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Credit union officials said the 58,000 square feet of office space in the building will become administrative offices for the credit union. None of its 7 branches will be closed.

“It an incredible building,” said Jeff Schillag, UMCU vice president of marketing and community relations. “It really did fit our space needs very well.”

The credit union originally had planned to consolidate its adminstrative staff into a new building possibly on land it owns behind its branch on Jackson Road but Schillag said the purchase price was less than the cost of new construction.

According to a notice sent to credit union members, “After a detailed cost analysis, the current real estate market allowed your credit union to purchase the former Ann Arbor News building for around half of what it would have cost to build with the same square footage. In addition, the downtown location provides UMCU with great visibility and allows us to maintain our close proximity to the University of Michigan.”

According to a statement from said Jeff Trapp, president and CEO: relocating our employees from leased properties and more effectively controlling our costs, we believe this purchase will be in our members best long term interest and will provide room for the credit union to grow.”

The building in downtown Ann Arbor located on the corner of South Division and East Huron Street had been vacant since the Ann Arbor News closed in July. The building was owned by the Herald Publishing Co.

The building came onto the market in October, with co l

“It’s a beautiful building and a flexible building,” Chaconas said this afternoon.

That flexibility will help the credit union make it into offices that will feel customized for them, he added.

The three story, Art Deco office also came with adjacent parking and a second parking lot with an entrance a block north on Ann Street. The estimated market value based on the total assessed value of the combined parcels and building was $10.6 million.

In addition to the office space in the building, a pressroom remains in the lower level.

Herald Publishing paid just short of $170,000 in property taxes on the building in 2009, according to city records. The credit union affiliated with U M but a separate, member owned non profit will pay property taxes.

Chaconas said three potential buyers emerged as serious contenders for the property. In addition to the credit union, one was a company looking to move downtown and the third was an Oakland County development team.

“It’s nice to see the building stay locally owned,” Chaconas said.

Co listing broker Mike Giraud of Collier’s represented the credit union in the deal.

The credit union has over 46,000 members and its net income was $1,852,573 in 2009, according to Schillag. It has about 130 employees, according to IRS filings. We also currently are one of the few remaining banks in Ann Arbor still lending new money. We are one of only a few local owned and locally managed banks. When you are our depositor, your funds go to work in our community. I sure UofM CU would love your business,
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too. And kudos to UofM CU on their acquisition we hope it works out wonderfully for you! As a advocate of historic preservation, I think it wonderful that this Kahn building will be preserved.

Historic buildings don always have a bigger energy footprint than new buildings. The reason? They tend to be built with high quality building materials. My 80 year old high school in the South had foot thick stone walls and windows that opened. We didn have air conditioning and didn need it. Also, UMCU primary customer audience is downtown or nearby. The News building is within walking distance of campus and the Medical Center and close to the AATA bus station, used by many UM employees and students.

It surprising that a prime downtown building with 2 parking lots is 1/2 the price of a new building. not comparing similar construction/renovation expenses; like the cost of removing giant printing presses). Also, won the overhead (maintenance, energy, maybe taxes) of an old downtown building be more than a new suburban one over the next 20 40 years?

Congrats to UM Credit Union for your winning bid. One thing that bothers myself is that there has been no mention in this article or from any of the contributors, that the Ann Arbor News building (1936) is a significant architectural contribution of the famed Albert Kahn. This is the same man who designed Angel Hall (1924), Hill Auditorium (1913), Burton Tower (1935), Delta Upsilon (1903) fraternity (being renovated after a recent gutting fire) 1331 Hill St., not to mention several notable private family homes in the area. Other notable Kahn designs in the Michigan area are Pacard Motor Car Co. Assembly Plant(1907), Ford Motor Co Highland Park Plant (1909), Ford Motor Co. massive Rouge River Plant (1917), as well as taking a large part in helping to complete the World War II Willow Run B 24 Boomer Plant and the Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant. I hope that there are some provisions in the sales agreement that maintain the importance of keeping, at least, the outer appearance of this building somewhat original. To some it may seem like just another concrete and glass building. If you look close you will see the classic gothic columns and a wonderful polished marble base. Change is inevitable, just keep it within reason.

Sad to see this building go, and I doubt the CU will be interested in finding a way to clean up and showcase the old press, which would be a cool way to honor the building legacy. We can only hope. The company name is Ann Arbor Offset, and it is still owned by Advance Publications. The presses have been in operation since the fall of 2001, and there are around 50(?) employees there, many of whom used to be Ann Arbor News employees.
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