294-unit 'upscale' apartment project proposed for Nixon and M-14
Lizzy Alfs | AnnArbor.com
The development, proposed by Bleznak Real Estate Investment Group, is the latest in a series of new multifamily housing projects in the Ann Arbor area.
Bleznak’s proposal calls for five apartment buildings with 294 total units to be constructed in two phases on the southeast corner of Nixon and M-14 in Ann Arbor Township. The property is located near Barclay Park condominiums and Windemere Park apartments.
Township records show the real estate firm purchased the property from Don Nixon for $1.3 million in December.
“No one has ever successfully been able to purchase the property and make a project work on this site before,” explained Scott Betzoldt of Midwestern Consulting, the civil engineer for the project. “We’ve looked at (the property) with a lot of other people.”
According to a notice circulated to residents living within 1,000 feet of the site, the company wants to develop about 15 acres of the 53-acre property. The project requires a property annexation from the township to the city of Ann Arbor.
Betzoldt — who said the apartments will not be catered to student renters — said parking will be provided via garages or carports, as well as some surface parking.
A representative with Bleznak Real Estate Investment Group was not immediately available to comment on the plans, but the firm will discuss details of the project and solicit feedback at a public meeting at 7 p.m. on June 25 at the Traverwood Branch Library.
The Bleznak proposal follows a surge of apartment development concentrated in the downtown Ann Arbor area, but it also comes on the heels of several proposed housing projects on the north side of Ann Arbor.
In February, Oakland County developer Trowbridge Homes announced plans to build 19 homes at 2000 Traver Road, just northeast of Barton Drive.
Two months later, Ann Arbor’s First Martin Corporation proposed a 251-unit apartment project at 2225 Traverwood Dr., two miles from the Nixon and M-14 property.
“I think that there is obviously existing demand if you look at occupancies of apartment communities in Ann Arbor,” First Martin’s Mike Martin told AnnArbor.com in April.
National real estate data shows the demand for multifamily housing is surging in markets across the country. According to a Freddie Mac report, the rate of home ownership declined from 68.2 percent in 2007, to 65.5 percent in the second quarter of 2012 as more households switched from homeowners to renters.
With growing demand for apartments, the number of multifamily housing starts in the U.S. jumped 49 percent in 2012, according to the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB forecasts multifamily starts will increase 31 percent in 2013.
In Washtenaw County, builders filed 348 multifamily construction permits in 2012 and 351 permits in 2011, the most since its previous peak in 2004. There were 46 permits filed during the first five months of 2013, according to data compliled by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.