The Library Lot in downtown Ann Arbor may be coming out of development limbo soon, as the city is looking for proposals to build above the underground garage completed a few years ago.
Steve Powers, city administrator for the City of Ann Arbor, says the process is moving forward with the city soliciting proposals
for the rights to develop above the garage, which is and will continue to be owned by the city. Proposals are due May 15; he's expecting them to be reviewed shortly afterward with the preferred developer or developers selected in June.
The property is just larger than 35,000 square feet at Fifth Street between Liberty and William, near the library, Blake Transit Center and federal court building. According to the official Offering Memorandum, put together by CRBE Group, Inc.
of Southfield, the city's goal is for the property to be transformed into "a high density, modern, sustainable urban redevelopment that contributes to the fabric and livability of downtown Ann Arbor."
Potential uses are listed as commercial development with retail, office, residential housing and/or hotel/hospitality. Powers explains that the lot is zoned for D1, the city's highest density zoning, which makes it what he called "a rare opportunity in downtown Ann Arbor."
City council also wants an urban public park, set to be an approximately 12,000-square-foot portion of the property along Fifth Street, incorporated into the plans. "What it looks like and how it’s integrated into the development is going to be one of the key values for evaluating proposals," Powers says.
It's early and development plans for the site have been ongoing for years, but Powers says he’s optimistic there will be renewed interest in developing the site. "The results of the public process will be a development that will bring in some needed revenue to the city, that will add to the downtown's vibrance, and will be something that will be a source of pride for Ann Arbor," he says.
Source: Steve Powers, city administrator, City of Ann Arbor
Writer: Kristin Lukowski