Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

DDA Meeting Recap

1. January 2008 • Nancy Shore
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Hello all,
This is my first Arbor Update post. I’m also over at getDowntown.

I went to the Downtown Development Authority meeting today. They meet every first Weds. from 12-2pm at the DDA Offices on Fifth Ave.

Some of what was discussed:

Village Green: This is a proposed apartment development over on the First and Washington side of town. The DDA has to approve the parking structure these folks want to build under (and some above) their development before the plans can be taken to the City’s Planning Commission. This structure would include both spaces for apartment residents and public spaces.

Village Green hoped to get approval today for the structure and then take the proposal to the Planning Commission tonight. It was not to be.

Some of the reasons the DDA did not immediately approve the structure were that the turnarounds are too narrow and the large number of compact car spaces.

Leah Gunn and others on the DDA Board emphasized that they want to see the plan go through, they just need to take a chance to discuss the proposal. It’s now up to the DDA Operations Committee to look over the proposal and talk to the developer and approve the plan by the next Planning Commission Meeting, which is on Jan 23.

According to the Village Green developer, the DDA must approve of their parking structure plans before the project can move forward.

Library Lot: Norm Cox of the Greenway Collaborative showed some mock ups of what sort of building could be built on top of the Library Lot.

These mock ups were created to give the DDA and the City Council a sense of what potential type of structure could go on top of the underground parking structure.

Some of the elements the Greenway Collaborative worked into the Library Lot structure were a central plaza connecting the Library with the structure. This plaza would allow for some public gathering space as well as a way to limit the flow of traffic.

The DDA will present their thoughts at the City Council working session on Jan 14th at 7pm.

There was a discussion of the need for more affordable housing downtown, especially in light of the fact that the proposal for the Y site was rejected.

And speaking if the Y, the DDA is soon going to go out for an RFP to demolish the building. That will probably happen in 4-5 weeks time.

Wayfinding Project: Russ Collins gave a report of the status of the Wayfinding Project to create signs pointing people to attractions in the downtown. He showed pictures of the final design, which incorporated some ideas from community feedback. In my opinion, the signs were pleasant, if a bit plain. But on the plus side, they will be very flexible in their use. Not sure when these are going to go up.

That’s about it.



  1. “large number of compact car spaces”

    How do they set that number, anyway?

    And has anyone tried pricing spaces differently according to size? I suppose it probably wouldn’t work.


       —Bruce Fields    Jan. 4 '08 - 04:28AM    #