Edward A. (Ed) Shaffran, founder/owner of The Shaffran Companies, has been referred to as the most formidable developer of Ann Arbor’s historic buildings. This known business and real estate leader maintained his roots and passionately committed to build a vibrant and nationally-renowned downtown where people are drawn to live, work, and play. Shaffran earned the heartfelt title of “Mr. Downtown” by members of the community that appreciate the dedication to his work.
An Impetus for Historical Building
In his 20s, Shaffran purchased a home with little down and sold it 18 months later for a healthy profit, lighting his interest in real estate. After investing with his father and sister in single family homes, he began acquiring apartment buildings, small office buildings, office complexes, and his interest in historic properties emerged.
In 1982, he founded E.A.S Realty, Inc. to provide real estate building, development, management, consulting and workout services to businesses, professionals and financial institutions. He formed The Shaffran Companies in 1988, a commercial and residential real estate leasing and management company, specializing in historic loft apartments and commercial spaces.
Creating Ann Arbor’s Resurgence in Historic Lofts
Shaffran bought his first downtown Ann Arbor building out of bankruptcy in 1982. It housed a pizza and beer restaurant, where he fondly recalls eating peanuts and tossing shells while singing to ragtime music using song sheets. In 1989, The Shaffran Companies began to create livable and workable lofts, symbolizing Ann Arbor’s resurgence in historic lofts. They began with nine loft units on South Fourth Avenue.
Today, The Shaffran Companies represent Ann Arbor’s largest owner of historic lofts.