Kiwanis board OKs sale of downtown center for $2.75M

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Kiwanis Club of Ann Arbor member Harry Cross, center, fills record stacks with fresh LP’s as patrons Mark Abrams, left, of Ann Arbor and Janie Berggren, right, sift through the records during the club’s weekly sale on April 9, 2011, at the Kiwanis Club on Washington and First streets in downtown Ann Arbor. | Lon Horwedel

This note just came in over the transom. Reproducing without edits because we’re pressed for time to get it in this morning’s ANNthology.

At last night’s regularly scheduled Board meeting of April 18, 2017, the following motion was approved unanimously by a roll call vote of the 12 Board members in attendance. The required quorum for a Board meeting is eight (8). The three (3) remaining Board members not in attendance gave prior notice that they would be out of the country due to previously scheduled commitments. 

“MOTION: Support and approve the unanimous recommendation from the Special Committee for the Sale/Lease of Kiwanis Real Estate. The committee recommends the Sale of our Kiwanis Center Downtown (KCD) building at 200 S. First Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, as follows: 

Approve the Sales Agreement dated April 10, 2017 from MCP Group LLC in the cash amount of $2,750,000 using the Sales Agreement terms, as developed by Kiwanis Board’s Special Committee, and with a closing date of no later than January 12, 2018. The Board authorizes the President and Secretary to sign the required paperwork and documents of this Sales Agreement and all required documents at the Closing.” 

Background information and Thanks: 

Since January 2016, starting with the previous Board, concerns about the financial health of our Kiwanis Foundation were discussed, reviewed, and a variety of options explored. The goal was two-fold: to return to long-term financial stability and a return to providing grants/gifting to support children and families as soon as possible. 

There are many members, volunteers, and staff to whom I wish to thank for work completed and for the work that lies ahead of us. Here are but a few of those people. 

Thank you to Past President John Goff, chair, and the members of the Strategic Planning Committee, for the many hours devoted to contemplating the future of the Club. Thanks to the Budget Committee and Past Presidents who worked throughout the summer of 2016 to explore options, including, a possible capital campaign, selling KCW, selling KCD, how best to lease spaces at KCW, selling the out lot, and cost savings. After months of discussion, the recommendation to the Board from these members was to sell KCD. 

Thank you to our Past President Betsy Ford and former Board members who supported the Strategic Planning Committee’s recommendation in August 2016 and the general membership who voted on September 19, 2016 to authorize the Board to place KCD on the market for sale. In January 2017, the current Board added the option to consider the leasing of KCD as well as for sale. 

Thank you to the members of the current Board’s Special Committee for the Sale/Lease of Kiwanis Real Estate for their professional, thoughtful and on-going work since last October. The committee included: Cliff Sheldon, Jim Carey, Peter Schork, Eloise Lavin, Dan Dever, and me. Seven bids for the sale of KCD were received and vetted. A second and third round of bidding was completed. No bids were received for the lease of KCD. 

Thank you to the current Board and the many members and volunteers who have given hundreds of hours providing support to developing, exploring, and implementing options, cost savings, legal services, financial advice, and guidance. Some of these members include Cliff Sheldon, Nick Dever, Doug Ziesemer, Bob Gray, Dan Dever, Kathie Wilder, Eloise Lavin, and Gretchen Preston. 

If I have forgotten anyone, please accept my sincere thanks and know that it was not from lack of gratitude. 

I want to thank those who disagreed with the decision to sell. We all know how important it is in any system of governance to have a loyal opposition, and intelligent people can disagree. I can only hope that they realize that their ideas were, in fact, listened to and considered during the long process. Our future looks bright and I think we all look forward to getting on with making the Kiwanis Club and Foundation of Ann Arbor the best it can be for the next one hundred years. 

Finally, I want to thank the members, staff, and volunteers who have gone out of their way to be personally supportive of me during this stressful year. I appreciate your kindness and assure you that it means a lot and I will never forget it. It has been what keeps me focused on Kiwanis and the major role it plays in our community helping children and families. 

Alan Burg, President 2016-17


Usually, this just means Jim, one of our partners, uploaded the article. There's an off chance it could be an intern, though, so be nice.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Jeff Hayner

    April 20, 2017 at 9:16 am

    Another blow to downtown affordability. Will this be renovated as housing as I have heard suggested, or torn down to make way for more YUPPIE condos? What Ann Arbor really needs is reasonably priced live/work space. This would be a good building for that from a structural standpoint.

    Oh wait Wickfield bought it. Never mind. Ugh.