Dr Rahmani Buys Selo/Shevel's Building
And the mystery building on Maple finally gets a tenant
by Sally Mitani
"I haven't bought it yet, but I will," says Reza Rahmani, of 301 S. Main. In November, Elaine Selo didn't want to say to whom she and partner Cynthia Shevel had sold the building, which only led to speculation that it had to be Rahmani of the Rahmani Eye Institute, who already owns two other Main Street buildings.
Rahmani sighs, a little defensively, when asked if he's the buyer. "I don't throw my money around," he says. "I work very hard. The press has not always been kind to me. I love Ann Arbor. I love these buildings on Main Street," and he particularly likes this one, noting its twelve-foot windows on the third floor--unusual for a building of that era. Rahmani says he's doing a full-scale renovation of the interior upstairs office spaces, putting in a new elevator, among other things, "though none of that will affect the facade." He's also "doing feasibility studies to decide what can be done with the ground floor."
"Did you know that I sold the Ark's space to them last year?" he asks. "And I don't like to sell buildings, but I felt they should own it."
One of the enduring local real estate mysteries is 1251 N. Maple. A former gas station remodeled many years ago by Basile "Bill" Lagos, it has never yet had a tenant. Lagos, who also owns a few other buildings around town, didn't return calls about it.
The building is about to get its first tenant, a Subway. Corporate says it's owned by Mike and Cindy Heffner, who also have a Subway on Platt Rd. An attempt to reach the Heffners was unsuccessful.
Another vacant space is, presumably, still available on the south end of the building--though a call to the phone number in its window was unreturned.
[Originally published in January, 2014.]