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Posted on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 6 a.m.

Plymouth Green Crossings enters market as apartments until demand for condos improves

By Janet Miller


The Plymouth Green Crossings in northeast Ann Arbor were designed as condominiums but are being rented out as high-end apartments.

Perched above a six-acre wetland and seconds from a shot of morning espresso or sushi for dinner, Plymouth Green Crossings started life as luxury loft condominiums.

But as the mixed-use development at the corner of Plymouth and Green roads on the northeast side of Ann Arbor was being built, things took a turn for the worse: Neighbor Pfizer Inc. closed its doors, the economy turned sour and the housing market grew soft.

Plymouth Green Crossings, with floor to ceiling glass windows, views of the wetland and exposed ductwork that gives them a trendy urban feel, was re-issued - at least temporarily - as 1,400-square-foot apartments.

One-year leases for the 23 units are being signed, and five or six units are still available.


The units are Plymouth Green Crossings include high-end amenities, such as fireplaces.

Tom Lasky, principal of Metro Holding Group, one of the owners of the development, said his company invested heavily in market research around the project before ground was broken. They found out what area residents wanted in the condos, even what coffee shop they wanted in the ground-level retail space (Sweetwaters was a unanimous choice).

What they didn’t plan for was the closing of Pfizer six months after the first shovel hit the dirt, along with the recession that followed. 
Pfizer would have offered the perfect audience for the condos.

The project continued, with two of the three planned buildings now complete. Plans for the third building will move forward once demand returns.

Close to 8,000 square-feet of retail space is under each of the two buildings, housing Sweetwaters, restaurants, a computer shop and more.

“We achieved what we wanted to achieve in terms of style,” Lasky said. “They have a warm and inviting feel.”

While they are being rented as apartments, they were built as condos, with top-end amenities, Lasky said. Some of them have 15-foot ceilings with skylights, plant shelves and custom window treatments.

There is extra soundproofing between units and between floors, making them quiet. Eco-friendly materials, such as regraded rubber matting, were used between the floors. And the full-height windows allow for good views and plenty of light, but they are UV rated to block sun damage. 

There are two styles - one and two-level lofts, each with high-end appointments such as stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, fireplaces with granite surrounds and outside terraces. They were designed by Ann Arbor architect Damian Farrell of Integrated Architecture. 

While they are at the higher end of the rental market, they still offer value for their price point, which runs between $1,600 and $2,200 a month, said Cathy Petchell, with Reinhart Property Management, which is managing the rentals.

“There is not a lot available that compares to the caliber of these condos at this price point…. They were built as condominiums, so they are more energy efficient and more attractive than if they were built as apartments with a limited life.”

As condos, they were going to be listed for around $300,000, Lasky said, but that will be revisited when they return to the market. 
Each unit has a view over the wetland and each has an exterior balcony, some large enough to host a small party.

“You have 23 units on 10 acres of land so you get the sense of being someplace very attractive but you’re really on two main corners,” Lasky said.

The project offers the feel of downtown living - sophisticated design with food and services within walking distance - without the headaches, such as limited parking, Petchell said. Each unit has a detached garage with space for storage.

While there were sales offers on a number of the condominiums, Lasky and his partners decided it was better, in the short run, to lease all of the units rather than selling just some of them.

“We built them as condos and that’s ultimately the end game here,” Lasky said. “We have this alternative plan for 12 to 18 months, and then we will re-enter the market.”



Fri, Oct 30, 2009 : 5:36 a.m.

I've been in these apartment/condos and they're great looking and QUIET. There are upgrades like granite, hardwoods and "green-friendly" touches you only find in more expensive units. While I could do without the retaining wall too, IMO the views are attractive given that you're at what will be one of the busiest intersections in town--especially when the North Campus Research Complex opens. We need more quality projects like this in A2...Bravo! And foreigner, I believe you meant "shell" out...kind of makes it easier to put your comment into perspective....;-)


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 4:43 p.m.

I'm glad to see conscientous developers who really focusing on environmentally friendly building -- it's about time -- and this one looks much better than others I've seen!


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 3:15 p.m.

I wish this place was around when I was in school. It's ten times nicer than anything I ever lived in and the cost is the same!


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 1:46 p.m.

This is a great looking project and the developer is very smart to take this action. They will sell more units if the building is occupied.


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 12:12 p.m.

Once Cooley gets up and running over there they will fill up.


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : noon

That is actually a good deal for students to live in a nice apartment. If you get 3 people in there it's only about $533-$667 per person. I guess it depends on how many rooms are in each condo but if 2 people have to share a room, I would do it for that amount if I was still in school!


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 11:53 a.m.

I have a friend that lives here - her loft is beautiful! It has a great (corner) view of Plymouth and Green over the wetlands. It is a great place.


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 10:41 a.m.

@Steve Hendel: I forgot about the rusty retaining wall. Add that to the list of amenities!

Steve Hendel

Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 9:35 a.m.

This article reads more like an infomercial for the project rather than an editorial piece. Is that highly unattractive field of scraggy weeds bordered by a rusted metal retaining wall what passes for a "wetland" now?


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 9:34 a.m.

Pfizer screwed us all, didn't they? Personally, I don't think these were ever in a really good location to begin with. Views of wetlands? Try parking lots, a very busy intersection, and lots of road noise. (Hence the extra "soundproofing".) Far from ideal to rent, let alone buy. Another example of a developer trying to make as much money as possible on a undesirable piece of land.


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 8:13 a.m.

Interesting. I saw a couple of these lofts during an open house and while the amenities were nice, the views were not. "...Views of the wetland," is an over-statement. There are more views of parking lots.


Thu, Oct 29, 2009 : 7:25 a.m.

I'm sure there are going to be a lot of people willing to shelve out about $2000/month, knowing that in about 12-18 months their landlord is going to make them move again....RIGHT!