High-rise rush continues: Another apartment development proposed for downtown Ann Arbor
Another student high-rise apartment development could be built near the University of Michigan campus on South University Avenue, accelerating a trend of similar projects that have been constructed or proposed throughout downtown Ann Arbor in the past few years.
Property owners have submitted a rezoning request and “area plan” to the Ann Arbor Planning Commission for a mixed-use student high-rise development located between the 601 Forest high-rise project and the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon on South University Avenue.
The parcel of land, located at 1320 S. University Ave., is currently a 2.5-story multi-family apartment building owned by Philip Sotiroff of 1320 South University Ltd.
The request, submitted by Jim Sotiroff, is to rezone the parcel from a D2 district, downtown interface, to D1, downtown core. Along with the rezoning, an area plan was submitted outlining a possible site plan for the location.
City planner Alexis DiLeo said that the rezoning would allow a building of bigger dimensions to be built on the property.
The area plan includes a building 145 feet tall that totals 148,876 square feet. It includes 2,748 square feet of first-floor retail space with frontage on South University Avenue with residential uses above. There is both below-grade and at-grade parking included in the plan.
Brad Moore of J Bradley Moore & Associates, the architect who designed the plans, said the building would be several stories shorter than the neighboring 14-story 601 Forest.
In 2008, the site at 1320 S. University Ave. was included in the original plans for University Village, an ambitious high-rise development that was proposed before it was scaled back as 601 Forest.
The proposed University Village was for a 582,390-square-foot structure with two connected towers that would rise as high as 26 stories. The project was reduced after developers had trouble acquiring the development rights to a piece of land.
Now, the scaled back 601 Forest is currently under construction, with a projected opening of fall 2012.
Architect Moore said that the recent rezoning request and area plan for 1320 S. University Ave. could add more student rental housing onto a high-demand market.
“If current development trends persist, I expect that the residential space on the upper floors would have a significant student renter component, but we are not proposing to limit the residential use areas to students,” Moore wrote in an email.
DiLeo said the rezoning request should go before Ann Arbor Planning Commission in October. It will then need approval from Ann Arbor City Council.
Other recent high-rise developments in downtown Ann Arbor include the completed Zaragon tower, the under-construction Zaragon West, the finished Sterling 4-Eleven Lofts building and a recently proposed development on Washington Street called The Varsity.