Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

City Council attacks UMich on student housing

8. February 2005 • Murph
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At last night’s City Council meeting, the council approved an easement proposal for providing a vehicle access on Murfin to a private dorm near the corner of Broadway, Plymouth, and Murfin, just behind the NCRB. The 992-bed dorm was originally called “North Quad”, but is now being called “Melrose Student Suites”. The proposal passed by a 9-2 vote; the Suites expected to be open by the Fall of 2006.

The Council’s discussion apparently got fiery, though, with the Mayor and various Councilmembers criticizing the University for foot-dragging and for failing to house their students. From the Ann Arbor News:

Many on the council were miffed by comments made earlier in the meeting by U-M spokesman Jim Kosteva, who said the university was a “reluctant bride” in an agreement to build a private student housing project at 1756 Broadway. He said it would increase infrastructure costs for the university to support that new community of students near North Campus.

Hieftje and other council members who have previously criticized the university for not providing enough campus housing, seized on the remark.

“The University of Michigan should come out and say, ‘We aren’t interested in housing students. We’d rather they be a burden on the community,’ ” Hieftje said. “Is this a policy of the university?”

Other councilmembers joined in with criticisms of varying quality:

Carlberg, D-3rd Ward, said she was “baffled” why Kosteva would portray the added busing expenses as a negative when alternative transportation was a goal of the community.

Council Member Marcia Higgins questioned why the university was citing added costs for transportation when they charge students tuition.

“It is ridiculous to say this is a cost you shouldn’t be absorbing,” said Higgins, D-4th Ward.

Council Member Wendy Woods, D-5th Ward, said a $2 million contribution the developer was giving to U-M as part of the agreement for the easement should cover those costs.

Some further part of the discussion involved Kosteva trying to pull his foot back out of his mouth. If watching the Council and University fight it out is your idea of a fun evening, you can watch the meeting on CTN channel 16 at 7:30pm Friday.

  1. Does anyone know if the AAPS offer benefits to unmarried opposite-sex as well as same-sex partners? I know the U doesn’t, but I believe the City does…
       —Scott T.    Feb. 9 '05 - 12:02AM    #