Discuss Detroit Archives - January 2008 Big-time U-M area development Previous Next
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4281
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 5:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

http://media.www.michigandaily .com/media/storage/paper851/ne ws/2008/01/04/AnnArbor/26Story .South.U.High.Rise.Planned-314 6207.shtml

The corner of S. Forest and South University may soon see another high-rise. This comes on the heels of a 10-story development now in progress 2 blocks away.

Burns Park (a mixed family/student neighborhood with large 1920s houses) residents are currently fighting and winning a battle to re-zone their neighborhood to keep renters out. Meanwhile, preservationist activity is reaching a fever pitch. You'd think that this development, which would ease rental demand in family neighborhoods, and would satisfy much demand such that other historic houses aren't razed (the site this will be built on does NOT contain historic buildings), would be widely supported...but watch those Ann Arborites who operate under the delusion that they live in some pastoral hamlet fight this. "It's...too...tall!" I can hear it already.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 395
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 6:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah that happened with the Glen-Ann Place, a 10 story tower to be located on a site where a tow truck place and two very neglected non-descript houses stood. (all surrounded by midrise medical buildings and parking structures). The historic commission kept slamming this project into the ground. No clue if it has prevailed yet. I'd support the 4th Ward residents in protecting their neighborhood if there were actually more VALUABLE looking historic homes. (I happen to live in this neighborhood currently). With the exception of maybe a couple dozen well maintained restored/renovated homes, the neighborhood looks like trash. So many homes have been mutilated by modernization that I'm not sure that AA can keep arguing against highrise development from a historical and scale-based premise. The university has already killed what made the neighborhood special. Build high over it.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4282
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Friday, January 04, 2008 - 7:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Yeah that spot is a great place for that sort of development...i believe the two old homes in question still stand, but the dilapadated gas station is gone.

I basically agree with your characterization of the neighborhood. It's a mish-mash. I lived on Ingalls for a year in one old house with a bad modernization job. That street has some fine old houses, but some eyesores and that one modern piece of shit at the corner of Huron.

I've found that the preservationists in A2 are particularly extreme and often delusional. But not as delusional as the people who are against anything big (more than four stories).

I wouldn't be surprised if this most recent development I posted on gets scaled down, but since there will be no preservationist angst at hand (unless they want to save the VC and Bagel Shop buildings!), it will be going forth. I hope Glen-Ann happens...it's in that valley, set apart from the rest of the Ward, and surrounded by not-so-stellar looking buildings.
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2818
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 1:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Screw you. Those of us from Ann Arbor want Ann Arbor to look like Ann Arbor. How long do you plan on being here Mackinaw? Wolverine? If you plan on settling here then your opinion matters if not stfu.

The historic commission can be annoying. But I would rather have them discriminate in a vigilant way then to be lax


http://arborupdate.com/article /1589/south-u-gets-high



.
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Renfirst
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Username: Renfirst

Post Number: 159
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 3:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

citylover... Ann Arbor hasn't looked like Ann Arbor for a while now...

It's beginning to look more like Royal Oak with all the "loft" developments. It's no longer unique...The city's been overtaken by Starbucks and Panera'...

But there's still the Blimpy Burger... that will never disappear... I hope :-)
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4291
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 4:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

CL, do you think it might just be possible to keep all of A2's historic strengths (like the nice old neighborhoods and Main Street/State Street storefronts) while still building up? If you don't allow A2 to have a skyline, you will force more greenfield development and cookie-cutter developments around the freeways. A2's sprawl is bad enough as it is.

I don't plan to live in Ann Arbor, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't care about it, especially as it pertains to the impact that it has on the region. I sense way too much anti-student and anti-university sentiment among Ann Arborites, perhaps because they sense that students don't stick around. Perhap if they allowed the city to change a bit, it would become a more appealing option. Alas, the fear of the unknown prevails. I think A2 is the best city of its type in the midwest, but I know it can be better and more of an asset to this area if it focuses on its center some more. It can have a rare combination of a big city downtown and centrally-located, dignified historic neighborhoods with all types of density options.

I'm a preservationist, I'm guessing you are too, but what does it matter to us if a high-rise goes on top of the VC and the BAGEL FACTORY??? Or if mid-rises go up on top of surface lots over by Huron near downtown? Why is there a fear of height?

The link you posted references the possibility of South U becoming a new high-rise corridor. I think that will be the case. It will replace the mostly inconsequential, low-rise storefronts now there, foster student density such that Lower Burns Park residents don't have to worry about keeping students out (as they now are with re-zoning), and will be sufficiently far away from the Old West Siders who don't hang out on South U anyway.

PS the VC is great to have...I pity the future students in my neighborhood who won't have the option, and I hope the new complex has a grocer.

PPS...if A2 doesn't build up, then that's more marketshare for downtown Detroit to compete for. Outside of a few hipsters who have a special place in their heart for A2, Detroit may completely overshadow A2 soon.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3849
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 5:19 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Save the Village Corner!
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2821
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 6:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Renfirst obviously you don't know Ann Arbor very well so I won't bother other then to say Ann Arbor looks much the way it did even as far back as when I was a kid........................... ......a long damn time ago.

Mackinaw et,al I am not opposed to development.I am against outsiders coming in and thinking that the city and the U are some sort of can't miss money maker w/o any consideration for what is already there. As you may or may not know the Annebary(sp) was recently demolished. It was an easily salvageable cool old apt bldg that fit right in.Wait to you see what takes it's place. And how about the new structure that replaced the house on Hill and Forest...have you zeen that? It is a joke.What was there previously was an Italian villa style house that had been abandoned and used by homeless.It had to go.........but for that shit?

Over on Liberty the president of Mckinley properties had the arrogance to call the small cluster of stores east of towne place an eyesore.This is because he wants to tear at down and build more mckinley crap. Which of course means fewer independent businesses like encore records. And for all that what do we get? More chains like Bar Louie and less of what makes Ann Arbor what it is.
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Novine
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Username: Novine

Post Number: 323
Registered: 07-2007
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 6:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wasn't the other recent South U. development you mentioned the one that's taking out the old historic apartment building? The developer argued that it wasn't feasible to renovate the building but it was probably more that they wanted to make more building new. Why would area residents be so quick to embrace that kind of change when the developers don't seem to care one bit about historic preservation?
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4294
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 8:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Right, the Zaragon Lofts of EastU/SouthU did result in the razing of a fine old building. I agree that it was sad, and the 10-story new building will be out of context.

The newest proposal will not result in any setbacks for preservationists.

CL, I live within sight-distance of the modern new thing. I don't like it. Don't get me wrong, I don't want new crap replacing desirable old buildings, but I do want height wherever it makes sense, i.e. along South U. and on top of other crappy buildings/surface parking lots.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 398
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 10:48 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Screw you. Those of us from Ann Arbor want Ann Arbor to look like Ann Arbor. How long do you plan on being here Mackinaw? Wolverine? If you plan on settling here then your opinion matters if not stfu."

Fine then, go ahead and have your contaminated vacant gas station instead of a residential and retail tenant that would reinforce the vitality of the forth ward.

Go ahead and take your vacant Bagel Factory instead of one thousand whatever residents.

I don't want to see any historical buildings torn down (Zaragon pissed me off), but I'm fed up with the h/c putting down any project that goes beyond 5 floors because it is "out of scale", when we need more residents, and the areas have already been dramatically altered. Everything can't be 3 floors.

I don't think there is anything wrong with what I said. I said nothing about tearing down anything of importance in the 4th Ward, and I'm upset with the number of poorly maintained properties in this historic district. I put a request forward to our landlord to have the property cleaned up and stumps removed. It took some persistence and constant calling to have the house's appearance improved.

Oh, but sorry, this is YOUR city, I only have six years of residency. Maybe I should stop caring. I don't understand what your issue is.
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 548
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 10:57 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

THANK YOU WOLVERINE. Well said.

Get rid of those nasty-ass houses across from Angelos and build something NICE that will revitalize that dead area of the 4th ward. I think a 10-story brick and stone apt. building with ground floor retail would be nice. Oh wait, it's already been proposed -- but A2 crazies like Citylover want to keep the supposed "look" of Ann Arbor intact by preserving rotting, shitty houses from the 1910s. Good work!

Anberay was a disgrace, and I certainly hope they retain Village Corner or a grocery store in the newly-proposed towers at Forest and South U. But if the "locals" want to look at the abandoned Bagel Factory for another 15 years then they can be my guests.
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Danindc
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Username: Danindc

Post Number: 3850
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

But if the "locals" want to look at the abandoned Bagel Factory for another 15 years then they can be my guests.



It's a shame, really. From what I can tell, the South U. landlords got very greedy about 10 years ago, and drove a lot of businesses into the ground. It's freaking Ann Arbor - not Cambridge.
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2823
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:21 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So you think that I consider "ugly ass houses" across from Angelos the look of Ann Arbor? Is this supposed to be an intelligent conversation?

Of course I am going to resent someone griping about ann arbor if they don't have an intimate interest and may not be here for a lengthy time........wouldn't you?

The Anberay was not a disgrace.But you have the bullshit line down.You do it well.The slick developer gets up in front of the planning commission and speaking for the owner wishes they could save it blah blah blah but it needs to mcuh work blah blah blah..............all bullshit. The bldg was for some reason unprotected by preservation laws.It could not be saved.But any disgrace factors were because og owner neglect.

Please tell me what the advantage is of building non descri pt structures with chain stores in Ann Arbor ? How does this benefit the citizens? How does this enhance the quality of life in Ann Arbor?
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 399
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"but A2 crazies like Citylover want to keep the supposed "look" of Ann Arbor intact by preserving rotting, shitty houses from the 1910s"

Well, there's nothing wrong that...just a matter of preserving the right ones. I believe that the developer would move those 2 houses to another location. They weren't the problem, the height was.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 400
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Please tell me what the advantage is of building non descri pt structures with chain stores in Ann Arbor ? How does this benefit the citizens? How does this enhance the quality of life in Ann Arbor?"

Seems to be working just fine. State street is full of chain stores, and appears vital to me.

"Of course I am going to resent someone griping about ann arbor if they don't have an intimate interest and may not be here for a lengthy time........wouldn't you?"

What a ridiculous argument. Who are you to say what students can and can't say about their city? And how are you to say students aren't making a positive impact on the city?
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4296
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:34 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

CL, I believe he was suggesting that the Anberay fiasco was a disgrace, not the building.

QL is enhanced by density, I believe. But QL is a tricky argument, and often subjective.

Dan, indeed rents got really high there. I can't believe that 95% of the storefronts are full.
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 549
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd say the problem is that those two houses are across the street from a 10-story medical center, parking garage, and concrete skywalk. The apartment, even at 10 stories, would not overshadow the neighborhood because it's at the bottom of a steep hill. It would provide a buffer zone between the 4th ward and the medical center, bring foot traffic to that area, and provide services to local residents in that area who are forced to walk to State Street for food and entertainment.

The two houses in debate here are crappy, wood frame houses from the 1910s. The porches are collapsing. They look identical to each other. They were the standard blah-blah houses of the era, just normal tiny colonial homes. They're a dime a dozen here in Ann Arbor and the state at large. It's a shame they are the reason that Glen-Ann was canceled.

I'm all for historic preservation. I live in an impressive historic home in the 4th ward right now and do more to keep it up than the owners or the leasing office that manages it. It's really a shame how much they neglect this property. The Historic District Commission should spend their energy putting the pressure on these slumlords and leasing offices to keep up their properties. So don't get the wrong idea from me. But you're absolutely right; it's about preserving the right ones. Were those houses and an abandoned gas station really the "right ones"?
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 550
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

PS Citylover, read my post more carefully. I couldn't bear to watch Anberay fall to the wrecking ball. And I'm no fan of McKinley's proposals to uproot Encore Records either. But I get frustrated when smart development like Glen-Ann is halted for questionable reasons and a dead part of the city sits vacant for longer and longer. There needs to be some give and take here.
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Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4298
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Sunday, January 06, 2008 - 11:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Totally agree with your assessment, Gsgeorge. Even this preservationist has a tough time loving those two houses. It has a lot to do with their context, though.

On the other hand, which not build something tall and slender using just the gas station site?

And then build something on top of Angelo's surface parking at the next corner...and tear down the Soviet Bloc apartment complex next door while your at it (my friend lives there and the interior is actually nice).;)
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 401
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 12:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Here's some images of the proposals being discussed for people not familiar with the projects, courtesy detroitrising.com

Glen Ann http://detroitrising.com/image s/glenannplace.jpg

Zaragon
http://detroitrising.com/image s/zaragonplace.jpg

An added bonus is this nice privately-owned student housing complex on U of M's North campus
http://detroitrising.com/image s/thecourtyard.jpg
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4299
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 1:13 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Glen Ann is such a nice idea and design. It's gotta happen.

I'm just really interested to see the response to the newest South U. proposal. I know the City is heavily leaning towards its approval (why else would they have just changed the zoning?), but we'll see what type of fight the anti-height crowd mounts.

This is the first chance to put height next to height in Ann Arbor. All of the tall buildings are isolated, but here we'd have 26 stories next to 16 stories (maybe 18?)

also, I think most of us would agree that this is a great type of product to see more of in A2:
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zo om.gne?id=2115586895&size=l
Beautiful scale and good construction quality here. I see this being a nice infill-type building for empty or poorly-used lots between Main and State. By poorly-used I mean, for instance, a drive-through bank.

I'd love to see a row of housing like this where UM has its aging parking structure on the east side of Church above South U. Put that professor parking underground damnit.
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Hagglerock
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Username: Hagglerock

Post Number: 478
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 1:58 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm for it. The only drawback, parking? I don't like the idea of another large unsightly garage.

I lived on 1329 1/2 South U. Right on top of the Maize and Blue deli. I wonder if it's still there? Parking was a bitch years ago.

Danindc is right, just make sure the Village corner stays, they have one of the best wine sections in the city!
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Gsgeorge
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Username: Gsgeorge

Post Number: 551
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 2:04 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My source at VC says the owner is on the fence about staying in the location but the developer has made the offer to stay. Owner won't lay off his employees yet but has warned them that the building is being knocked down soon.
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Mackinaw
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Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4300
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 10:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Interesting, Gsgorge. Glad to know they have the chance to remain.

Hagglerock, the Deli is still there, but it's rarely busy.
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Wolverine
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Username: Wolverine

Post Number: 402
Registered: 04-2004
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 11:28 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's kind of pricey, but very delicious
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Hooha
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Username: Hooha

Post Number: 153
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 11:34 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I like it. With U Towers already across the street, it's not like it's going to ruin the look of South U.

The more student housing we have closer to campus the better. It's really sad to walk into some of those old homes that are quite a distance from campus and see how they've been destroyed by a combination of rowdy students and apathetic landlords. (Although I did love my dump of a house when I went there :-)) I'd like to see dense student housing near campus so that some of these houses could be rehabbed and sold to families. It would help cut into the sprawl in Ann Arbor, IMO.

Anybody know if this development would include the apartment building next to the bagel factory on South U?
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Citylover
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Username: Citylover

Post Number: 2826
Registered: 07-2004
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 12:06 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

This thing is a long way from approval. ...." 1st chance to put height next to height".....which is precisely what Ann Arbor does not need.
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Iheartthed
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Username: Iheartthed

Post Number: 2472
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 12:13 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't like the idea of more high rises on South U.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 3506
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 12:15 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Ann Arbor's gone downhill ever since they tore down Stadium Tavern and Everett's.
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Mackinaw
Member
Username: Mackinaw

Post Number: 4301
Registered: 02-2005
Posted on Monday, January 07, 2008 - 4:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We'd live underground if we had things CL's way. You should have a doctor check out your fear of heights.

Fury13, where were those places?

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