Pittsfield Planning Commission to consider 6-building retail project near Meijer / by Kelsey Courtley

The Ann Arbor News
By Lizzy Alfs

Pittsfield Township’s Planning Commission on Thursday will consider a six-building retail development proposed in front of the Meijer store on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

Southfield-based Versa Development plans to purchase property from Meijer and develop a 6.34-acre stretch of land along Ann Arbor-Saline Road from Oak Valley Drive to Lohr Road.

The project would include buildings for Carrabba’s Italian Grill and LongHorn Steakhouse — two national restaurant chains that don’t have existing Washtenaw County locations.

Pittsfield Township’s Planning Commission will consider the plans at its 6:30 p.m. meeting on Thursday, Sept. 5. Versa resubmitted the plans after receiving initial feedback from commissioners in July.

Versa’s project calls to construct six buildings on the existing berm that separates Meijer from Ann Arbor-Saline Road. The township's redesigned master plan favors mixed-use development at the site.

The development would consist of full-service restaurant buildings and retail/fast casual restaurant buildings fronting the road, with an access drive separating the project into a northern section and a southern section. The Carrabba's and LongHorn Steakhouse buildings would be separated by the access drive.

If the project is approved, Carrabba's Italian Grill would be one of the tenants fronting Meijer on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.

Michael Lippitt of Landmark Commercial Real Estate Services is marketing the buildings for lease and he is finalizing tenants for the remaining spaces in the project. He said tenants would include three family-style restaurant chains, along with fast casual restaurants, retail or professional uses.

The plans include 444 parking spaces located behind the buildings, and there would be a fountain and public area at the Lohr Road intersection.

Because a goal of the township’s master plan is to eliminate berms and big parking lots in front of shopping centers, several commissioners said in July that they are in support of the project.

Versa’s Steve Robinson told commissioners that the company wants to create a pedestrian-friendly feel along the corridor. If approved, Robinson said they could break ground this fall.