Residents of the apartment building 4 Eleven Lofts, located at the corner of East Washington and Division Streets, say they are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a Subway restaurant, which is coming to the first floor of the high-rise.
Randy Munroe, owner of the new Subway branch, said he signed a lease for a space on the ground floor of 4 Eleven Lofts a few weeks ago. He said he hopes this Subway branch will become one of the most profitable locations in the region.
Munroe said he expects the final stages of the project will go smoothly and anticipates a successful opening. The franchise was initially scheduled to open in January 2011, but due to many variables like hiring, Munroe said a definite opening date hasn’t been determined yet.
Munroe co-owns several Subway restaurants in the area with his wife, Denise. The couple first got involved with Subway in 1994. Since then, the pair has owned seven Subway restaurants in the Metro Detroit area, but sold their businesses when Munroe’s job in the railroad business transferred him to Illinois.
After a two-year hiatus from the Subway business, Munroe said he is looking forward to the opening of this Ann Arbor location.
“We love the area, the whole atmosphere; everything about Ann Arbor, we really like,” he said.
Munroe said that because Ann Arbor has been impacted less by Michigan’s current economic hardships than other areas where he has previously owned franchises, he is hopeful that the restaurant will be successful.
Subway Development Agent Kip Klopfenstein also said that the college-town atmosphere was part of what drew his attention to Ann Arbor. The company conducted research on other Subway franchises that are located near college campuses, before selecting 4 Eleven Lofts as the next site, he said.
Munroe said “there should be no competition whatsoever” between the new restaurant location and the Subway that is currently located in the Michigan Union. He explained that the Subway team runs a market analysis prior to granting a franchisee the ability to open a branch, and it came to the conclusion that there won’t be a conflict with existing locations.
LSA junior Paige Kolesar, a current 4 Eleven Lofts resident, said she is looking forward to the restaurant’s opening. Residents of the apartment building have long been frustrated with the lack of eateries nearby, she said.
“It’s exciting that they’ve finally made a decision about it, and I think it’s going to do very well,” she said.
LSA sophomore Ryan Klopcic, who also lives in 4 Eleven Lofts, said he was attracted to living in 4 Eleven Lofts this year after he was told Subway would be coming to the building. He said he thinks the new Subway will be popular among students who live in the area, since residents currently have to walk three blocks east to State Street in order to dine out.
“I think it’ll do really well, especially in the winter,” he said.