Plymouth Green Crossings enters market as apartments until demand for condos improves
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.
â€¨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.â€¨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. â€¨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.”â€¨
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. â€¨
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. â€¨
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. â€¨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.â€¨
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.â€¨
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.”