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ANN ARBOR, MI-One of Michigan’s largest law firms, Bodman, is the first tenant to take space in McKinley Town Centre, now in the midst of a $75-million makeover. The law firm has signed a long-term lease for 10,000 sf of the 150,000-sf, mixed-use project.

Built in the mid-1980s, the complex was acquired in March by local real estate investment firm, McKinley Associates Inc. The former TCF Bank Building, located at the intersection of Washington, Division and Liberty streets, is undergoing a three-phase retooling that when complete will result in 100,000 sf of office space, 50,000 sf of retail and a residential component with 100 condos and 45 rental units.

“We’re putting forth a five-year timeline for completion,” says Albert M. Berriz, McKinley’s CEO. “I think that’s a realistic timeframe.” McKinley, which is also handling leasing and sales activities on the property, is quoting rental rates hovering $30 per sf, gross for office space and $40 per sf, net on the retail side.

Office space will be ready in the second quarter for the Detroit-based Bodman, which now has its Ann Arbor office at 110 Miller St. “They have a complex renovation plan,” Berriz tells GlobeSt.com. “They’re involved in a lot of technical, computer and other issues. This isn’t your typical ‘build four walls and move in.’”

McKinley is spearheading the renovation of the former bank–and is looking at other similar opportunities–because of what Berriz sees as a need for more mixed-use property in the location. “In our opinion, this particular location is the best real estate location in Ann Arbor,” he says, adding it’s a good midway point between the University of Michigan campus and the CBD. “There are more and more businesses locating around the university because of its educational base, entrepreneurial companies,” he says.

Berriz says McKinley Town Centre is designed to appeal to owners of entrepreneurial companies–as well as others–who want to live and work in the same area. “Furthermore, there’s a need for support retail there, where people have their businesses next to the University,” he adds.

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