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wolverine

10 Story mixed use building a go?

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I can't believe I forgot to mention this, but when I was in AA a week ago, I noticed there was demolition fence around where the Glen-Ann place is supposed to go. The two old houses on the lot are supposed to be moved to another location and the two truck place is supposed to be torn down. I'm not sure about Leonardo's Pizza though. I don't see any signage indicating what they plan do or if the construction is just going to build around and over them until they relocate. The only committee that rejected this project was the historical comission. But they allowed the developer to make revisions such as setbacks that would help with the scale of the neighborhood. This particular rendering shows these setbacks at the back. This proposal was originally at 5 stories, but when the developer saw the new Biomedical building going up across the street (visible in rendering) he raised the height to 10 stories saying the project was only viable with added height. Unfortunately for Joseph Freed and Associates, the university is exempt from height restrictions and style codes.

1116530670_11.jpg

So it appears as if work is underway I guess. I'm not in AA right now, but I'll try to get photos when I can of the site.

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where in location to the University campus is this project?

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From the picture it looks like a nice project, cool! :)

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There seems to be quite a few mid-rise developments planned for central Ann Arbor. The ones I've found are:

1. Washington Terrace - Northeast corner of Division and Washington, 11 stories + 3 underground, primarily residential with sideuses of ground floor retail, and underground parking. Scheduled completion date of 2008.

2. Metro 202 - Southwest corner of Division and Washington, 9 stories, residential and groundfloor retail. This one has ran into some major opposition. It's proposed by McKinley Associates, the same group proposing Washington Terrace.

3. Kingsley Lane Lofts - Kingsley and Ashley Streets, 9 stories + 1 level of underground parking, scheduled to start in the summer and be completed in late 2007. The interesting thing about this one is that it's the furthest along of all of them, and stresses much less parking, and more walking about public transportation by offering only a few underground spots.

4. William Street Station - 200 East Willian Street at 4th Avenue, includes two, residential towers - one 14 story tower (218'), and one 12 story tower (198'), with a 1 level parking garage beneath the complex, and ground floor office space and retail and the main AATA bus station. This still has quite a bit of planning to go through from what I understand.

5. Ashley Terrace - 206 West Huron Street, 10 story residential tower (131') + 3 levels of underground parking and ground floor retail. This one is has already been approved with a scheduled construction start of sometime this year with a completion some time next year.

6. The Gallery - 414 North Main Street, 8-story residential tower tower (though, it may be 11 now, I'm not sure) + 4 levels of underground parking. It's supposed to start sometime this year, but this is one of the more vague projects.

I haven't heard much about Glen Ann, though.

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The planning comission had heard nothing about Glen either. The project was approved and construction was ready to go until the historic commission refused to approve it unless they saw renderings of what it would look like in the neighborhood. My best guess is that Freed and Assoc. negotiated moving the historic houses somewhere else and added some setbacks that made them happy. Joseph Freed owns the land now. The tow truck owner wanted to sell the property badly, as well as the two houses. They likely own the land now, and I doubt they'd just start tearing down/moving buildings without having approval to build.

MJLO, this is located just on the edge of the medical campus on Glen St. Other surrounding locations included the Power Center, the power plant, the new biomedical research building, and Palmer Field. Oh, and Couzens Hall of course...the home I miss dearly right now :cry:

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You'd really think Joseph Freed & Associates would have gotten the hint and simply moved this project to another site in the city. Why they've been fighting so hard to put up this exact proposal on this specific lot is beyond me. Is the location really that great that they were willing to go through all of this crap?

BTW, I never realized how powerful Ann Arbor's Historic District Commission is. It seems to yield quite a bit of power. I say that having read through how this was already approved by the City Council and Planning Commission. But, considering Ann Arbor being one of those liberal bastions, I should have suspected to be a very micro-managed city to retain its character.

We have the complete opposite problem here in Lansing, and that's not enough historic districts. In fact, I think of Michigan's major cities, Lansing has the least, making the Historic District Commission here almost irrelevant. There are only three small city historic districts. We have plenty on the National Register of Historic Places and state register, but those aren't under the jurisdiction of the city. Whenever the issue comes up of making more, the citizens and city council are always wary. The council has always seemed to take a rather libertarian approach on the issue.

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Please...I think this is an absolutely appropriate development in this location. For one, it is at a grade elevation about 100 feet lower than most of the houses in the old fourth ward. So the height would not be an imposition upon the neighborhood. Second, this site is directly across the street from the medical center and a large parking garage. So, it's not as if this 10 story building is surrounding by 2 story houses. And lastly, this site was occupied by 2 unremarkable frame houses, a parking lot, a crappy old service station, and a small commercial building. bor.

By the way, I lived 2-blocks away on Ann St. for a year and passed through this area of the City countless times during my 5 years in Ann Arbor.

Does the City Council have final say on Historic Commission decisions or it the Historic Commission bascially autonomous?

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The historic comission has the final say. I'd like to know what the decision was. Are they staying at 10 stories? Having setbacks or terraces?

BTW, Leonardo's has moved all the way across campus to Packard, which surprised me a lot. Their present building is now vacant. That whole corner is really sad now. Even the towing business had added a bit of life to that corner. I hope this new building starts going up soon.

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The Historic District Commission may be the final step for the city, but as the article showed, you can take this above the city level to the state Historic Preservation Review Board if you don't get a favorable nod to overturn the Historic District Commissions ruling. That doesn't seem to have happened in this case. I wonder how much further Freed & Associates are willing to take this?

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DENIED

http://arborupdate.com/article/1464/state-...-glen-ann-place

I don't get it. We can tear down historic apartment buildings, but not 2 piece of crap houses on Glen Street. The house I live in right now has 50 times more historical value that those two pieces of trash. Fortunately, Freed owns them and they have fallen into serious deterioration since, so I doubt they have much of a life left to even stand up. I hope rats get to the electrical wiring and they burn down.

You all know I love historic preservation. But to me, this situation is like trying to save Michigan's first Wal-Mart or something. 2 very generic 100 year old houses. No fancy detailwork. No beautiful interiors. Ugly paint colors. Collapsing porches. Entirely unlivable. The city is filled with 1000's of homes that are far more beautiful, and all of them should be receiving some sort of protection, but not these two.

What are we giving up? High density living, which the city really needs. What is left to preserve of the historic character on the fringe of the 4th Ward is nothing. Parking structures, high tech laboratory buildings, skywalks, 60's apartment buildings, the concrete power center theater, a deteriorated tow truck place (although yes it did add life to the corner). Give it up 4th Ward. Your eastmost block needs to die. You failed to take care of what could have been special early on, and now you must lose some.

Wolverine is angry!

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I agree completely Wolverine.

I think that that development was perfect for that corner. It would have created a nice little urban Oasis just coming up from the Huron River. Poor Angelo's is stuck there practically without any other businesses around them. Not that they're hurting too much because of it, but still, It would be nice to have some retail and residential right that. And I seriously fail to see the historical value of a gas station and two completely unremarkable houses.

Maybe that's where the historic commission hides its secret stash of Jelly Bellys and they REALLY don't want to share.

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I wonder what Freed is going to do from here, perhaps take this to the state supreme court?

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Anybody have a link to the Historic Commission's minutes and/or findings of fact? I'd be interested to see there reasoning for denial.

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Maybe that's where the historic commission hides its secret stash of Jelly Bellys and they REALLY don't want to share.

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Anybody have a link to the Historic Commission's minutes and/or findings of fact? I'd be interested to see there reasoning for denial.

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Are you talking about the city's historic district commission, or the state's preservation commission?

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Maybe Freed can set the homes on fire and then make it look like an accident. This way, what can the commission turn the proposal down for. Certinaly it's not the neighborhood, it's those two homes, because from the picture all I see are parking structures, complexes, and skywalks, so how is this development out of touch to the neighborhood.

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Gah..read the AA HC minutes at lunch, and bascially there really wasn't much of a strong argument from the opposition.

Due to its relatively unique location, the mass and scale of the building's bulk would be of little to no imposition on the "precious" single family houses within the Old Fourth Ward.

I find it amazing, still, that the Historic Commission is autonomous and not subject to City Council final say. That's a great way to discourage development and developers.

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thank god......

They don't know if it will be 9 or 10 stories probably because they don't know if it will be higher than the new Bio Med building. Really, the whole reason why they upped it from 5 to 10 was when Freed got all excited that there were higher buildings rising around his site, and he had an easy excuse to go higher. I know they claim its about being more profitable by adding more units, but then why did they only have five floors in the beginning?

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YES! that fence was really starting to get me down. More housing near campus is always a plus for us Collegey-types.

Wolverine: They probably only had 5 floors to begin with to avoid the legal fiasco they got into with the city's historic commission by appearing, initially, to have minimal impact. So much for that!

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YES! that fence was really starting to get me down. More housing near campus is always a plus for us Collegey-types.

Wolverine: They probably only had 5 floors to begin with to avoid the legal fiasco they got into with the city's historic commission by appearing, initially, to have minimal impact. So much for that!

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