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Posted on Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 3:36 p.m.

3-story townhouse building on Catherine Street wins approval from Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton

Tom Fitzsimmons, owner of Huron Contracting LLC, says his plans to build new townhouses on vacant property on Catherine Street are the result of collaboration.

"I actually really appreciated the opportunity to work with the neighbors on this project," he said. "They had a lot of input early on to help guide us. We've developed joint landscaping plans for both sides of the property and it's been a very good collaborative effort."

The Ann Arbor City Council voted 9-0 Monday night to approve the developer's request to rezone the properties at 922 and 926 Catherine St., along with a site plan allowing him to construct a three-story townhouse building containing five units with a new driveway and landscaping.


A rendering of the proposed townhouse project on Catherine Street.

Photo courtesy of the city of Ann Arbor

The two lots — which Fitzsimmons purchased in 2010 for $250,000 — are situated between a single-family home and a three-story townhome called Catherine Commons.

The lots were first targeted for development decades ago when a developer proposed a five-unit condominium building but never moved forward with the project.

Fitzsimmons won approval Monday night to revert the zoning of the property from a planned unit development back to R4C multiple-family dwelling.

Multiple residents showed up to lobby in support of the project, including Chris Crockett, president of the Old Fourth Ward Association.

"There has been so much support in the neighborhood," she said. "It's really wonderful to be able to come and say we really support this project. It's the right project for the right place."

Crockett called it "a great infill project" and said it's the kind of housing that neighbors want to see in their R4C neighborhood.

"I really have not heard anyone in the neighborhood who has come forth to oppose this project," she said. "We're pleased with its design, with the massing, with the density, and with the way Tom Fitzsimmons has handled the whole project all along. He's included the neighborhood at every step."

The site plan includes a building with a total of 9,760 square feet, as well as nine parking spaces under the building. The project is located in the Old Fourth Ward historic district.

The building design and site layout were approved by the Historic District Commission back in April and also received approval from the Planning Commission in July.

Council Members Tony Derezinski and Marcia Higgins were absent.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Wed, Oct 3, 2012 : 4:19 a.m.

I wonder how the townhouses will be priced and will sell quickly. Hopefully, City Council will not "offer" to build the underground garage and finance it with bonds like it did with the library parking structure and like the DDA is doing for the Village Green City Ann Arbor apartment building. Also I plead with City Council not to return TIF payments to the developer as is being done with a South Main project and the county is doing with the Georgetown Mall project. The City can use new TIF revenue.

Ron Granger

Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

"The building design and site layout were approved by the Historic District Commission back in April and also received approval from the Planning Commission in July." Where are the naysayers who always insist the historic district commission never approves anything?


Tue, Oct 2, 2012 : 9 p.m.

Nice to see a responsible and responsive local developer get the green light on a project that's a nice fit in the neighborhood.