You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 6 a.m.

Ann Arbor CFO warns that 60-day purchase delay possible for Village Green deal

By Ryan J. Stanton

Ann Arbor City Council members received an update Monday night on the long-awaited Village Green project, which calls for a 156-unit complex called Ann Arbor City Apartments on city-owned property at the corner of First and Washington downtown.

The city entered into an option-to-purchase agreement with the developer in February 2007 and it was amended last year to extend the term of the option to June 1, 2011. The city administrator later exercised authority to extend the timeline to Aug. 30, 2011.

city apartments.jpg

Village Green's plan for Ann Arbor City Apartments, which includes a public parking component. Image courtesy of BKV Group.

Tom Crawford, the city's chief financial officer and interim city administrator, offered a "heads up" to council Monday night that another 60-day extension may be needed.

Village Green has plans for an 11-story (8 above grade) project that, in addition to apartments, also includes a 244-space parking garage. The Downtown Development Authority will manage the public parking structure, which will be owned by the city.

The city had long intended to sell the property to Village Green for $3.3 million, and it has budgeted $3 million of that toward the police-courts building addition to city hall.

After a vote by the council last month, that price is now $3.2 million. The reason for the change has to do with flooding issues that are being addressed through revisions to the foundation design, specifically how it will handle the below-ground water table.

Crawford said officials are continuing to work on a so-called "bathtub" design for areas where the water table could rise to meet the deck's foundation.

"That project has been progressing," he said. "And because we're working out the integration of the bathtub design and a refinement of the interior to provide as best as possible parking experience, I will likely need to come back to council on that project for maybe another 60-day extension, as we're working on the construction drawings and those refinements."

Crawford stressed the project is "moving along" and said the developer still is hoping to break ground this construction season.

According to a project timeline from last fall, the city had been expecting the sale of the land to happen by June 1.

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 e-mail newsletters.



Thu, Jul 21, 2011 : 2:09 p.m.

Does this remind you of Ashley Terrace? Although Ann Arbor City Apartments will lease units rather than sell them, very likely the rental rate asked by Village Green will be higher than the market will bear. Here are key facts related to this type of construction from a recent Paula Gardner article: &quot;Downtown activists were concerned as Ashley Terrace and other projects were proposed for the central business district, with forces advocating higher density, mixed-use buildings clashing with others who said the market for downtown housing was limited. Ed Shaffran was among those who cautioned against overbuilding. He said this afternoon that the Ashley Terrace foreclosure appears to signal what he warned against: New construction downtown could only be built at a price that would effectively price a typical unit out of the range of most buyers.&quot; <a href=""></a> I wonder if the request for an extension by Village Green could be denied by City Council and provide the opportunity to retract approval of the proposal. Such an action will avert another embarrassing bankruptcy and loss of any TIF financial benefits expected after completion of construction. Also the DDA will not have to ask taxpayers for a milage or income tax to service the $9 million bond issue that will pay for the parking structure to be built under the Ann Arbor City Apartment building.


Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

The price is declining. The builder should hold out. Well if non revenue producing city land can be turned into a tax paying private property, go for it. Isn't this a parcel that was once proposed as part of a walk/bike &quot;green&quot; through-fare across town? That seems to be a better idea now with gas prices increasing.


Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Somebody please tell me why on earth the city is even contemplating becoming a landlord while police and fire are being laid off and we're under water with our &quot;new and improved&quot; solid waste system? This is flat-out ridiculous.


Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 3:20 p.m.

Soooo, the City of Ann Arbor is getting into the bedbug and cockroach business ! Within 10 years or less, it will be a homeless shelter satelite and in 15 will have to be torn down to make room for parking for the new City Hall extension.

Ron Granger

Tue, Jul 19, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

'Crawford said officials are continuing to work on a so-called &quot;bathtub&quot; design' Bathtub design, eh? I don't know about the bathtub, but it sure smells like taxpayers are going to take a bath on this one.