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Posted on Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Hotel plans revitalized for Jackson Road property in Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs

Plans to build a Hampton Inn hotel at 2900 Jackson Ave. in Ann Arbor are being revitalized several years after the project was proposed and approved.

A notice circulated to nearby property owners last week, prior to a citizen participation meeting that will be held on Jan 17, detailing the plans for the 8-acre site.


This vacant property, viewed from the parking lot of the Clarion Hotel, could soon be occupied by a Hampton Inn.

Lizzy Alfs |

“The hotel development will consist of 4 stories containing 100 rooms, a workout facility and a pool,” the notice says. Included in the plans are 101 parking spaces, walkway access from Jackson Avenue and landscaping features.

The property, formerly occupied by a Super 8 motel, is just west of the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.

Akram Namou of A&M Hospitality and Executive Hospitality, also the owner of Clarion and several other hotel properties in Michigan, proposed the project in 2008. After receiving approval from the city of Ann Arbor, the project was stalled due to financing issues and the hotel industry downturn.

According to the citizen participation notice for the Hampton Inn proposal, the developer is petitioning for a Planned Project, which will allow the hotel to sit back farther from Jackson Avenue and closer to Interstate 94.

Andy Wakeland of Giffels Webster, the civil engineer for the project, said the parking would be located in front of the hotel.

Namou could not be reached for comment on the plans. Clarion Hotel manager Antoine Alta declined to comment, but said the hotel “will service the public and neighborhood.”

Owned by Hilton Worldwide, there are more than 1,800 Hampton-branded locations. There are two Hampton Inn locations in the Ann Arbor area.

The citizen participation meeting for the Jackson Avenue development will be held at 7 p.m. on Jan. 17 at the Clarion Hotel, at 2900 Jackson Ave.


The conceptual site plan for the proposed Hampton Inn shows how the building would be situated away from Jackson Avenue and closer to I-94.

Courtesy of Giffels Webster

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



Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 7:39 p.m.

Sadly, the building will be surrounded by parking and walkable to nothing, at least not without risking life and limb in crossing ramps and roads.

Ann English

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 12:05 a.m.

And to think of all those houses nearby, off Highlake, Gralake, Mason and Hilltop, south of Jackson Road. Or the coffee and chocolate business right there.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

I wonder why the Super 8 failed on that location. It seems to me that it was not there very long. It was much newer than the existing Clarion, which started life maybe 40 years ago as a Holiday Inn.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:38 p.m.

The I-94 ramp should be redesigned at that location. It's a dangerous situation, to say the least.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

Whoever designed it was surely not an engineer. But one with a mustang that had power. Good luck getting MDOT to redesign it. Wish M 14 connected to 94. I hate having to get off at Jackson just to connect with it at the other end. Sucks.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 4:41 p.m.

It's not true that there's "no way" to get up to speed. I use this ramp a lot and my Mustang has no trouble what so ever!


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 3:22 p.m.

Plus the entrance is located on a curve on 94.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:57 p.m.

I agree. The existing on ramp should be removed. I'm not sure where to relocate it but it is extremely dangerous. There is simply no way for cars entering the freeway to get up to speed with cars already traveling the speed limit.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

This site had a Motel 8 for a few years then it was razed. Now building material ( bricks ) have been stored for several years and it appears underground plumbing pipes have been installed for years as well.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

Yes, you're right. When it was approved in 2008 construction started on the foundation before the project was abandoned.

Use Logic

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Happy to see vacant land be developed, but I was hoping the state would purchase this (or the Michigan Inn property) to smooth out/redesign the suicide ramp onto I-94. That is the only sharp 90-degree turn onto a 70-mph road that I'm aware of. Do we know if there are any future plans to address this?

Ann English

Thu, Jan 10, 2013 : 12:03 a.m.

I have noticed that the trench on the right side of that ramp, right where it turns in the same direction as the interstate itself, has been filled in with cement, like a sidewalk, preventing vehicular slideoffs from the ramp there. I do remember seeing one such vehicle one winter morning years ago, before the pavement was put in there.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 5:59 p.m.

You're right, rumham. I use that ramp almost daily, and the average speed of cars in front of me merging onto the freeway is about 30-35 mph.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

I think the problem at this site might be that there's not much room before you get to the bridge over Jackson Rd. You'd be merging right onto a bridge on a curve. Maybe that's an issue. I don't know.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

The ramp would be fine if people would actually hit the gas pedal before trying to merge. Frankly, Ann Arbor drivers don't seem much better at getting up to speed even on straight, lengthy ramps, like those at Plymouth and US 23.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:16 p.m.

I don't know, but you're not the first person to point out the dangerous ramp. I will have to check and see if there are any redesign discussions or plans in the works.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

Please do something with this property......anything really....just build something new there.


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 2:39 p.m.

Yes, this whole area is grim/ugly. Not sure if this development will help, but it certainly can't make things worse.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:50 a.m. Found it.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:49 a.m. Any update on this previous story?

Chip Reed

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:09 a.m.

@Lizzy- Are there any plans for the former Michigan Inn site just to the east of the entrance ramp?


Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:13 p.m.

Won't happen. They have realized that when it was built it was only temporary. They won't have to rework that entire site just to make it work. Yes, I know that entrance ramp is a nightmare who ever designed it and built it.

dading dont delete me bro

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 12:17 p.m.

i believe mdot should purchase it and re-engineer that entrance ramp.

Lizzy Alfs

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 11:37 a.m.

Great question. As part of my reporting on this I looked up permits and any recent city documents on that site and didn't find anything. I also called the owner and didn't get a phone call back. I'll start asking if any city officials or real estate sources have heard anything.