Papa John's setting up shop in Ypsilanti
A new Papa John’s Pizza is coming to the Shoppes at Lakeside in western Ypsilanti, becoming the first food tenant in the strip mall.
“The previous owners stayed away from food businesses, but we’re glad to have food here,” says Eric Lielbriedis, A2A realty advisers property manager, who has been managing that property for 10 years. “It‘s a great draw for traffic, which helps our other tenants. Plus we’re always looking for national tenants, who spend millions of dollars for TV advertising.”
Owner Don Snider did extensive research before deciding on this location at 4567 Washtenaw Ave. “We combed every piece of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, and this ended up being the best spot because of heavy traffic and visibility,” he says.
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
The property holds 12 units with tenants including Enterprise Car Rental, Huron Valley Printing and Imaging, Randazzo Dance Studio, Snap Fitness, a cosmetology school and two storage suites. The only vacancy is one of the storage suites.
“The shopping center is appealing to tenants because it is one of the few malls that are only 60 feet from Washtenaw Avenue,” explains Lielbriedis. “It is estimated that 34,000 cars drive past each day.”
Being the closest mall to Carpenter Road is a benefit as well. “We are almost an alternative to Arborland, believe it or not, where the rents are really high. Business owners look at the strip malls around there and think, ‘Do I need to pay 2 to 3 times more in rent?’ Those strip malls around Arborland have to ask $20-25 a foot or it’s a loss for them.”
The same goes for the newer strips malls that make up the commercial sprawl heading east into Ypsilanti. “The newer strip malls are very attractive, but they also have the higher rates and property values. With the softer market these days, many business owners opt for lower rents to make up for the lower amount of spending by consumers.”
Papa John’s will be moving into a 2,400-square-foot spot previously occupied by a carpet store. The site is currently under construction with plans to open within 4-6 weeks.
Offering carry-out and delivery, it will be the first food tenant the mall has had to date. This will be the second Papa John’s location in the area, following the first store opening at Huron and Division streets in downtown Ann Arbor.
“We decided to build this new store to service Eastern Michigan and Washtenaw Community College and reach the people who don’t come into downtown Ann Arbor,” says Snider, who owns both locations.
Snider estimates they will be hiring at least 21 employees for that location, including four managers and 12 drivers as well as assistants in the store. This is slightly larger than the downtown location.
In other news in the strip center, Mattress & Futon Shoppe is closing, according to a sign posted in the window. Calls placed to the owner seeking comment were not returned as of press time.