Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

News Roundup

5. August 2004 • Brandon
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A few Ann Arbor News stories you may have missed this week:

>Development agreement reached:

Despite losing the visionary behind the project and the support of the University of Michigan, the man leading the Broadway Village at Lower Town development said he’s sure the project will be built.

Scott Chappelle of Strathmore Co. said Monday he’s certain the $125 million, 500,000-square-foot residential and commercial project will be completed after the Ann Arbor City Council approved a development agreement Monday night by a 6-2 vote.

>Couches dragged into street, burned:

Fire officials have noticed a rash of couch fires around the University of Michigan campus in the last few weeks.

The most recent blaze occurred early today in on East University Avenue. Battalion Chief Chris Brenner said firefighters have extinguished about six to eight couch fires in the last few weeks in the area around the Central Campus.

Typically, the couches are dragged into the streets or curbs and burned in the middle of the night, Brenner said. “When we get there, no one knows how the couches got there,” Brenner said.

>Ann Arbor is Overrated’s take on the couch fires

>Smith wins Washtenaw board seat:

Conan Smith rounded out a three-generation political dynasty [Tuesday] when he won the Democratic primary for the Washtenaw County Commissioner in the 10th District, which covers northwest Ann Arbor.

>Planning Commission tables New Life Church project:

New Life Church, a campus ministry that would like to change a former University of Michigan sorority house into a church, failed in its second attempt to get the Ann Arbor City Planning Commission’s recommendation for the project.

Voting 6-0 in a packed council chamber, the commission tabled the proposal until Sept. 8 because it received information from both neighbors and the church too late to review before the Tuesday evening meeting.

The move came despite the downsizing of the original proposal.

>Eaton development wins commission’s OK:

A combination of condominiums and retail shops proposed for the Eaton Corp. building on the western edge of downtown Ann Arbor received the city Planning Commission’s unanimous recommendation Tuesday evening.

Voting 6-0, the commission cited the First & William Lofts as a welcome way to create more housing downtown. The planners were unsuccessful, however, in getting the developers to include affordable housing units in the project.

Morningside Equities Group, a Chicago firm specializing in upscale residential and mixed-use buildings in the urban Midwest, wants to redevelop the five-story factory into 60 condominium lofts with 60 indoor parking spaces. A one-story building on the north end of the project would house 19,000 square feet of retail shops.