Pizza House owners hope to add another high rise to Ann Arbor

The owners of Pizza House are hoping to break into the Ann Arbor campus area's high-rise game, with plans to build atop their own restaurant.

Dennis Tice, who is co-owner of Pizza House with his brother, Matt, and the property with his brother and father, William, says they're still talking to potential partners about building above the restaurant.

"This is a desirable location for students who want to live on campus," he says. "We knew that long-term, when we got our new zoning down here, people would build nice, state of the art, modern upscale housing so that students would like living here. My brother and I have had this in the back of our minds for years."

Since that zoning, Zaragon Place opened last year, with a sequel, Zaragon 2, now in the works; 601 Forest is another project underway. The Tices know there's room for more upscale housing, but no one knows how much, yet, Dennis Tice says. But, he says they believe they're getting in the market early enough to have their risk pay off eventually.

Peter Allen, a developer acting as the project's broker, says the owners are open to a partnership, or sale or lease of the air rights above the building. "We hope that someone will be a partner or buy it outright," Allen says.  

It can withstand a major structure on top, and a 12-story building is consistent with zoning, he says. They're still figuring out the ideal occupant to market to, whether it be undergraduate students, graduate students, faculty and staff, or some mixture.

The Pizza House project is using generic floor plans, but it's likely that any developers they come into an agreement will implement their own. They do know, however, that they're looking at somewhere between 180-240 beds in the high rise.

Source: Dennis Tice, co-owner of Pizza House; Peter Allen, broker for construction project
Writer: Kristin Lukowski