AAA Insurance submits site plan to demolish building, construct new one in $3M project
After holding a citizen participation meeting earlier this month, Ann Arbor’s AAA Insurance branch at 1200 S. Main Street submitted site plans to the city of Ann Arbor to demolish its existing building and construct a new one.
The plans call to demolish the existing two-story, 9,320-square-foot building and construct a new one-story, 5,443-square-foot building on its adjacent north parcel, which is currently used for AAA parking.
The project will cost an estimated $3 million, and AAA hopes to start the project by summer 2012, said spokeswoman Nancy Cain. It should take about nine months to construct the new building and two months to demolish the existing one, according to the plans.
The site plan also calls to reduce the total number of parking spaces to 36 from 95, because a parking study found the peak demand for the site is only 30 vehicles. It will reduce the amount of paved surface by 50 percent and double the site's green space.
AAA also is requesting to rezone a portion of the parcel from “Office” to “Parking” to accommodate the new parking lot.
The main reason for the project: “The building is outdated and not up to our corporate standards,” Cain said.
The current AAA branch was built in 1955 and had an addition in 1965. Cain said the branch needs less storage space now because of technology advances over the years.
“We just weren’t using a lot of that space anymore,” she said.
Cain said the new building will have more windows for natural light, will be more open, handicapped accessible and LEED certified.
“This will fit in better with the local environment,” Cain said. “It’s going to be on one level and look more modern. We will still maintain our iconic brand, but everything will be energy efficient.”
At a citizen participation meeting on Dec. 1, six Ann Arbor residents attended to ask questions. Comments included concerns about construction noise levels, parking during football game days and lighting.
Cain of AAA said the existing branch will remain open while the new branch is being constructed, and all 21 AAA employees will work at the new office.
The architect for the project is NSA Architects, Engineers, Planners out of Farmington Hills.