The list of 21 nominees for The Ann Arbor News’ 10th annual Deals of the Year event demonstrates the ongoing business successes in the Ann Arbor region.
From a $60 million dormitory renovation to a nonprofit’s effort to save a historic theater, the nominees in each of the seven sector categories represent the organizations, transactions and individuals that most impacted the business community over the previous year.
The 2014 event will be held the evening of Nov. 7 at the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest. Tickets are available for purchase online.
After receiving nominations from the public, three nominees were chosen in each of the seven sectors that lead the local economy: commercial real estate, construction and development, health, nonprofit, restaurants, retail and technology.
Awards are also given for “Company of the Year” and “Executive of the Year,” but nominees are not announced in those categories.
Below is the list of the 2014 Deals of the Year nominees. Click on a nominee’s name for more information about the nomination.
Commercial Real Estate
Barbat Holdings’ buys, redevelops Montgomery building: Southfield-based Barbat Holdings is breathing new life into a troubled downtown property after the company purchased the building at 210-216 S. Fourth Ave. for $2.5 million. Construction is underway to renovate the building’s facade, and 30 condo units are being built above the existing structure.
Edwards Brothers Malloy sells property to University of Michigan: Edwards Brothers Malloy, a 120-year-old book printing company, struck a deal with U-M to sell its high-profile South State Street property for $12.8 million.
Oxford Companies’ deal to buy Green Road office complex: The Ann Arbor-based real estate firm purchased a three-building, 25-acre office complex in northeast Ann Arbor for $21.5 million in one of the largest commercial real estate deals in the county this year.
Construction and development
Huron Contracting’s 414 N. Main condominiums: Longtime Ann Arbor developer Tom Fitzsimmons, of Huron Contracting LLC, transformed the site of the former dilapidated Greek Church at 414 N. Main and 401 N. Fourth into 18 high-end condominiums.
U-M’s South Quad dormitory renovation: A $60 million renovation to South Quad dormitory resulted in a state-of-the-art, centralized dining center with 10 different themed dining options for students, new multicultural and recreation rooms and updated shared bathrooms.
Zingerman’s Cornman Farms: Zingerman’s worked with a barnwright to dismantle one of Washtenaw County’s most historic barns, located near Dexter, and repair the salvageable wood before reconstructing the barn as an events space.
AlertWatch: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted this U-M startup company clearance to sell its software to hospitals. AlertWatch helps anesthesia providers monitor patients in the operating room.
St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor’s Outpatient Surgery Center: This new $30 million, 43,000-square-foot facility in Ypsilanti features new technologies and expanded operating rooms to accommodate the newest equipment and make for a more spacious area for surgical teams.
University of Michigan’s Northville Health Center: The $39 million, 100,000-square-foot Northville Health Center is a first-of-its-kind health system that works to provide both specialty and primary care services closer to patients’ homes. The facility services more than 715 patient visits per day.
The Michigan Theater: The nonprofit Michigan Theater Foundation struck a deal to buy the historic State Theatre, saving the theater from possible closure. The Michigan Theater is planning renovations and equipment upgrades at the State.
United Way of Washtenaw County: A new virtual volunteer center launched by the United Way of Washtenaw County connects individuals and groups with various volunteer opportunities in the community. More than 80 nonprofit agencies have signed up for the online center, with 190 opportunities for people to get involved.
Yankee Air Museum at Willow Run: The Yankee Air Museum launched an $8 million fundraising campaign to preserve a section of the historic GM Willow Run Powertrain Plant from demolition. Yankee Air Museum now has an agreement to move into a portion of the former Willow Run Bomber Plant.
Aventura: Ann Arbor restaurateur Sava Lelcaj combined two spaces on East Washington Street and completed an extensive renovation to create a 240-seat Spanish tapas eatery and bar with two kitchens, a wine cellar and a cocktaileria basement lounge.
Knight’s Steakhouse downtown: The Knight family brought new life to their popular, 30-year-old restaurant concept with the opening of a Knight’s Steakhouse in downtown Ann Arbor. The new restaurant has a contemporary look and helped transform the former flagship Borders store.
Mezzevino: Mainstreet Ventures reinvested in downtown Ann Arbor this year with the opening of a new concept for the 33-year-old company: a Mediterranean restaurant named Mezzevino that draws on inspiration from Italy, France, Greece, Spain and Morocco.
Argus Farm Stop: This year-round farm market and coffee shop revived a neglected property on the west edge of downtown Ann Arbor. The market brings a unique retail concept to local producers: Farmers don’t need to be present to sell products, but they set their own prices and get 80 percent of sales revenues for their items.
Nicola’s Books: Nicola Rooney transferred ownership of her independent bookstore on the west side of Ann Arbor to an experienced, Michigan-based company. Schuler Books took over operations and plans to preserve the store’s name and customer experience.
Jolly Pumpkin’s null cafe: This local brewery transformed a portion of its Dexter production facility into a cafe and taphouse where customers can also purchase beer to-go, t-shirts and other branded items.
Farmlogs: The Ann Arbor-based AgTech business FarmLogs experienced a tremendous year of growth, and the company recently announced that more than 15 percent of row crop farms in America are using its data platform. The company helps farmers digitally manage their farms in order to increase yield and profitability.
Mahindra: The Mahindra Group – a $17 billion IT and vehicle manufacturing firm in India – began production of a line of two-wheeled, all-electric vehicles out of a 37,000-square-foot Ann Arbor facility. The company’s GenZe electric vehicle scooters are designed, engineered and built in Ann Arbor.
Nutshell: This Ann Arbor-based technology company, a provider of web-based customer relationship management software, has experienced rapid growth since its launch in 2010. The company monitors client workloads in order to avoid bottlenecks in operational processes, while also allowing for a smoother workflow across multiple platforms.