experience, and a position experience, I think the company did a great job in terms of understanding where it was going, making some of the changes it had to do."

Brandon suggested consumer confidence has weakened because of the decline in housing prices.

"I think as people understand that the value of their home is going down, people [are feeling] the pressure of having mortgaged their home to a certain expected market value and finding out that the value has been sent below the cost of the mortgage," Brandon said. "I think that creates a lack of confidence."

For McKinley, the downturn in the housing industry has meant opportunity.

Berriz said rising material costs haven't had a major impact on his business, but the struggling housing industry has provided windows of opportunity.

"In the subprime mortgage environment, there were a lot of McKinley residential tenants who were lured away to go buy homes. Now when we see the black-and-white of what's really happened in the credit markets, a lot of those renters should've never become homeowners," Berriz said. "And now a lot of those people have come back to us as renters again."

Taxes loom large

A few of the executives said the cost of doing business in Michigan remains an issue.

Brandon, Edwards and Labrie said the tax climate in Michigan presents a challenge for their companies.

In 2006, Michigan's single business tax expired, but it was replaced by the Michigan Business Tax - which lawmakers said encouraged entrepreneurialism and economic growth.

But Edwards, whose company has a plant in North Carolina, said the differences between Michigan and North Carolina are hard to miss. This year Edwards Brothers received a tax abatement from the city of Ann Arbor for capital investment of more than $2 million.

But Michigan is still an expensive place to do business, Edwards said.

"We have operations in North Carolina, so I can compare tax rates, and the cost of doing business is significantly higher here," Edwards said.

Berriz said Michigan needs to improve its efforts to attract companies.

"I think for us as a state, we're certainly operating (against) very pro-business, pro-job growth, pro-capital states that are courting our investment very heavily," he said. "As a state we need to organize ourselves to be as aggressive in the courting of those kinds of businesses that I see in many other states as well."

Talent for a turnaround

Despite challenges, local executives said the talented pool of workers available in the Ann Arbor region remains a strong point.

In 2007, local companies announced that they would make investments over the next several years of $100 million, which would eventually create 2,248 jobs in this region, according to data from Ann Arbor SPARK.

Berriz said McKinley is growing so quickly that it is forced to develop "great leaders."

The $1.8 billion Ann Arbor-based company is focusing on strengthening itself internally, spending several million on training and leadership development.

"Our business continues to grow at a rate that creating a leadership machine within McKinley is a high priority for us," Berriz said.

Con-way, meanwhile, is adding 120 workers to its Ann Arbor operation. The firm says it is looking for knowledge workers.

"We're competing for all sorts of talent, and that's one of the reasons we selected Ann Arbor as the place to locate," Labrie said. "We need people with strong analytics backgrounds, finance backgrounds and really, problem-solving capabilities."

For Atwell-Hicks, developing strong leaders is a priority. The company has added about 100 people this year - mostly in other markets. It has positioned itself for growth with new offices in the Southwest, Nashville and South Korea.

"The best thing that we can do for the organization, which is also the hardest thing, is to go get the very best people in the company. Get them to a point where they can grow as fast as they can and as fast as they need to be able to capitalize on the opportunities that are created here," Wenzel said.

Contact Nathan Bomey at (734) 302-1725 and Greg Migliore at (734) 302-1721.


More about the CEOs


Albert Berriz
Berriz.
CEO, McKinley Inc. HQ: Ann Arbor 2007 revenue: $167.1 million Employees: 717 Properties: Manages 23,975,548 square feet

What one policy in Michigan would you change if you could?
I think for us as a state, we're certainly operating (against) very pro-business, pro-job growth, pro-capital states that are courting our investment very heavily. As a state we need to organize ourselves to be as aggressive in the courting of those kinds of businesses that I see in many other states as well.

What priorities are at the top of your plan of action for growth?
I think it's opportunistic expansion in pro-growth environments. And secondly, it's expansion of our workout business as these opportunities become available, and those are really across our 10-state platform.




John Busch
Busch.

President,
Busch's Markets
HQ: Ann Arbor
2007 revenue: Privately-held
Employees: 1,500
Stores: 14

What is your outlook for 2008?
The areas where we continue to grow ... in Ann Arbor, we have some new competition, another Whole Foods and a Plum Market coming to town.

What workplace issue is affecting your company the most?
Operating costs of the business. You've got runaway utility costs; medical costs continue to spiral. They're nothing new.

What is your forecast for Michigan's economy in 2008?
It's probably a very flat (market) to even down a little bit.



John Labrie
Labrie.

President,
Con-way Freight Inc.
HQ: Ann Arbor
2007 revenue:
$3 billion
Employees: 21,000
Locations: About 440 service centers

What one policy in Michigan would you change if you could?
I think certainly that anything the state can do to make it more advantageous for companies to locate here from a tax point would be a beneficial.

What is your most-watched economic indicator?
We're very leveraged to real GDP, so if you look at GDP forecasts, they're a pretty good predictor of what our company is going to face.



David Brandon
Brandon.

CEO, Domino's Pizza LLC
HQ: Ann Arbor
2007 revenue: About $1.45 billion
Employees: 13,300 full-time
Locations: More than 8,300 worldwide

Summarize 2007 for your company. What is your outlook for 2008?
Our international business has been terrific for 2007. The domestic business hasn't been terrific. And I would expect that trend to continue in 2008.

What one policy in Michigan would you change if you could?
I would lower taxes.

How much do rising material costs impact your business?
Just about every commodity that we buy in large quantities is having a detrimental impact on our business.



John Edwards
Edwards.

CEO, Edwards Brothers
HQ: Ann Arbor
2007 revenue: $80 million
Employees: 700
Locations: Two plants, five satellite facilities

What one policy in Michigan would you change if you could?
Well the taxes are high. We have operations in North Carolina, so I can compare tax rates, and the cost of doing business is significantly higher here.

What impact have the housing woes had on your business?
If somebody is struggling to pay their mortgage, they're not going to buy a book. But you also can say, if someone can't go out to dinner and movies, they might just stay home and read a book. I don't really know.



Brian Wenzel
Wenzel.

CEO, Atwell-Hicks
HQ: Brighton
2007 revenue: $65 million
Employees: 500
Locations: 15

What is your most-watched economic indicator?
Ultimately ... they all revolve around the investment in real estate.

What priorities are at the top of your plan of action for growth?
First and foremost we have to make sure we're making the right amount of investments at the right level at the right time.

What impact have the housing
woes had on your business?
We're certainly doing less residential work today than what we were doing last year. And we expect will do less next year than we did this year.



Read More


January 7, 2008

Source:Tom Gantert | The Ann Arbor News

Date Posted: January 08, 2008 07:34AM

Related coverage:
Will Bar Louie serve as the new Midtown's magnet?
Downtown Ann Arbor hotel plans revealed
McKinley plans Town Centre expansion

BY TOM GANTERT
The Ann Arbor News

With concerns about a downtown alley resolved, the Ann Arbor City Council cleared the way Monday for McKinley to continue its revitalization of the Liberty and Division streets corridor in the city's midtown area.

The council unanimously voted to approve a rezoning of a 1.15-acre site at 515 E. Liberty St. where McKinley wants to tear down a vacant one-story building that used to hold National City Bank and replace it with a two-story building. The council also approved the site plan and development agreement.

McKinley proposes to put retail all along Liberty Street from its McKinley Towne Centre eastward to the Michigan Theater. Some business owners on Monday said that was key to attracting customers to an area that has historically been a dead zone between the more popular State and Main streets.

The one holdup was the alley that goes from Washington Street to Liberty Street and runs along the west side of the Liberty Square. McKinley CEO Albert Berriz said it was co-owned by the city and McKinley. When the Planning Commission approved the project, McKinley had narrowed that alley way to 10-feet.

But Berriz told the council when he heard there was some community objection to it, he changed it back to its original 26 feet "in one minute."

"We are going to make a huge investment on this block," Berriz said. "We have been thoughtful. We have been very responsive."


Berriz said that he envisions having tables out there and people eating along the alley and the plan is to "make that space quiet usable."

Some residents spoke during the meeting of creating an alley like the Nickels Arcade, the popular glass-topped, atrium walkway between Maynard and State streets that is lined with businesses.

Council Member Chris Easthope, D-5th Ward, said that isn't in the plans for now, but the project was important.

"It is another huge step in revitalizing that area," said Easthope.

Mayor John Hieftje said he wanted that alley kept open.

"I think it (project) will be a very fine addition to our downtown," Hieftje said.

McKinley has aspirations to create a vital, thriving environment along Liberty Street, similar to Main Street. It bought the former TCF Bank building and transformed it into the McKinley Towne Centre, bringing in Google AdWords, the Bar Louie restaurant and other businesses.

Also in the vicinity of the Towne Centre is the planned Ann Arbor Hotel and 4 Eleven Lofts.

Tom Gantert can be reached at tgantert@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6701.

Note: This story has been adapted from material provided by Mlive.com from the Ann Arbor News.

Read More


January 7, 2008

January 8, 2008

Contact: Mary S. Williams

734-769-8520 ext. 244

For Immediate Release

McKinley is pleased to announce the appointment of Greg Signer, CPM as Senior Vice President, Operations, Residential Real Estate. Mr. Signer joins McKinley following more than fifteen years of experience in residential real estate most recently, as Vice President with The Morgan Group.

We are very excited about the addition of Greg to the McKinley team, states Kenneth P. Polsinelli, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Residential Real Estate. In addition to his years of experience in the industry, Gregs strengths include a passion for quality operations and a focus on developing people. With our continued growth and expansion across our 10 state platform, Greg will provide the expertise and leverage needed to maintain our excellent performance.

During his career, Greg has been focused on training and development of his team as well as standardizing operations, implementing significant cost saving measures and improving quality throughout the organization. He has held numerous positions in regional property management and operations with several major residential real estate organizations including Archstone-Smith and Trammell Crow/Gables. He has a consistent track record of success at every assignment throughout his career.

Greg is a graduate of Florida State University in Tallahassee. He holds a Certified Property Manager designation and serves on the Board of the Florida State University Housing Program. He is also an active member with the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando. In his new role with McKinley, Mr. Signer will have oversight and responsibility for operations in the residential real estate portfolio with operations in 10 states.

McKinley, founded in 1968, is a well respected national real estate investment firm that owns and operates $1.8 billion in assets in 103 properties for its own account and for select clientele. This includes 17,248 apartments and more than 5 million square feet of commercial space located in 10 states. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Albert M. Berriz serves as Chief Executive Officer with 717 full-time employees nationwide.

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December 6, 2007

Source: metromode

Date:12/6/2007

 

 

 

 

Dense. Vibrant. Prosperous. Those are three words commonly used describing downtown Ann Arbor. They also play key parts in the latest proposal to expand the McKinley Towne Centre to include a high-rise hotel.

The city is reviewing developer McKinley Inc's plans to build a nine-story, 120 room hotel on the southwest corner of Washington and Division streets. The project is expected to create 20 to 40 jobs while it's estimated patrons of the hotel will spend about $3 million a year in downtown. The idea is making the city's downtown core more dense will make it more vibrant and prosperous by letting those three factors, and others, play off each other.

"That type of critical mass is critical," says Albert M Berriz, CEO of McKinley Inc. "The convergence of those businesses there is critical. This is the only place in downtown where these things are coming together."

The building will replace a surface parking across the street from the Ann Arbor News building. The hotel's design will compliment the surrounding architecture. Parking for the project will be handed by the Liberty Square parking garage behind the Michigan Theater.

First Hospitality Group will develop and the run the yet-to-be-determined brand of hotel. First Hospitality operates about 40 similar hotels across the Midwest, such as the Hampton Inn on Plymouth Road.

The proposed hotel is the latest expansion for the McKinley Towne Centre complex, one of the most impressive urban redevelopment projects in Metro Detroit. The complex, centered on the intersection of Liberty and Thompson streets, has experienced a rebirth thanks to McKinley's efforts to turn the drab, concrete-themed, fortress-like block into a colorful, vibrant area that is full of businesses and open and inviting to pedestrians.

Among the other expansions underway for the complex are the redevelopment of storefronts along Liberty between Thompson and the Michigan Theater and the construction of the 4 Eleven Lofts building. This is on top of McKinley's initial step of the development, transforming the formerly profoundly ugly TCF Bank regional headquarters into the new headquarters to Google's Adwords division.

The Ann Arbor City Council is currently reviewing the plans for the hotel, the second hotel planned for downtown. McKinley hopes to wrap up project approval by the end of January and start construction shortly thereafter. Work is expected to wrap up 13 months after ground is broken.

Source: Albert M Berriz, CEO of McKinley Inc.
Writer: Jon Zemke

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December 3, 2007

December 4, 2007

Contact: Mary S. Williams

734-769-8520 ext. 244

For Immediate Release

McKinley Apartment Home Communities

Collect Toys for Tots

Annual Toys for Tots campaigns are conducted each year throughout the nation from October 1st through December 24th. Since its beginnings in 1947, Toys for Tots has distributed nearly half a billion toys to close to 250 million children.

McKinley is proud to partner with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program and Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.

To support this years Toys for Tots campaign, new, unopened, unwrapped toys will be accepted at the following McKinley apartment communities through Friday, December 21st between the hours of 9:00 am and 6:00 pm:

Aspen Chase 2960 International Drive, Ypsilanti

Evergreen Pointe 3089 Woodland Hills Drive, Ann Arbor

The Villas 2911 Bynan Drive, Ypsilanti

Golfside Lake 2345 Woodridge Way, Ypsilanti

Toys for Tots is the United States Marine Corps premier community action program, one of the nations flagship Christmas charitable causes. For general information please visit www.toysfortots.org.

McKinley, founded in 1968, is a well respected national real estate investment firm that owns and operates $1.8 billion in assets in 103 properties for its own account and for select clientele. This includes 17,248 apartments and more than 5 million square feet of commercial space located in 10 states. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Albert M. Berriz serves as Chief Executive Officer with 717 full-time employees nationwide.

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December 3, 2007

December 4, 2007

Contact: Mary S. Williams

734-769-8520 ext. 244

For Immediate Release

McKinley Announces Successful Disposition of

River Oak

McKinley is pleased to announce the successful disposition on behalf of our valued client Capmark, Inc. of River Oak, a 268 unit residential apartment home community in Louisville, Kentucky.

McKinley was appointed Receiver by the Jefferson Circuit Court in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and began management of the community in August 2007 improving operations and cash flow. A successful disposition was achieved this month.

This disposition is a recent example of how McKinley aggressively solves real estate challenges for our clients. From takeover to disposition, the McKinley team enjoys exceeding expectations for our partners and clients.

McKinley, founded in 1968, is a well respected national real estate investment firm that owns and operates $1.8 billion in assets in 103 properties for its own account and for select clientele. This includes 17,248 apartments and 5.0 million square feet of commercial space located in 9 states. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Albert M. Berriz serves as Chief Executive Officer with 717 full-time employees nationwide.

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Read More


November 11, 2007

Real-Time Business News

by ANN ARBOR BUSINESS REVIEW
Saturday November 10, 2007, 12:27 PM


Robert Ramey / Ann Arbor Business ReviewAlbert Berriz, left, and David Canter.

David Canter is the Ann Arbor region's Executive of the Year, accepting the honor at the "2007 Deals of the Year" awards gala presented Friday night by Ann Arbor Business Review.

Canter's honor was the final award of the event, a black-tie gala that culminated in the unveiling of top honors in 11 categories, all of which are key drivers of the local economy.

Canter, senior vice president for Pfizer and site director of its Michigan laboratories, was chosen for his exemplary leadership after the drug giant announced in January that it would close its Ann Arbor campus in 2008.

Because of Canter, the community remained calm and focused after the announcement. Business leaders stepped up to strategize on how to fill the void, and Canter has been a key part of the transition - while never wavering in his advocacy for Ann Arbor.

Canter received his award from Albert Berriz, CEO of McKinley and the 2006 Executive of the Year.

Robert Ramey / Ann Arbor Business ReviewNSF President Kevan Lawlor, right, and Michael Finney.
Also stepping to the stage in the grand ballroom of the Eastern Michigan University Student Center was NSF International, winner of the "Company of the Year" honor.

NSF was born decades ago at the University of Michigan, growing today into a $100 million global operation with headquarters in Ann Arbor Township.

The not-for-profit scientific research center is dedicated to public health concerns, such as water testing, food safety, regulatory issues and standards certification.

In the past year, NSF invested $23 million in a new 82,000-square-foot lab that doubled its capacity and will create 100 jobs over three years. It also continues to open offices across the globe, including through acquisition of international firms.

NSF President Kevan Lawlor accepted the award from Michael Finney of Ann Arbor SPARK.

Nine other winners earned honors from among 27 nominees. They were:

Finance: University of Michigan Tech Transfer office
The university signed a deal to give up future royalties for the nasal-spray vaccine FluMist in exchange for payments that could eventually total $35 million.

Commercial real estate: Domino's Farms
The landmark office building - the region's biggest - signed several key tenants in a down market, including Aastrom Biosciences, which took over space formerly used by Pfizer, and Abu Dhabi National Energy Co., which opened an office.

Construction: O'Neal Construcion for First Martin Corp.'s 201 Depot St.
The Ann Arbor company finished the "Coal Car Building," a 25,500-square-foot speculative office structure with distinctive architecture.

Development: Plymouth Green Crossings
The suburban mixed-use project on the high-profile northeast Ann Arbor corner of Plymouth and Green roads started construction as it landed several key retail tenants.

Health Care: University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center
The university opened the $215 million, five-story, 350,000-square-foot facility at the former site of U-M's Old Main hospital.

Manufacturing: Aernnova
The Spanish aerospace firm announced plans to open a $10 million engineering operation in Pittsfield Township that could eventually employ up to 600 people and give the region a boost in attraction more advanced manufacturing-related firms.

Nonprofit: HelpSource
The social services organization placed more than 90 percent of its 932 clients, as well as most of its services, in alternative agencies when it ceased operations this summer. The leadership behind the smooth transition ensured that the agency's social services would continue.

Retail: McKinley Towne Centre
McKinley repositioned the Towne Centre as a multi-tenant building with street-level retail, creating a new "midtown" hub of activity between downtown and campus. New tenants include Bar Louie, Salsaritas and AT&T.

Technology: Accuri Cytometers
The life sciences firm secured $5 million in financing as it prepares for the commercial introduction of its Accuri C6 Flow Cytometer System. This product launch could alter the entire industry by bringing the cell testing devices to market with smaller and less expensive equipment.

Read More


November 7, 2007

November 8, 2007

Contact: Mary S. Williams

734-769-8520 ext. 244

For Immediate Release

The Neutral Zone Ann Arbors Teen Center

Honors Albert M. Berriz for Leadership Efforts

A recent evening devoted to honoring teens and Albert M. Berriz entitled Hitch Your Wagon to the Stars raised over $100,000 for the Neutral Zone through numerous generous individual and corporate donations.

The Neutral Zone selected Albert M. Berriz as honoree for their annual signature event because of his success in raising funds during a recent capital campaign to acquire a new and improved teen center building. The youth in our community now have a permanent place for young people to feel secure, learn, grow and explore their creative interests.

The Neutral Zone, located at 310 W. Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor is a diverse, youth-driven teen center dedicated to promoting personal growth through artistic expression, community leadership and the exchange of ideas.

McKinley, founded in 1968, is a well respected national real estate investment firm that owns and operates $1.5 billion in assets in 103 properties for its own account and for select clientele. This includes 16,447 apartments and 5 million square feet of commercial space located in 9 states. Headquartered in Ann Arbor Michigan, Albert M. Berriz serves as Chief Executive Officer with 715 full-time employees nationwide.

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November 7, 2007

November 5, 2007

Contact: Mary S. Williams

734-769-8520 ext. 244

For Immediate Release

McKinley Partners with Dawn Farm to Deliver Needed Services to the Community

Karen F. Andrews, Chief Administrative Officer is pleased to announce McKinley received unanimous approval from the Board of Directors of Dawn Farm at a recent board meeting to create a public-private partnership which will deliver 34 new transitional housing units in our community with funding support from the Washtenaw Community Health Organization (WCHO) and the J.F. Ervin Foundation.

The housing units are designated as supported treatment beds/homes for clients receiving care from the case management staff at Dawn Farm. McKinley will deliver the 34 units via 12 apartment homes beginning in October, 2007. This partnership provides a unique opportunity for McKinley to offer an entire building of contiguous units for Dawn Farm's transitional housing program.

"McKinley has had a long-standing relationship with Dawn Farm, and we are truly grateful for their mission and the important services they provide in our community. We are thrilled that the implementation of this program will reduce, by half, the waiting list for Dawn Farm clients for transitional housing. This partnership program truly embodies the mission of Dawn Farm as well as the Core Purpose of McKinley to enhance the quality of life in our community," shared Andrews, who also serves as a Dawn Farm Trustee.

The program provides a "community of recovery" for clients of Dawn Farm, an addiction rehabilitation treatment provider (www.dawnfarm.org). The McKinley units, brings Dawn Farm's transitional housing units total to 110. Dawn Farm programs have been extraordinarily successful and their clients are consistently known as model residents.

McKinley is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate with a core purpose to enrich the quality of life in our communities every day. It is in the spirit of this philosophy that we provide philanthropic support and encourage participation by our employees in numerous worthy non-profit throughout the community.

McKinley, founded in 1968, is a well respected national real estate investment firm that owns and operates $1.7 billion in assets in 103 properties for its own account and for select clientele. This includes 17,223 apartments and 5 million square feet of commercial space located in 9 states. Headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Albert M. Berriz serves as Chief Executive Officer with 717 full-time employees nationwide.

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October 8, 2007

Source: The Ann Arbor News

Date: September 19, 2007

McKinley maps growth

\New construction would link downtown properties

BY STEFANIE MURRAY

News Business Reporter

The McKinley Towne Centre will expand its downtown footprint from Division Street to the Michigan Theater building, under plans unveiled Tuesday night by the Ann Arbor-based real estate company McKinley Inc.

As part of the plan, McKinley says it has an option to buy the building that houses Orchid Lane and Encore Recordings at 417-419 E. Liberty St. in 2008, although current owner Ruth Fitzgerald declined to confirm any impending sale.

McKinley plans to demolish that building, as well as the empty bank building it owns that is connected to the city-owned Liberty Square parking structure.

In its place, McKinley wants to build two new, two-story facilities with matching brick facades that will cross the alley and visually connect the building that now houses AT&T and Salsarita's Fresh Cantina with the Michigan Theater building. The buildings will house office space and a mix of a half-dozen soft-goods retailers and restaurant tenants.

"This is going to tremendously revitalize the area,'' said McKinley's chief executive officer, Albert Berriz.

Berriz and McKinley's Frances Todoro-Hargreaves presented the plan to the Ann Arbor Planning Commission on Tuesday evening as part of a request to rezone the bank building at 505 E. Liberty St. and its sister Liberty Square property at 500 E. Washington St. as a planned unit development district, and approve its site plan for the new building where the bank was. McKinley owns both buildings.

The commission tabled its decision on the rezoning and site plan, due to a legal question relating to the parking structure and aesthetic issues. The request will be rescheduled for action again, likely in two weeks.

Todoro-Hargreaves said the company will begin demolition of the bank building and construction of a new, 25,500-square-foot retail and office building in its place immediately, if final approvals are received. That building will be built with a "super structure'' base, Berriz said, that will allow floors to be added on top of the building in the future.

Peter Dale, who owns Encore Recordings, said he has not heard anything from his landlord about plans to sell the building. But if a sale happens, Dale hopes McKinley will buy him out of his lease and help pay moving expenses. His space has been home to a record store since the 1960s.

"I don't have any plans to move now. I have a lease and as far as I'm concerned, I'm here for another four years,'' Dale said. "It would be very difficult to find another place to rent that I could afford with the right amount of floor space.''

The Towne Centre concept was born two years ago when McKinley bought the building at 401 E. Liberty St., the former home of TCF Bank's Michigan headquarters. The bank moved its offices to Livonia last year.

McKinley has since renovated the structure and its facade, added an entrance off South Division Street and built the building that now houses Salsarita's, which used to be a parking lot.

"This was a huge chunk of space that no one wanted to walk by,'' said Berriz.

Google Inc., the Bodman law firm and Ann Arbor Spark are located in the Towne Centre today, along with a TCF Bank branch, Bar Louie, Salsarita's and AT&T. Berriz estimates McKinley's total investment in the Towne Centre at more than $100 million.

Also in the vicinity of the Towne Centre is the planned Ann Arbor Hotel and 4 Eleven Lofts. The hotel, on the southwest corner of Division and Washington streets, was previously the site for Metro 202, which McKinley planned to develop as apartments. The hotel is going through the site plan approval process with the city.

The 4 Eleven Lofts development is a Joseph Freed and Associates apartment project that was previously know as Citi Centre Lofts and Washington Terrace.

Contact Stefanie Murray at smurray@annarbornews.com or 734-994-6932.

Note: This story has been adapted from material provided by The Ann Arbor News.

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