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Posted on Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Developer submits site plan for 234-unit apartment complex on Nixon Road

By Lizzy Alfs


The field on Nixon Road where a 234-unit apartment complex is proposed.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The developer behind a proposed apartment project at Nixon Road and M-14 is reducing the total number of apartment units from 294 to 234.

Birmingham-based Bleznak Real Estate Investment Group submitted its rezoning request and site plan to the City of Ann Arbor last week, after hosting a citizen participation meeting for the project in June.


A map of the site location provided by the developer.


This site layout by Midwestern Consulting was on display at the Woodbury Club Apartments citizen participation meeting in June. The developers have since removed the two buildings on the northeast corner of the site from the plans.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Since the public meeting, the real estate firm amended its Woodbury Club Apartments project to reduce the total number of units and removed two of the five apartment buildings from the site.

Bleznak Real Estate’s Adam Bleznak said the 60 units removed from the plans could be proposed as a second phase of the project in the future.

“The two buildings that were in the northeast corner (of the site), we are not planning for approval on those,” he said. “Those are potentially something we’ll continue in the future.”

"We felt the project we wanted to take on and what would be appropriate at this time would be to go forward with the (234 units)," he continued.

The project is proposed for a vacant 54-acre site on the southeast corner of Nixon and M-14 in Ann Arbor Township, near the Barclay Park condominiums and Windemere Park apartments. The property was used as a farm for many decades, but project officials said it hasn't been farmed in two years now.

Township records show Bleznak Real Estate purchased the 53-acre site from Don Nixon and his sister, Betty Nixon, for $1.3 million in December. The project requires a property annexation from the township to the city of Ann Arbor, and the developer is asking the city to zone the site R4A residential.

At a citizen participation meeting held in June, neighbors of the site expressed concern about adding more traffic to an already congested area.

About two dozen residents attended the meeting, and traffic repeatedly came up as a main concern with the project. Attendees were particularly worried about worsening traffic backups where Nixon Road meets Green and Dhu Varren roads. (Read more about the meeting.)

The Woodbury Club Apartments on Nixon Road would be an extension of Bleznak Real Estate's Woodbury Garden Apartments — an apartment complex off South Industrial Highway that the company developed in the late 1960s.

“We’ll just be trying to continue the legacy of the Woodbury Garden Apartments, and hopefully we’ll be able to continue the brand (at the new project),” Bleznak said.

Scott Betzoldt of Midwestern Consulting, the civil engineer for the Nixon Road project, said tentative plans call for one-, two- and three-bedroom units, ranging in price from $1,100 to $2,000 a month. He said the apartments will probably attract young professionals and empty nesters.

The project will go before Ann Arbor's Planning Commission and then City Council for approval in coming weeks.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

Someone needs to tell the developer there is no shortage of overpriced apartments in the area already. Just another half baked idea from an out of town developer who wants to destroy more open space and natural land to put up unneeded apartments. Ann Arbor has enough apartment complexes, hopefully the board will see this is a ridiculous idea and stop it.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 4:14 p.m.

Weird. Expensive and far away.

Basic Bob

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

Proximity of schools looks pretty good. Clague and Huron are closer than 90% of the students at these schools. For elementary, they will probably bus to Northside since that one is avoided by the locals.

NE Steward

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

With no infrastructure to support it Nixon road, the proximity of the schools, and current congestion needs to be taken into consideration before this development gets approved

AA Neighbor

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 3:18 p.m.

Another foothold for out-of-town Michigan developers who have a financing strategy of flipping properties to East Coast and Sun Coast investors. Look out Ann Arbor--heads up City Council. You're quickly losing control of your quality of life. Even a lively downtown bar-and-food court won't make up for a periphery that looks like any other Oakland County non-descript suburb. Also, look at the SW corner of South Main and Oakbrook to see what benefits the annexation of township property does for the locale--it's a junk yard. We hope our new Council members are better at evaluating the hard facts of this type of proposal and won't cave to the real estate developers. Where's the Mayor's greenbelt when we need it.

NE Steward

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

Well said


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 3:12 p.m.

Side note...will that person building that ornate and bizarre looking house at that corner of Nixon and M-14 (visible from the freeway for oh, something like the last 20 years...) ever finish building that house?

Retiree Newcomer

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

The developer's map is not accurate. It does not show any of the Barclay condo development between Windemere park Apts and the proposed development. that is a major concern for traffic counts and congestion. When are the people who supposedly look out for the citizens of Ann Arbor going to do their jobs? The questions put forth are not at all really technical and the answers are just adequate.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 4:28 a.m.

They also conveniently did not include the Arbor Hills housing development between Chapel Hill and Windmere. Clever of them. Less density= better impression.


Thu, Aug 8, 2013 : 4:17 a.m.

I think Barclay was omitted from the map purposefully by the developer. It looks less dense when it is omitted. Sneaky!


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

The proposed development would appear to preclude the possibility of an entrance ramp from Nixon Road to eastbound M-14, should one be deemed necessary at some future date. City officials need to start considering the long term transportation needs of out town, and buying up land in key areas.

NE Steward

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Another high speed commercial strip mall covered gateway through family neighborhoods and into the city to support U of M employees and downtown commuters - - no way


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

We don't need more sprawl.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 2:55 p.m.

Perhaps there is room to the north for an exit/entry ramp. There is still room for an eastbound exit if the CITY would lobby MDOT for this.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

Merlin by regulation you need almost a mile from an exit and the M-14/US-23 interchange. Nixon is way too close. If the state could they would close a couple of exit ramps on M-14/I-96 now, but they can't because too many people need them, but they will not build a new non-conforming exit ramp.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 2:12 p.m.

I think that a ramp at that location has been off the table for some time due to its proximity to the 14/23 interchange, not enough length for proper approaches.

An Arborigine

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

"We'll just be trying to continue the legacy of the Woodbury Garden Apartments" Legacy?? That's a joke, right?

Dog Guy

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 1:14 p.m.

The site location and layout drawings do their jobs effectively.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 12:57 p.m.

Does anyone know the history of why Green and Dhu Vharren are misaligned? I was guessing that Green was a relatively new road (not part of the original farm grid), at least at the northwestern end, but perhaps that's wrong. If it is a new road, was there some sort of natural feature preventing it from lining up with Dhu Varren?


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

It does answer the question. The back forty of RW Meanwell would have been split from the front forty if Green connected to Dhu Varren. Not sure when Green was extended or when RW sold, but the line matches the edge of his property on this map.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 5:22 p.m.

Probably because the city council was left of center at that time too. Green is left of Dhu Varren when approaching Dhu Varren from Green.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

Thanks for the reply. That answers half the question. The other half of the question is "why not align it with Dhu Vharren" when they did extend it?"


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 3:30 p.m.

Yes. Green Road did not originally extend north of Plymouth Rd. and bend to the west. When developers began building subdivisions along the US-23/M-14 right of way, Green Rd. was extended to Nixon. Dhu Varren pre-existed development in the area. Here's a 1970 map of Ann Arbor showing Green Rd. before the extension to Nixon.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

Interesting question, and I don't know the answer. I'm going to try and figure out - but anyone reading know the history?


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 12:38 p.m.

If this goes through, something will need to be done with the Green / Nixon / Dhu Varren intersection. It is the most screwed up and unaligned intersection in Washtenaw County. Strongly suggest a LARGE traffic circle to alleviate the concerns some have with using the smaller traffic circles.


Mon, Aug 12, 2013 : 2:20 p.m.

Good answer. This should be part of the developer's plan, design paid for by the developer.


Wed, Aug 7, 2013 : 12:35 p.m.

You can forget about me living in those apartments. As usual, they are priced out of my range. That is why I no longer live in Ann Arbor proper.