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Posted on Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

Now leasing: 155 new luxury apartments in downtown Ann Arbor

By Lizzy Alfs


The 155-unit Ann Arbor City Apartments is under construction on West Washington and South First streets in downtown Ann Arbor.

Daniel Brenner |

Editor's note: The number of parking spaces to be held by Village Green has been corrected.

Related story: Rent comparison: What can you get for $2,500 a month around Ann Arbor?

Luxury apartments in downtown Ann Arbor are no longer just for students.

The under-construction Ann Arbor City Apartments on the southeast corner of West Washington and South First streets is the first luxury apartment project built downtown in years that doesn’t cater to students. It’s designed for young professional renters as well as corporate relocation.

"It's midway between the YMCA and the core of downtown where U-M jobs are," said Susan Pollay, executive director of Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority. "I think it feels like, from what I saw, exactly one of the things needed in this marketplace."

"(Apartment) supply has just been so limited and the demand is growing," she added.

The developer started marketing the building's 155 high-end apartment units for rent in April. The monthly price tag: between $1,435 for a 600-square-foot studio unit and $2,675 for a 1,140-square-foot two-bedroom unit.

“If the thought of a cookie-cutter beige apartment sounds about as appealing as a root canal, then you’re a perfect fit for Ann Arbor City Apartments,” the project’s marketing website says.


The rooftop lounge and Zen garden areas of the Ann Arbor City Apartments building.

Courtesy of Village Green

The website unveils new renderings of the project and previously unreleased rental rates.

Developed by Farmington Hills-based Village Green, the Ann Arbor City Apartments boasts of lavish amenities targeted at the young professional crowd. The building will have an indoor clubroom with a party space, a full-service bar, dual-sided fireplace, flat-screen TVs and a games area.

A rooftop “Sky Park” will have built-in cabanas, a marble-top bar, grilling stations, an outdoor shower and a gas fire pit. There will be a 24/7 fitness center with a yoga patio, a Zen garden and a hotel-style lobby. Tenants can arrange dry cleaning and laundry, pet sitting and home package delivery.

The apartments — which include a mix of studios, alcoves, one bed, two bed and penthouses — will include stacked Whirlpool washers and dryers, wood floors, “sexy” bathrooms and luxury finishes.

Ann Arbor City Apartments  

Quick facts
  • When it opens: Fall 2013
  • Address: 201 S. First St.
  • Units: 155
  • Stories: About 8.5 to 10
  • Price range: $1,435 to $2,675
  • Unit size range: 600 square feet to 1,140 square feet
  • Amenities: Rooftop “Sky Park” with cabanas, marble-top bar and grilling stations; indoor clubroom with a full-service bar; Zen garden; personal concierge service and a hotel-style lobby; 24/7 fitness center with a yoga patio; Whirlpool stacked washer and dryer; “sexy” bathrooms    

“Picture soaring ceiling heights, larger-than-life windows, discreet pocket doors and translucent glass barn doors. Picture hardwood floors throughout the living space, gourmet kitchens with granite islands, built-in wine racks, contemporary cabinetry and brushed stainless steel hardware,” the website says.

Marketing materials say the building scores 95 out of 100 points on the Google Map Walkability Index, meaning it’s close to restaurants and bars, outdoor recreation, entertainment venues, schools, car or bike shares, and public transit.

The approximately $30 million project is taking shape on the site of a surface parking lot where an old parking structure was torn down several years ago. Village Green purchased the 0.57-acres of city-owned land for $3.2 million. The project broke ground in January 2012 and it is expected to open to tenants in summer/fall 2013.


The Ann Arbor City Apartments is using its "walkability score" in downtown Ann Arbor to help market its units.

Courtesy of Village Green

It includes a 244-space parking garage to be owned by the city and managed by the DDA. Of the 244 spaces, Village Green will have 73 standard monthly parking permits and 73 off-peak monthly parking permits, which can only be used from 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. The remaining spaces would be for the general public.

Pollay said the parking garage will open before tenants move into the building, although the timing hasn't been determined.

Because of the grade of the site, the number of above-ground floors in the project varies from about 8.5 stories above grade at the northeast corner to 10 stories above grade at the southwest corner. The building rises 104 feet into the downtown skyline.

Of the 155 units, 16 will be classified as affordable housing for households earning at or below 80 percent of the area median income defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In Washtenaw County, that means the monthly rent for a one-person household could not exceed $1,128 including the cost of utilities.

The Ann Arbor DDA also provided a $400,000 grant so that four of the affordable units are allocated to residents earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income. That would make $885 the maximum monthly rent payment for a one-person household.

There are more than 12 floor plans in the Ann Arbor City Apartments building. The least expensive unit is listed as $1,435 per month for a 600-square-foot studio. The most expensive unit is $2,675 for a two-bedroom, 1.5 bath at 1,140 square feet. The average monthly rent in the building is between $1,895 and $1,975. Tenants pay their own utilities.

It’s unclear how many units Village Green has leased so far, but Jacqueline Trost, the company’s director of public relations, said it is exceeding its goals. The company is operating a leasing office at 200 S. Ashley St.

“We are exceeding our goals and are getting more traffic and rentals than expected. We are very pleased with the leasing process so far,” she said via email.

The project is coming online as developers across the country are targeting downtown Ann Arbor for high-end student apartment projects. A number of student high-rises have been built in the area surrounding the University of Michigan campus, including Zaragon Place, Zaragon West, Sterling 411 Lofts and Landmark. Meanwhile, a 14-story building is proposed on the corner of South Division and East Huron streets, and Ann Arbor City Council recently approved a plan for a high-rise to be built over Pizza House restaurant on Church Street.

Monthly rents in the new student apartment projects range between $800 and $1,745 per bedroom.

But the Ann Arbor City Apartments is different; it’s intended for young professional renters and not students.

"I think Ann Arbor has always been two Ann Arbors," Village Green CEO Jonathan Holtzman said at the project’s groundbreaking last year. "The University of Michigan is a very important part of Ann Arbor, but the business part of Ann Arbor is really why we're here doing this project today. Ann Arbor has developed into really a great city, so as you look at all the companies — automotive engineering, high-tech, biomedical — it is driving a lot of new jobs, and the jobs are attracting this professional who wants to live urban versus suburban."

Another developer is preparing to build a similar project called 618 South Main, located just south of downtown Ann Arbor. Developer Dan Ketelaar of Ann Arbor-based Urban Group Development said his 156-unit project will target young professionals and empty nesters who want to downsize and move closer to downtown.


The "Sky Club" lounge at the Ann Arbor City Apartments will have a bar and lounge areas.

Courtesy of Village Green

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



Tue, Jul 9, 2013 : 8:39 p.m.

I am a young professional who moved to Ann Arbor from LA because my company was funded by a local VC. Ill be here for less than a year and this is exactly what I am looking for/need. My co founders and I all wish we could move in now. Hurry up.


Thu, May 9, 2013 : 6 p.m.

Is there a discount for units with non-sexy bathrooms? :)

C.C. Ingersoll

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

I hope the new tenants enjoy the fact that the Ann Arbor railroad comes through three times a night -- at 3 am, 5 am and 6 am and that they're right across the street from three loud live music venues.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 6:44 p.m.

$855 to $1128 is Low Income? On what planet. Major problem is that public property was sold to a private company with no public input. No public value. Contrary to opinion of some, this is not how capitalism is supposed to work. The DDA is supposed to be a public body but operates in the interest of the private sector. Capitalism is not defined by public bodies creating a market. That is socialism.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

As a member of the historic First Baptist Church next door to the apartments at Washington and First street I must say I am really disappointed with the outside of the building. Ugh. This building towers above our church. Parking is a problem especially when entitled people park in our lot for convenience. I have been physically pushed when asking people to respect the signs and move their car on a Sunday no less when there is free parking on the street. This area has come alive which is nice. I hope to see some green space for the dogs living downtown too. Ann Arbor changes and we adapt but I would like to see an emphasis of cleaning up the garbage in and on our streets. Disgusting, Dirty and Dismal.


Sat, May 11, 2013 : 5:23 p.m.

At least you don't have a dog park.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

Please note, I made a correction to the number of parking spaces to be held by Village Green. Of the 244 spaces, Village Green will have 73 standard monthly parking permits and 73 off-peak monthly parking permits, which can only be used from 3 p.m. to 9 a.m. The remaining spaces would be for the general public. For the off-peak permits, it means that residents would need to move their cars by 9 a.m. before work or school.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

The bars across the street should be prepared for the DB meters that have been ordered!

Jay Thomas

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:45 a.m.

At least this one has some parking unlike the E. Huron monstrosity.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:19 a.m.

My fellow Ann Arborites sure like to complain, especially when there's "change". Everyone seems to be all up-in-arms about the parking situation. Don't we pride ourselves on being an environmentally-friendly city? Don't we promote public transportation, bike riding and walking? Then again, don't we also complain there's not enough parking downtown, or about the "unsightly" parking garages. At last these are underground. Which is it? I guess no one read the part about the City of Ann Arbor and DDA owning and managing the parking garage. Perhaps 72 spaces were all they were willing to spare. It's not the developer's fault. And some have looked into their 'crystal ball' and already surmised renters will be either Snow Birds or students, which means they wouldn't have a car there a few months out of the year anyway. So what's the big deal? Those who are complaining about the rent are already living in Ann Arbor. Why are they even commenting about the prices when they won't need to consider living there? Why would they care what someone wants to pay for there home, or what kind of person would want to live at a pace like this? Isn't it a good sign that businesses and companies like our city enough to make an investment and draw new residents who will contribute money to our local economy? Sounds like we may be too elitist to welcome new people, and some with lower incomes, to Ann Arbor.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:31 a.m.

"their home"


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:55 a.m.

Everything I have heard about the "luxury" building trend in downtown is that about 90% remain uninhabited. Additionally, the comments I had from my colleagues, before high-salary industries collapsed locally, were that the "luxury lofts" being marketed at high prices seemed to have been planned by those who had no familiarity with what "luxury loft" means in actual markets that can charge similar rents (NYC/ Manhattan/ Chicago). A high price alone won't qualify an item to anyone who isn't simply using price as a sole guideline. I am however quite confident that as 40% of U of M students are kids of wealthy, international origin (and yes, 40% of U of M student population meets this criteria) there will be takers on these housing options. Buy a few extra things at the Family Dollar or Walmart please, so their families can continue to pay their rents!


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:29 a.m.

The rooftop will have showers. Did I miss that there would be a pool? Then if no pool, what are the showers for?? 155 apartments, but parking for only 72 residents. Do they really expect residents paying $2500 a month and no parking? Really? Council should be up in arms about this place. Not for the looks but the "affordability". Only "16" apartments and they're praising themselves? Again. Really? What does this work out in the form of income? Good luck with this project. Personally I think its over-priced.


Sat, May 11, 2013 : 5:20 p.m.

If they fill it at $2500/mo, they fill it. If not, the rent starts to come down until it IS filled. Elasticity of demand = the price at which enough people are willing to pay to maximize profit/fill the building. The $2500/mo figure is just a goal.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

The open showers on the roof are perhaps for those with Google Glasses, in the next block.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:58 a.m.

I would not give 10 dollars to live in an apartment like that. I am happy living in my upstairs apartment in a hundred year old house. Ypsi has some great old houses and wouldn't give up my place for anything.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 4:59 a.m.

Good for you, but what you prefer is irrelevant to the story.

martini man

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

Before you liberal activists get all sanctimonious regarding "affordable housing" for the downtrodden, just remember that the people who will be renting these luxury apartments are the very people whose high taxes are paying for the free things that the "downtrodden" receive. Nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of ones own labor. The so called downtrodden , enjoy the fruits of OTHER people's labor.


Sat, May 11, 2013 : 5:16 p.m.

Yeah, those homeless people must be livin' it up on all that fruit.

Jay Thomas

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:41 a.m.

@racerx: Property taxes are passed on in rent. The larger the tax/rent the more the renter is contributing to things like the DDA and homeless center.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:54 a.m.

You have that quite backwards. It's the wealthy who benefit from other people's labor.

Angry Moderate

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:45 a.m.

Really racerx? Do you think that landlords just pay the property taxes o be nice, and don't make up for it in the rent?


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:31 a.m.

High taxes? Since when do people pay taxes on rent? But this is always the case of people who think that the "downtrodden" are lazy, don't work, sit around for other people to give them handouts. Good grief.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

"Only the Sexy People" -Salt N Pepa -Push It (1986)


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 12:02 a.m.

Marketing towards young professionals? Perhaps a few younger programmers I've known could foot the bill...but they've all moved out-of-state to jobs paying double/triple in-state pay. Also: UM doesn't pay well, never has - but this used to be OK due to lighter workload (typically than corporate) and stellar benefits. Now - UM pays routinely 20-30% under private industry for many jobs, benefits have been eroded, and job stress is through the roof with people doing the work of 3-4. Sounds like a combo to attract the best and brightest /end sarcasm Back to the article: Looks like nice digs, for those that can afford to live in 'em...would like a more-detailed look at target renters.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Stagnant to declining incomes for most so-called "professions", particularly for the younger ones just getting started, and their relatively low numbers in the Little City, do not bode well for this breathtakingly overpriced rental. Hell, there aren't that many mature professionals who either can, or would pay those rents in this burg. This must have been planned towards the end of the tech bubble, when visions of sugar plums danced in everyone's head. After it goes bankrupt a couple of times, it'll be a good candidate for another Lurie Terrace for old rocker boomers who want to be within stumbling distance of their favorite bars. No driving necessary!


Sat, May 11, 2013 : 5:13 p.m.

Like me, you mean? Sign me up! After the bankruptcy and the rental rates have cratered...


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:56 p.m.

What will each parking spot add to the rent?

Dirty Mouth

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:46 p.m.

And in foreclosure in 3,2,1... C'mon, this is not Chicago! These are Chicago prices!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

This is a heart-warming story, really, foretelling as it does the day in the not-too-distant future when a panhandler can hit it big out front of a luxury apartment building and then ride the big elevator straight upstairs to the Sky Club Lounge to splurge on a quick one or, who knows?, two.

Jay Thomas

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:39 a.m.

Ugh. Boy, are you a downer. :(


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

This isn't news, it's an advertisement for a large real estate development.

Kyle Mattson

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:36 p.m.

That is not our intention bluen. What Lizzy outlines here is what the developer is marketing to potential residents through and we let readers make their opinions regarding their feelings about the various aspects of this new tower be it rent rates across the city, it's role in greater downtown development, etc etc. As you'll notice in the other comments there are some happy about this project and others not so enthused and we welcome perspectives from both sides.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:26 p.m.

Lizzie, my concern is that this piece reads as an advertisement/publicity press release for a large luxury real estate venture and less like news, which would report more perspectives (pro and con) than what the developers or their marketing materials and website state. The slant of the piece is only in one direction and it's pro-developer.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:22 p.m.

@bluebella: I do think this is news, actually. We wrote a lot about this development as it was traveling through the city's pipeline. That entire time, we never knew how the units would be priced. The fact that a non-student luxury building is nearing completion and renting at some of the highest apartment rental rates in the entire county is very interesting. This building has a lot of implications. If it's successful, we could see more high-end developments targeted at "young professionals" (we're already seeing 618 South Main move forward) If you ever have story suggestions, you can certainly email me:


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

True story - we had brunch today with people from Boulder who had recently visited downtown. Know what they said? That the density and taller buildings make them feel claustrophobic. So I guess the "new urbanism density meme" hasn't caught on there quite yet.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:48 p.m.

This is hilarious. I don't know one young professional in this area who could afford that. Certainly not an engineer like myself.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:32 p.m.

@Brad: That got quite the chuckle - I appreciate that!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 9:04 p.m.

Not going to spend a third of your gross for membership to the "Sky Club"? Good - you'll make a fine engineer.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:43 p.m.

Totally inadequate parking for this monster building: 72 spaces for tenants and 155 apartments, some with multiple bedrooms (and potentially multiple cars, i.e., roommates). Between this building and the monstrosity on Huron yet to be built, also with inadequate parking spaces for tenants, downtown and surrounding neighborhoods will see many more cars jammed into their side streets. Why would any developer think that 72 spaces is even close to adequate for a building with 155 apartments? People making $65,000 to afford these rents ($1800/month) are supposed to put on their business suits and ride a bike to work in the rain or snow? Oh, that's right, there are all these $65,000 jobs all over downtown A2, so they can walk!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

Trust me - that salary wouldn't be enough for that kind of rent...


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

I've got news for these developers who think that these young professionals (25 year olds) are landing $65,000 jobs at UM in order to be able to spend $1800/month on rent (rent=1/3 of income). There are not many of those jobs at UM these days, and certainly they are not hiring 25 year olds, the so-called young professionals, in those positions. Most educated young people today in this area are lucky to get any job, and many start in the mid 30's, hardly a salary to support a rent averaging $1800. And I seriously doubt that young couples who might be making that kind of income as a couple would want to live in that setting while starting a family and having babies. Clearly, these developers are dreaming. Let's see some real numbers on the number of apartments being rented, and to whom (mostly students?). Way overpriced and out of step with reality. They will end up with empty, unrented apartments.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:08 a.m.

I don't know about 25 year old specifically, but there are plenty of 25-to-35 year olds in Ann Arbor making $65k per year or more. And some of them even work at U of M.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 7:03 p.m.

I would to like to file that filed and change it to filled!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 7:01 p.m.

As a previous poster speculated, I imagine this place will be filed with wealthy blue hairs that only spend a portion of the year in Michigan.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

Is that 1/3 rent rule supposed to apply to gross income, or net income? I can't imagine spending such a large percentage of my income on rent, either way.

Chester Drawers

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:21 p.m.

If you have a really bad toothache, a cookie-cutter beige root canal can be a wonderful thing!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:17 p.m.

"The average monthly rent in the building is between $1,895 and $1,975. Tenants pay their own utilities." This buildingmay not be targeting students, but I recon that most tenants will in fact be the rich students. The rent is excessive for this part of the country. Boston? Sure. Ann Arbor? Nada.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

"Luxury apartments in downtown Ann Arbor are no longer just for students." It's hard to even get past this first sentence. No wonder students are drowning in debt; they've been culturally 'up-sized' to pay an extra grand a month in rent. Sad and a little disgusting.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

That sentence is everything that's wrong with A2. One day I hope to be a rich student. Maybe in 15 years or so. Just about the time I'm hitting my mid-life crisis.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:26 p.m.

When I went to the U a few students drove Vettes/BMW's. Now it's a lot and hence they and their parents can afford the expensive beds. No parent of moderate means is going to allow their kid to spend a grand a month when they could get a bed for $350.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 4:18 p.m.

I've been looking to move downtown for years and this place might be what I'm looking for.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

Why the down votes? Do people suspect you of being the developer?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

At 1,140 square feet will you be increasing or decreasing your total living space?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:38 p.m.

Steve Beisheim lectures us: "The more a complex is subsidized by the government, the more likely it'll become a "project." Just visit the Bronx in NYC.. " The comparison of downtown Ann Arbor to sections of the Bronx is, uhhh . . . putting it gently, not very sensible, and probably driven by ideology rather than thought. This project does seem a useful addition to the City, and will probably find a market.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:37 p.m.

"and the core of downtown where U-M jobs are,"" what's the "core of downtown" again? I thought that was Main St....


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

Billy, didn't you know that downtown A2 is just brimming with $65,000/yr jobs! All over the place! And all those hundreds of Google jobs! Right. Most of those jobs ended up in the Detroit burbs. Google won't even give the number of jobs created in A2......I wonder why that is.

Luisa pomeranian

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:13 p.m.

Village Green takes poor care of their properties outside of a few cosmetic updates at infrequent intervals. I hope they do better for the renters in their new luxury building.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:46 p.m.

I doubt Village Green will change their behavior. Greed is what it's all about!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:05 p.m.

I'm all for urban density building like this and not urban sprawl (or suburban sprawl), but I think for this to continue to catch on, we also need places in walking distance (especially since a few of the apartments will be reserved for below median income) where people can survive without needing a car such as a grocery store. I like the People's Food Co-op, but not everyone wants to shop there. Otherwise people will either be forced into "boutique shopping" like at Kerrytown (not knocking it, but it's not for everyone, and certainly not for those on limited incomes), or do convenience style shopping (also expensive), or take out or have to leave downtown and thus the need for a car (defeating one of the purposes of urban living and only 72 parking spaces for 144 units). I realize it might not be cost effective for a major grocery to open up downtown or on the edge of downtown (and if they do, hopefully they would have ample free parking for those who do drive to shop there), but to live downtown, you need to have what people need to live and not just sleep.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:02 a.m.

@ JRW: with 40k+ students, a huge proportion of which live on or near-campus: Ann Arbor doesn't have an example of a real-world economy, and many businesses rely upon this fact to stay alive in their niche. Its a weird, distorted, business bubble here. Fortunately, as it has been said: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:51 p.m.

@johnny - please tell us what "burbs" you're talking about in Ann Arbor. We can't wait to hear this.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:53 p.m.

Right on, doggpaddle. There is more to living than sleeping and going to bars and restaurants. Beyond groceries, which have to be carried.......not so easy on a bus, there are dentist appointments, doctor appointments, visits to the hospital, shopping for items beyond food (not everything can be purchased online, nor is that always desirable), and many more essential "services" that are part of everyday life. When you are a student, a lot of this is taken care on on campus, but once you are working in the real world, you have greater needs and those services are very limited in the downtown area, and many (such as groceries) are very expensive with limited choices (Kerrytown, for example). It's good to see urban living emerging but the support services need to be there too for anyone over 25 to live downtown.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:44 p.m.

ZIP CARS are all over Ann Arbor within walking distance. I have a lot of friends who live downtown, have no car, and every week or so grab a Zip Car and run to Meijer, or Target or Kroger. There are also people who have friends, or might even take a bus.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:58 p.m.

A comment that they will have a great view of Mark's Carts violates the commenting guidelines? It's true, it's on-topic - what's the problem?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

It's not on message.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:32 p.m.

These sound really wonderful!!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Reading comprehension appears to be a real challenge around here. very good article Lizzy...and not at all confusing.

Lemmy Caution

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:25 p.m.

Interesting proposition. I'm curious how companies like this manage with the age issue, or (at the other new places) the non-student issue, without running into housing discrimination. I guess they want it to be lifestyle place for the under-39 set (is that what "young" means now?). How do they keep out the olds (over 40s)? As an over-40 with huge gobs of money, I feel unwelcome. Also, the notion of "sexy bathrooms" is very funny. I guess it'll be like Trump Hotels where there's a TV in the bathroom mirror and a phone by the toilet and a large jacuzzi. Sounds nice, until you need to use the bathroom as a WC...


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

Not to worry, they will end up full of rich students. Not many others will have that kind of income and want to rent in a tiny apartment, no matter how sexy the bathrooms are. Once a bunch of rich students populate the place, no one older than 25 will want to live there. Are 50 year olds going to feel comfortable going to these common spaces when they are filled with partying 18-22 year olds? Not. Oh, that's right, the 50 year olds with money aren't part of the target market: young professionals.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

Just because they market to somebody does not mean they will not rent to them. Stores do this all the time. Abercrombie and Fitch markets to a specific demographic, but that does not mean they will not sell their products to a 75 year old grandma


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:23 p.m.

Hopefully they've saved a few spaces for Zipcars...

Laurie Barrett

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

It's exciting. Ann Arbor keeps getting cosmopolitan in a Midwest kind of way. I'm curious how Ann Arbor's culture will change as time goes on. I've known it for decades--it certainly keeps changing.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:03 a.m.

"... in a midwest kind of way..." 'nuff said! : )


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:51 a.m.

Cosmopolitan? Hardly. These new builds are much closer to Soviet bloc ugliness.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:05 p.m.

"I think Ann Arbor has always been two Ann Arbors" The original Ann Arbor and the $2500-per-month-downtown-Sky-Club Ann Arbor? No, that last one is a very recent invention of developers and the DDA.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

I would really like for Ann Arbor to get out of the affordable housing business. It seems similar to the Achivement Gap that has apparently been an AAPS priority for over 30 years; millions and millions of dollars get poured into it, everyone keeps talking about it, and whatever problems it's trying to solve aren't any better.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 5 p.m.

To me, it ruins neighborhoods. Why not let people afford what they can afford. If you don't have the cash - save up and when you have enough move. Oh wait, then you couldn't afford tattoos and iphones ALONG with rent. The section 8 off arbordale and pauline is a good example


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:04 a.m.

you lost me, is that millions and millions of public welfare you mention, or the billions and billions of corporate welfare to which you refer?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 12:52 p.m.

That's what I want is a sexy bathroom!

Long Time Resident

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

I know they have leased at least 16 to the lucky Golden Ticket holders who get to live in a luxury apartment building at taxpayer expense. These poor folks are often recent college-professional school grads who are low income only because they were students for half the year.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:50 p.m.

All that comes to mind is Mary Tyler Moore and Family Affair. Remember those apartments? Think of how much they paid for theirs and what it is costing them in todays terms. Ouch.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 12:41 p.m.

What Village Green has said is bit misleading. I looked into this property and they are only pre-leasing at this time. They will not be signing leases until the fall. You cannot say that you are a % leased when you are only accepting deposits (with no guaranteed lease terms tied to them) to "save a spot".

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

@Pizzicato: That's actually not accurate anymore. Tenants are expected to move in late summer/early fall, so as many leases as they can get signed in advance the better for Village Green.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:05 a.m.

shush, you are causing some marketing person to cry! facts aren't needed!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:14 p.m.

Of course they are waiting until fall, that's when the students will be back!

Tom Joad

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

If you look at the lower facade of the parking garage the air ventilation provided by grills means all the exhaust from vehicles in the garage will rise into the open windows or patio sliding glass doors of the lower units.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:17 p.m.

Glad you mentioned the exhaust. I once rented an apartment in a building that provided a parking garage under the building for tenants. That sounds good unless you live on a lower floor and start smelling the exhaust. There is no way to keep the exhaust fumes out of lower level apartments that are over parking garages. It was bad and I moved out after 8 months. I smelled the exhaust constantly, especially in the winter with people idling their cars to warm them up.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:09 p.m.

Also, they couldn't be bothered to paint out the drainpipes so they show bright PVC white behind the black arty screens.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

72 dedicated parking spaces for 155 units? Huh? Thanks DDA!

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:19 a.m.

"Not everybody needs or has a that hard to comprehend?" Yeah, some people have 3 or more.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 5:07 p.m.

Yeah buddy! Can I borrow your crystal ball? I would like to know all that you know.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

Not everybody needs or has a that hard to comprehend?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

"Sexy bathrooms?" Almost as if the developer wrote this himself..


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

Something like this?

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:10 p.m.

Village Green is really pushing the sexy bathrooms piece. Here is a quote from Holtzman at the groundbreaking: "The bathtub is designed for having wine glasses and candles," Holtzman explained. "It's a bathtub designed for two people, not one person. So we're more akin to a boutique hotel than what you would consider an apartment building. We're catering to that."


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:52 a.m.

$2500.00 a month to live in downtown Ann Arbor?I think not.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

@whatsupwithMI: I'm not sure about that, but I could certainly try and find out. It should be noted that those buildings I mentioned (Sloan, Liberty Lofts, 111 North Ashley) were all intended to be condo buildings. 111 North Ashley rented units as apts when the market turned soft. As for Liberty Lofts and Sloan, I'm pretty certain those units are all individually owned at this point, but then the owners might rent them out.

Jay Thomas

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:35 a.m.

Maybe the rent will keep the students out and the residents can get some sleep.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:08 a.m.

@ Lizzy, what is the CURRENT occupancy rate on all new new-construction lofts, apartments, etc etc?

Nicholas Urfe

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 1:18 a.m.

I hear Ypsi is nice.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:03 p.m.

Ann Arbor, no. Oz, yes.

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:09 p.m.

If you read the rent comparison article linked to at that top, I found that there are a number of downtown buildings that lease at those rates, including Liberty Lofts, 111 North Ashley and Sloan Plaza. There are also apartments (like the one above Ravens Club) that run for about $2,500, too.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Overall, I like the location of this building. It doesn't tower over the neighborhood because it is geographically lower already. (should that be topographically lower?) Great for in town living, if you can afford it!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:35 a.m.

Happy there are individuals out there that can afford that type of rent. Best wishes.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:47 p.m.

I could not agree more with this sentiment.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:55 a.m.

Ok, I don't get it. If, as the above article states, the DDA gave the developer $400,000 so "that four of the affordable units are allocated to residents earning at or below 60 percent of the area median income. That would make $885 the maximum monthly rent payment ." And yet "The least expensive unit is listed as $1,435 per month" Am I missing something? Or is there an incorrect number somewhere? Or are the people of AA geting screwed, once again, by a developer with the DDA's blessing?

Lizzy Alfs

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

The price of the apartments that the developer is marketing does not include the affordable units -- sorry for the confusion.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:51 a.m.

Nothing here mentions parking other than the fact the building is built on old parking lot. Where are these sexy, sky park grilling folk to park? Ann Arbor really needs to think long and hard before approving more huge high rises. They are making the town ugly. If some one really wants to build another tall building have them clean up and renovate the eye soar that was the Ann Arbor Inn.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:15 p.m.

@johnny - it matters as much as your anecdotal stories about your "many" friends living downtown without cars. How many parking places do YOU think they should be required to have?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:22 p.m.

Parking? My concern is where can I store my 14' kayak?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:59 p.m.

ann arbor inn is out by the highway and nothing like this project.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

@a2gretta, And your opinion matters why?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 1:27 p.m.

There will be 72 parking spaces for 155 units. Not adequate in my opinion.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:55 a.m.

you must not have read the article... "It includes a 244-space parking garage to be owned by the city and managed by the DDA. Of the 244 spaces, about 72 are expected to be held for residents, leaving 172 spaces for the general public." FAIL!


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 11:10 a.m.

The lowers floors are a parking structure, some of which is reserved for tenants and some of which is open to the public.

Steve Beisheim

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:48 a.m.

Thankfully, apartments for working professionals and for people who create jobs... People should ASPIRE upwards so they can be able to afford this kind of great living... I'm glad they limited affordable housing to 10%, that is PLENTY... Having high end rentals at MARKET prices in downtown A2 puts downward pressure on the rents in all the surrounding apartments and rental houses .. It also encourages density and REDUCES sprawl... I'm sure McKinley Corporation shutters at the idea of any competition and the fact they can't keep jacking up their rents every year.. We need more of these downtown to keep the supply up since demand is obvious through the roof for nice apartments downtown......... And to those of you guys who love affordable housing... listen closely.. The more a complex is subsidized by the government, the more likely it'll become a "project." Just visit the Bronx in NYC.. Most people would not want to live near or even in 100% subsidized housing...Having a small percentage in an upscale apartment complex seems reasonable enough.. Less government intervention... just allow quality supply to cater to the demand of the people... It works if you actually let it.... Funny how the Briarwood Mall is actually renovating itself now that they feel the competition from new stores on Washtenaw. It's called Capitalism.. it's not as evil as you'd think.....

Audion Man

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

Thanks for the refreshing regurgitation of the Most Holy Republican Capitalist talking points!

Jay Thomas

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:33 a.m.

@Whatsup: You are talking about LOANS to banks. Not grants... loans that must be paid back and in most cases have been (and it is Obama himself who said he wants to give more of them out... whoops, that doesn't fit your narrative).

Jay Thomas

Mon, May 6, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

@Leaguebus: The housing crisis was caused by Barney Frank (in the house) and Barack Obama (in the Senate) updating the Community Reinvestment Act to force banks and mortgage companies to make loans to people without the necessary documentation to prove that they could repay it. Anyone who voted against it was accused of being racist and in favor of "redlining". Wall Street never wanted it in the first place. Later on they got involved in trading these worthless mortgages because they thought they were still worth something, when in fact they were worth nothing. The fertilizer plant had housing RIGHT NEXT TO IT which shouldn't have been there. That was the real problem (people died) and not how much it was insured for.


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

@ leaguebus Government handouts to corporations don't count. Get with the program comrade!


Mon, May 6, 2013 : 2:43 a.m.

Steve, given your criteria of "the more a project is government subsidized, the more it fails..." (my paraphrase): you may be interested to hear that as of 2006, gov't "corporate welfare" programs were DOUBLE the expenditure on actual welfare programs for real people. You may argue that this is perhaps diminished if new, 2011/2012 stats were calculated, but given the BILLIONS in corporate welfare handed to just a couple corporate banks- I would myself not be bullish about that opinion being correct. Also, nowhere is there mentioned the local or state tax breaks being handed out for this project, and as we all know- as Michigan is effectively a third-world-state, no one is building anything here without such incentives. Even in our hallowed state of Ann Arbor (data about that is readily available).

Laurie Barrett

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:21 p.m.

Please Rich Capitalist Person, may I have a job?


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 6:38 p.m.

And geez, I thought Briarwood was updating because it is 30+ years old and had been purchased by a new Owner looking to rehab and reinvigorate it's image. Who knew it was because of a new small'ish strip mall on Washtenaw Avenue ? LoL.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 4:58 p.m.

Less government don't remember 2008? Must be the conservative selective memory has bitten another. I think 16 units is a good number. Good luck to Village Green. By the way, the fertilizer plant in West Texas was insured for $1M, there is about $100M in damage. Hopefully the less regulation state of Texas will have to pick up the tab, but I fear it will be all of us at some point.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

I don't think McKinley is shuttering, or shuddering. They provide an alternative to super expensive housing.

Tom Joad

Sun, May 5, 2013 : 10:26 a.m.

So basically it's an apartment house built over a gigantic parking garage. Perhaps the best amenity is the Kiwanis Sale across the street. You can completely outfit and furnish your swanky apartment from the various departments found there as well as take advantage of their men's and women's clothing selections. It may not escape anyone's notice that you can buy a house for $1,800 a month.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 7:44 p.m.

But $1800 a month will get you a house with much more than 1,145 square feet and more privacy as well. I would imagine that any significant redecorating of an apartment will need the express permission of the owner, which may not be easy to obtain.


Sun, May 5, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

Maybe you do not understand this, but not all people want to own a home. When you have a job that could transfer you quickly, owning a home is a major hassle. Many people like to have the freedom of not being married to their house. I would also suggest that the home you could get for $1800 a month would not be as nice as a brand new building in a downtown location, especially when you add in that an $1800 mortgage payment would also need to add in property taxes, and hom owners insurance that a renter does not.