Liberty Lofts | Liberty Lofts’ First Marriage Proposal

ANN ARBOR, MI – The Liberty Lofts condo wasn’t quite ready for move-in by buyers Jeff Cohen, 29, and Liz Finkel, 26, but that wasn’t going to stop Cohen. He trumped up a pre-occupancy inspection, set the stage with flowers and a card, took Finkel out on the balcony, dropped down on one knee and proposed. Their life together began in what they knew was their perfect home.

The couple met and fell in love two years ago while working at the Toyota Technical Center on the east side of Ann Arbor. In January of 2006, they fell in love with Liberty Lofts. They had placed a deposit on another unit in downtown Ann Arbor, but changed their minds after seeing the Liberty Lofts model.

Liberty Lofts, at 315 Second Street, offers 68 one- and two-bedroom residences in a building that blends a renovated industrial building with new construction. All lofts incorporate the industrial aesthetic of the original.

“When you think of a loft, this is what you picture: Soaring ceilings, exposed mechanical systems and concrete, brick and metal surfaces,” said Liberty Lofts partner Ronald Mucha. “At the same time they offer modern amenities like granite countertops, designer appliances, bamboo flooring and contemporary light fixtures. “

“The floor to ceiling windows, luxury living – it felt like more like our style,” Cohen said. “We knew it was an affirmation of the kind of style we want, without even having talked about it.”

They made that commitment last January. The other commitment came on a brilliantly sunny October day.

“I had been thinking about when a good time would be,” Cohen said. “I didn’t want to do it in a public place. We didn’t have a good weekend to get away. It (the loft) is something we share between us, it’s a big milestone.”

On a brilliantly sunny Saturday, as Michigan and Michigan State prepared to battle each other on the gridiron, Cohen, a U of M grad, laid out his strategy to secure the hand of Finkel, a Spartan. His co-conspirator was Carrie Cohen (no relation), Liberty Lofts’ new homes manager.

One hitch: The couple hadn’t closed on the loft. When Jeff told Carrie his plan, she immediately jumped on board. Carrie arranged for Jeff’s access to the residence and even stocked the refrigerator with a bottle of champagne.

After Finkel said “yes,” the surprise for Finkel moved to Café Zola, where Cohen had arranged for family and friends to meet them for a celebration.

“It was a perfect day; not a cloud in the sky; my ring was sparkling in the sunlight,” Finkel said.

A week later they officially moved into their one-bedroom loft. They’ll marry on July 7, 2007.

Cohen is a paint design engineer for Toyota, Finkel now works at Great Lakes Institute of Manual Therapy in Ann Arbor.

Both are runners. Finkel finished the 2006 New York marathon in 3:46 and Cohen the Philadelphia marathon in 2:59, both personal bests. They said Ann Arbor suits their athletic interest.

“The running is great here, Finkel said. “You can go in so many directions and run for a long time. There are great trails everywhere. There are great running stores, great breakfast spots for after a run.”

Other favorite dining spots include Eve for French fusion cuisine and Grizzly Peak: “Great beer – we love micro brews,” she said.

Founded in 1993, Morningside Group is a real estate development firm that specializes in creating premier mixed-use and multi-family developments in urban locations throughout the Midwest. Long recognized as a leader in the design and construction of highly acclaimed buildings, Morningside Group has built an enviable track record of successful public-private partnerships.

Morningside’s incomparable work ensures that each new development will join a growing portfolio of prized buildings which includes, in Michigan, SkyLofts Royal Oak and SkyLofts MarketSquare in Royal Oak and, in Illinois, Arbor Court and Prairie Town Center in Oak Lawn, Crescent Court and Museum Square in Elmhurst, Morningside Square in Downers Grove, The Glen Astor in Glen Ellyn and buildings in Evanston and Skokie.

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