Ann Arbor Area Community News
The City received several bids at the beginning of March from developers interested in purchasing and redeveloping the old YMCA site, which the City had purchased from the Y in order to guarantee the preservation of the Single-Room Occupancy (SRO) housing on the site. The City will be reviewing the bid proposals (which include not just purchase price, but also some indication of the developers’ vision for the site) through March and April and picking a winning bid sometime in May.
Peter Allen & Associates, however, have submitted an unusual bid that urges the City not to sell during this bid cycle, but to let them serve as a consultant and, in conjunction with the City, do preliminary site planning and provide better specifications for what the City would like and will allow from a redevelopment. Peter Allen would not undertake final development after this process, but proposes that the City put out a new RFP with more information for the eventual developer, raising the value of the Y site by allowing developers more certainty. Allen has made the proposal available through his company’s website, entitled A Better Redevelopment Plan for the Y Site to Fund Ann Arbor’s Social and Environmental Agenda (pdf), and includes the following outline in the executive summary:
Our proposal uses the Y RFP to illustrate how the city, with creativity, enthusiasm and ingenuity, can utilize all of its downtown holdings to further enhance the excitement and livability of downtown Ann Arbor.
I have seen pieces of one of the other responses to the RFP, but am still trying to track down and copies of all of the responses from the city, which will be mirrored on this site when I can get them. Considering the import and scope of this proposal – Allen’s suggestions in the RFP make this redevelopment project possibly larger in land area, city revenues, and number and type of housing units than the DDA’s proposal for other city-owned sites, presented last week.
(Note: I am currently enrolled in a real estate class taught by Peter Allen, and so am likely to be biased towards this proposal even after seeing the others.)
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