Plymouth Green Crossings developer drops plans for restaurant but looks to add more apartments
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
The developer still wants to go forward with adding more apartments at the northwest corner of Plymouth and Green roads, but no longer wants to build a restaurant there.
Earl Ophoff, project manager from Midwestern Consulting LLC, appeared on behalf of the property owner for a meeting with the Planning Commission on Tuesday.
The Plymouth Green Crossings site plan was approved in 2006 for the construction of three mixed-use buildings, each including ground-floor retail and two upper floors of housing.
Also included in the approved Planned Unit Development site plan was a free-standing bank, a free-standing restaurant and garages for the apartments.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
Plymouth Green Crossings LLC is now requesting permission to amend the approved PUD to remove the restaurant from the plans, with the intention of converting a temporary parking area on the footprint of the restaurant to 26 spaces of permanent parking.
The developer also wants to remove the 7,000-square-foot limit on the amount of restaurant space allowed in the ground-floor retail space of the mixed-use buildings.
A total of 14,224 square feet of retail space exists in the ground floor of the two mixed-use buildings that have been constructed.
Lastly, the developer is asking the city to allow flexible uses on the ground floor of the third mixed-use building, which is yet to be built.
The top two floors will remain apartments, Ophoff said. But instead of using the ground floor for office, retail or restaurant, the developer now has plans for interior parking underneath the new apartments. That would add another 15 parking spaces, for 290 total on the site.
"The site's very difficult to see," Ophoff said explaining why the restaurant is being eliminated from the plans to make way for more parking. "There's a huge parking demand in this portion of the site. It just doesn't look like (a restaurant) is a marketable part of the site."
City Planner Jeff Kahan noted in a memo to the Planning Commission that restaurant uses typically require much more parking during peak periods than retail spaces.
City code requires 10 spaces per 1,000 square feet of restaurant space and about 3.25 spaces per 1,000 square feet of retail space. Kahan said restaurants can use the retail parking standard if they are part of a larger retail center.
No changes to the stormwater collection or detention system are proposed.
Ophoff said the third mixed-use building would remain identical to the two already built, with the exception that the developer wants flexibility to use first floor for either office/retail or parking.
The second and third floors of the existing mixed-use buildings include 23 apartments. The third building will add 12 more apartment units.
No action was taken at Tuesday's pre-petition conference. The developer plans to submit formal plans by the end of this month.
Plymouth Green Crossings started life as luxury loft condominiums. But as the mixed-use development was being built on Ann Arbor's northeast side, neighbor Pfizer Inc. closed its doors, the economy turned sour and the housing market grew soft.
And so Plymouth Green Crossings entered the market in 2009 as 1,400-square-foot, upscale apartments, running between $1,600 and $2,200 a month. As condos, they were going to be listed for around $300,000, an idea that still could be revisited.
"Once they started renting them, they went fast," Ophoff said Tuesday night, noting all of the units are filled and there's a waiting list.
Retail tenants that have moved into the ground floor spaces include Sweetwaters, Subway, Olga's Kitchen, a sushi restaurant, a fitness club and others.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.