A new draft plan
to guide development along the South State Street Corridor has been approved for distribution to stakeholders. With more than 40 recommendations for the two miles of S. State Street between Ellsworth and Stimson Street, the plan is intended to eventually become a part of the City of Ann Arbor's Master Plan.
Corridor planning is a relatively new concept, and an important one, says the City of Ann Arbor's Jeff Kahan.
"These corridors are where a lot of the action is going to be taking place over the next half a century," he says.
Because these are typically areas that function as entrances to the city and border neighboring communities, the South State Street Corridor Plan is a collaborative effort, not only with area stakeholders, but also with other ongoing planning efforts, such as Reimagine Washtenaw and AATA's Connector Study.
"One of the interested facets of the South State Street Corridor is there aren't tons of residents who live within the study area," says Kahan. "There is an apartment community and one single-owner occupant "
With better public transportation nodes and improved walkability, that could change, says Kahan. In addition to attracting more housing, these factors would improve the experience of visitors to Ann Arbor in a key hotel area.
"If you are staying in a hotel near Briarwood, it is not easy to get over to those restaurants," he says. "We want to create activity zones near transit sites."
The State Street Corridor Plan is the result of a study that included public forums and stakeholder interviews. Now that the draft plan has been developed, it has been authorized by city council to be distributed to neighboring municipalities. Those entities will have 42 days to submit feedback on the plan, after which an additional public hearing will take place before the South State Street Plan is ready for final approval.
Source: Jeff Kahan, City of Ann Arbor
Writer: Natalie Burg, Development News Editor