Notice to neighbors: Georgetown Mall owners considering mixed-use redevelopment for site
A redevelopment plan appears to be in the works for the former Georgetown Mall site on Packard Road in Ann Arbor, based on a notice sent this week to neighbors of the property.
“A new mixed-use plan is currently being considered for the existing Georgetown Mall site,” according to the notice.
The notice says there will be a meeting from 5-6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 10, at the Malletts Creek branch of the Ann Arbor District Library to discuss a proposed site plan.
Also mentioned in the notice: the site’s “potential as a Brownfield redevelopment site.”
"It really is quite surprising," said Mary Krasan, who's organized residents in the Georgetown neighborhood to monitor the property. "I was readying myself for the long haul."
The notice was from Harbor Georgetown LLC, the Bloomfield Hills-based owners of the property.
Last spring, Harbor Georgetown averted a tax foreclosure on the 6.5-acre property after a complex series of transactions that resulted in payment of $517,000 in unpaid back property taxes.
At that time, $300,000 in back taxes were still due. As of today, the base delinquent tax amount is $277,036, according to the Washtenaw County treasurer's data. The total due by Dec. 30 is $349,871.
The mall has been vacant since Kroger closed its store there in fall 2009, leaving neighbors and both city and county officials concerned about the condition and future of the property. Regular meetings have been held among those groups and the owner's representative.
City development processes call for developers to meet with neighbors within 1,000 feet of a property before submitting site plans.This notice appears to fulfill that requirement.
In 2007, Craig Schubiner - managing partner of Harbor Georgetown LLC - proposed a tear-down of the existing mall, which was to be replaced with 90,000-square-feet of retail space in three buildings. That was approved by the city.
Then in 2008, he explored $30 million plans for a mixed-use redevelopment that was to include a 45,000-square-foot grocery, underground parking, small retail spaces and up to 150 apartments. Those plans included brownfield financing.
Schubiner, responding to an email request for information on the meeting, said: "We'll provide detailed information at the meeting and we're looking forward to receiving input from the neighbors."
The condition of the property today is stable, Krasan said.
Schubiner and his representatives responded to mowing requests and concerns about keeping vagrants from the building, she said.
"And neighbors keep a close eye on it," Krasan added.
But the future of the site remains a concern, she said. The property is surrounded by residential properties, including single-family homes on the north and south and the Georgetown condos to the west.
"The people that it means the most to," Krasan said, "to get something beneficial are the neighbors. Even though we want something in there, I think we're all still willing to fight for the best thing possible."