The historic Good Year building in Ann Arbor is rolling into the early phases of a plan to add loft condominiums to the downtown landmark.
Developer and building owner Ed Shaffran, whose Shaffran Companies
specializes in historic renovations, has received an OK from the city's Historic District Commission to add a fourth and fifth floor to the 1860s-era building where Ann Arbor State Bank and a mix of offices and business operate on Main Street between Washington and Huron.
It's an important first step, says Shaffran, noting a past project that was dragged through legal challenges that might have been avoided had the historic commission signed off first.
Shaffran says from here on out approvals from the planning commission and city council should be fairly routine and that if, and when, all approvals are given he can move forward with tapping a market that's been percolating awhile. That market is people interested in larger, luxury condos.
The plan, he says, is to build between six and 10 condos by adding a fourth and fifth floor and expanding the building - mostly by filling in a middle section near the rear alley - by nearly 14,000 square feet.
"We probably have - and I'm not blowing smoke up anyone's rear - a good 15-18 folks who are truly interested in seeing if this project is what they're looking for. People have been approached us about unique downtown condos for at least two to three years," Shaffran says.
He's says the potential residents are a mix of people, from downtown workers in their 30s to retirees. Some, he says, have never lived in Ann Arbor.
"They want that downtown experience," he says. "And apparently some want to retire in Ann Arbor."
Source: Edward Shaffran, Shaffran Companies
Writer: Kim North Shine