Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

City Council: Barton Green Edition

22. January 2007 • Juliew
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Monday, January 22 at 7:00 pm.
Ann Arbor City HallCity Council Agenda


  • Four of the agenda times are related to the Barton Green development. This is a development of over 200 units on 32 acres on the west side of Pontiac Trail (north of Skydale Drive).
  • Revisiting the resolution to create the Housing and Human Services Advisory Board, eliminate the Existing Community Development Executive Committee and Housing Policy Board, and retain the Existing Waiver and Review Board. This was postponed from the January 8 meeting.

  1. Although I don’t think it is a highlight, my favorite agenda item is the following: Resolution to Approve a Contract with Franklin Covey to Provide Training in the Four Disciplines of Execution in the Amount of $42,248.00. Upon further research, it turns out the Four Disciplines of Execution are:
    1. Focus on the wildly important – identify Wildly Important Goals (WIGs)
    2. Create a compelling scoreboard
    3. Translate lofty goals into specific actions and
    4. Hold each other accountable all of the time.


       —Juliew    Jan. 22 '07 - 03:07AM    #
  2. 2. Create a compelling scoreboard

    Colts: 38
    Patriots: 34

    UM alum Marlin Jackson helped create this compelling scoreboard tonight by intercepting another UM alum’s (Tom Brady’s) pass as the Patriots were driving for the final score.

    I sure hope there’s more to this $40K worth of training than coffee and some Powerpoint slides.

       —HD    Jan. 22 '07 - 08:53AM    #
  3. Seems like the city has done a good job with the reorganization thus far. They have something like 20% fewer people but they are doing most of the same work and in my experience they are better than before in a lot of areas, more efficient. Training like this might be part of the reason.

       —Laura B    Jan. 22 '07 - 09:42AM    #
  4. Mild threadjack:

    The employment picture in AA just got a lot worse. Pfizer is leaving:

       —Marc R.    Jan. 22 '07 - 11:03PM    #
  5. I like Barton Green!

    However, I expect the posted agenda for tonight’s Council meeting may have been overtaken by events – Pfizer pulling the plug. Governor Granholm is coming to AA this afternoon for a news conference.

    At the very least, I would expect Mayor Hieftje to read a statement to Council this evening.

       —David Cahill    Jan. 22 '07 - 11:41PM    #
  6. Oh, nice. I could be wrong, but didn’t Phizer get a huge tax abatement because they located here and/or stuck around the area? So, what…can we get that back and give it to the unemployed workers??? And, I have to wonder what entity/corporation is going to want the land now….

       —TeacherPatti    Jan. 22 '07 - 11:49PM    #
  7. Oops, sorry. That should be PFizer…I tend to misspell when I get irritated.

       —TeacherPatti    Jan. 22 '07 - 11:51PM    #
  8. The real question is how badly will Pfizer want to divest itself of that property and facilities? I would expect that a lot of people now with Pfizer will see this as an opportunity to jump ship and get involved with a start-up. The economy stinks here but it seems to be going pretty well elsewhere so it’s not a bad time to make that leap. But will Pfizer be willing to part with those facilities to potential start-up and competitiors? Or will those be the seeds of future partnerships? I think there’s a lot of uncertainty in the air but I think soon people will see that this isn’t all doom-and-gloom.

       —John Q.    Jan. 23 '07 - 02:45AM    #
  9. Oh I know. let’s buy the Pfizer property as part of the greenbarrier. It can be one big, non-taxpaying park.

       —JennyD    Jan. 23 '07 - 02:53AM    #
  10. i heard a rumor that pfizer offered to donate their entire campus to the university.

       —peter honeyman    Jan. 23 '07 - 03:28AM    #
  11. Peter,

    If Pfizer did donate the facility, would the market value be deductable against future earnings for Federal Income Tax purposes? The Federal Corporate Tax rate is 35%. I believe that it would be deductable, but I am not an expert. It may be a rumor, but it does not sound far fetched.
       —Chuck L.    Jan. 23 '07 - 09:30AM    #
  12. it should send a chill down the spine of every property owner in ann arbor that pfizer’s rumored consideration of thirty-five cents on the dollar does not sound far-fetched.

       —peter honeyman    Jan. 23 '07 - 01:02PM    #
  13. Why is that? It sounds better than leaving the site vacant.

       — UMP    Jan. 25 '07 - 07:51PM    #
  14. thirty-five cents on the dollar may be good enough for a multibillion dollar multinational looking at the next quarter’s balance sheet.

    but for a lot of property owners, say a homeowner with a bunch of years left on the mortgage, thirty-five cents on the dollar smells like bankruptcy.

       —peter honeyman    Jan. 26 '07 - 06:57AM    #
  15. There are a 100 rumors floating around. Pfizer won’t even be out of the site for over year. We should stick to what is known.

       —Laura B    Jan. 26 '07 - 07:25AM    #
  16. Laura B,

    I’ve heard that the labs in the Pfizer facilities are very specialized and therefor would be hard to sell as-is. There have been other posts on that have mentioned that Pfizer tore down buildings in Kalamazoo to avoid paying local property taxes and to make the land more attractive to potential buyers; meaning that the existing structures could not be sold. If the facilities are hard to sell and will never recover the initial investment, 35% of cost might not seem bad. A decision like this would be a further blow to the City of Ann Arbor and Ann Arbor Schools since the property would go off the tax roles.
       —Chuck L.    Jan. 27 '07 - 08:45PM    #
  17. “meaning that the existing structures could not be sold”

    I think there is a big difference between the Kalamazoo facilities and those in Ann Arbor. The A2 facilities are practically new. The Kalamazoo facilities were not, from what I’ve read.

       —John Q.    Jan. 29 '07 - 10:00AM    #
  18. The Kalamazoo buildings were not new, but Pfizer has also demolished new buildings in other places once they’ve decided to relocate research centers.

       —Dale    Jan. 29 '07 - 10:12AM    #