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Posted on Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor's newest parking garage gets mostly rave reviews at grand opening

By Ryan J. Stanton


Dozens of people filtered through the new Library Lane underground parking garage in downtown Ann Arbor Thursday evening as the Downtown Development Authority ceremonially celebrated the structure's grand opening.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Michael Finney, CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp., was one of the first users of Ann Arbor's new underground parking garage on Thursday.

Pulling into downtown Ann Arbor for an afternoon meeting, Finney saw a clear path into the structure and took it — only to find out it wasn't officially open yet.

An attendant let him stay for a few hours anyway.

"It's pretty amazing, quite frankly," Finney said. "I'm glad to see it. There's clearly a need for more parking. I'm hearing this has really made a difference, so it's a really positive scenario."

Finney said he's anxious to see what the city decides to put on top of the garage, which has 711 parking spaces on four levels below ground, plus 52 surface-level spaces.


Ray Detter, chairman of the Downtown Area Citizens Advisory Council, described the new structure as "beautiful." Here he walks from the third level below ground up to the second level.

Ryan J. Stanton |

"Hopefully there will be a significant development opportunity — some kind of a commercial enterprise," he said. "There's been concepts of hotels and conference centers and other things. I think they all represent opportunities to build the tax base here.

"But I certainly would not be upset if there were a park on it," added Finney, who lives in Washtenaw County's Superior Township.

Ann Arbor officials and Downtown Development Authority leaders were surrounded by dozens of cheering supporters as they celebrated the grand opening of the new Library Lane parking garage Thursday night. It will cost $1.10 an hour to park in it.

Local businessman Rob Aldrich, who served on the DDA board from 1999 until 2007, including as chair in 2001-02, was given credit for pushing the city to build what he called a "big ass parking structure." A plaque inside the new structure acknowledges his vision.

"Rob Aldrich said, 'We need a big ass parking structure underneath the Library Lot,' and now we have it," said DDA Chairwoman Leah Gunn. "We owe him a debt of gratitude."

The Christman Co. of Lansing served as construction manager for the $50 million project, which is being paid for using tax dollars and parking revenues collected by the DDA.

Pat Podges, vice president for the Christman Co., said he appreciated the patience and endurance of Ann Arborites during the long project. It started in late 2009, and Fifth Avenue was closed for nearly two years starting in August 2010 before reopening recently.

"I know for those of you who were waiting to reoccupy your streets and your sidewalks and let the construction dust settle, time moves slowly, so I just wanted to extend a heartfelt appreciation for your cooperation," Podges said. "I hope that it was well worth the wait."

Podges said more than 350,000 worker hours went into the project.


A ground-level view of the pedestrian staircase off Fifth Avenue that winds four stories down, stopping at each level. There also are elevators.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Many residents toured the parking structure for the first time Thursday night and left impressed with what they saw. Many commented on how well daylight seems to reach the lowest levels of the garage, avoiding the stereotypical below-grade parking experience.

"I really like the lighting of it," said Ann Arbor Township resident Dale Black. "It feels a lot more open than a lot of underground parking garages do, so it looks really nice. I'm sure I'll use this one."

Stepping out of his father's car after they parked inside the garage for the first time, 10-year-old Nemo Neiburger of Ann Arbor exclaimed: "Awesome!"

"It really looks futuristic," said Nemo, whose father Eli Neiburger works for the Ann Arbor District Library next door.

Local real estate developer Peter Allen offered an equally positive review after taking a walk through the garage.

"The design details are extraordinary," he said. "The signage, the cleverness, the color, the light wells that come down, the stainless steel, the sense of arrival. When you're on a lower level, you look up and you can see the sky. It's just extraordinary."

Ann Arbor resident Alex Feighner already has a job as the afternoon parking attendant inside the garage. He'll be working from his own cozy, air-conditioned booth.

"I was a little concerned about feeling claustrophobic down here, but the lighting is so well done in here that you don't even feel like you're underground," he said.

"I'm glad I picked up the shift," he added.

Not everybody in the crowd Thursday night was as upbeat, though.

"I think the garage is a colossal mistake that completely disregards climate change, the cost of gasoline, the present needs of our community and the future of our children," said Joel Batterman, a local alternative transportation advocate.

"Continued investments in the automobile just aren't what progressive cities are doing at this time," he said. "It's all about transit, bicycling and walking."


Ann Arbor resident Alan Haber, who wants to see the surface of the parking structure turned into a public green space, looks over items DDA Chair Leah Gunn, in pink, contributed to a time capsule being buried under the garage.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Alan Haber, one of the residents pushing the city to develop a central park atop the garage, didn't have an opinion on the structure itself.

"I don't know whether this thing should be here or not, but given that it is here in the center of town, the surface should be a place for everyone," said Haber, who passed out fliers inviting everyone to a block party atop the garage from noon to 5 p.m. this Saturday.

Mayor John Hieftje acknowledged there has been controversy over the structure and that some residents didn't believe it was the right thing to do environmentally.

"I don't know of a single city that does more than ours for alternative transportation," he said. "If you work in the downtown, you can get a free go!pass. We expanded the bicycle lane system by 600 percent within five years. Ann Arbor is an award-winning city for its walkability."

Hieftje said the fact remains that 68,000 people come to work in Ann Arbor every day from outside the city, and many of them want a place to park. He said the city could have chosen to starve downtown for parking, but that would have killed the business environment.

"We have a testimony to that just in the last few weeks," he said. "Barracuda Networks moved into downtown Ann Arbor. We now have a growing technological campus with Google, with Menlo Innovations, with Barracuda and a number of other small firms. They would not have made that move without parking. Without this structure, it wouldn't have happened."

Gunn said the DDA's mission is to encourage private development downtown, but the DDA has been frustrated with having to say no to businesses that wanted parking permits.

Despite being open for a few hours for the celebration, barricades were put up Thursday night to stop cars from coming or going from the structure overnight. An employee of Republic Parking, the company that will manage the garage, said it could reopen Friday.

"We've got a few things left to be done," said Amy Sullivan, project manager for Christman. The lowest level of the garage was blocked off Thursday because it's not finished.

"You'll notice when you walk downstairs, there's a little bit of painting left to do, a little bit of wayfinding signage that needs to be tweaked," she said. "But all in all, this is the look of the project that everybody's been planning on and banking on and now finally it's here."


Mayor John Hieftje speaks during the celebration. He said Barracuda Networks, which is expanding downtown and bringing hundreds of employees to the former Borders location, wouldn't have done so without more parking.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Sullivan said she's happy with how the project turned out. She pointed to its vivid colors, decorative glass canopies, extensive lighting and openness of the staircases. Another signature piece installed recently is the "channel glass" at the bottom of the Fifth Avenue staircase.

"It was one of the last things we put in because it's expensive and it comes from Germany," Sullivan said, describing it as a high-quality curtain of glass with interlocking pieces.

Sullivan said crews were working feverishly over the last few weeks to get the structure ready for Thursday's grand opening.

"It's like any project. You think every project would be a little different and you'd be done before the end date, but it's always those last-minute tweaks," she said. "Those last-minute problems always show up at the very end, so we've been very feverishly working through those."

A total of 43,000 cubic yards of concrete were used on the project, which is enough to pave a sidewalk stretching from Ann Arbor to Battle Creek.

Nearly 190,000 cubic yards of soil were removed from the site, with more than 100,000 cubic yards reused in projects in Ann Arbor and Southeast Michigan. Much of the remainder was used as part of the structural concrete mix for the parking garage.

The structure's stormwater detention tanks can hold up to 350,000 gallons of rain water, the benefits of which Gunn touted in a recent interview with

Because the site is designed for a potential future development, the garage has massive mat foundations up to 10 feet thick in some places.

The project also included construction of Library Lane, a new two-way street that cuts through the block and connects Division Street with Fifth Avenue.

Library patrons can safely pick up and drop off passengers along Library Lane now. There also are bicycle racks and motorcycle/scooter parking spaces on the surface level.

The site has been designed to allow closures of Library Lane for special events or large school group visits to the library while the parking structure remains fully operational.

Entrances to the garage are located off Fifth Avenue and Library Lane, while there are exits on Division Street and Library Lane.

Adrian Iraola, a project manager for Park Avenue Consultants who worked closely on overseeing the project, said he's excited to have it completed.

"It's been a long process and we are very proud," he said. "Eventually the people of Ann Arbor will recognize it as one of the most important landmarks. It's in the center of the city and people are going to come in and enjoy the beautiful architecture and the great functionality."

PHOTO GALLERY: Library Lane underground parking garage opens to public in downtown Ann Arbor

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.



Sun, Jul 15, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

It's nice but it would have been cheaper to build a surface lot or two. People actually attend an underground parking lot's grand opening?makes u wonder doesn't it/


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 7:59 p.m.

Why do I feel this article could use an update? (Hint: didn't happen.)


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 4:56 p.m.

I vote to call this the BAPS ("big ass parking structure") from now on.


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 4:55 a.m.

Good place for camp freedom people to move!


Sun, Jul 15, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

Heck Yes!!!!!!!!!

Ann English

Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 12:05 a.m.

Library Lane should appear on Google maps, other online maps, and paper maps if not now, then very soon. Let's see how much daylight reaches the lower floors as the fall equinox and winter solstice approach.

Vince Caruso

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

"Pig in a Poke" $70+K a site and now we are 'giving away' parking in downtown? Wake me when the Mayor and the DDA is gone.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

Whoever gets the stairwell powerwashing contract is going to be a happy camper.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:34 p.m.

Beware Mordor.

Sandra Samons

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

So, with all of this writing to tout the structure, will someone please say where you drive in to park? Where is the entrance? I'm sure I can drive down there and figure it out, but it would be nice to be told in advance. Wouldn't that be an obvious bit to include in the article?

Jojo B

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:46 p.m.

I walked by the new garage during lunch hoping to take a look. It's not open at all. Can't drive in, can't walk in. Did any of our fine A2 journalists ask when the public can actually use it? Will it be open for art fair next week? Inquiring minds want to know.


Sun, Jul 15, 2012 : 2:52 p.m.

So it's open but it's not.How political of the politicians.

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:30 p.m.

Gaaaaallllleeeee! signs everywhere reading "no parking" & "area closed". getting a headstart on paying off that 20-year-debt are we?! way to go! let's run it up the flagpole and see if anyone salutes it!

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:47 p.m.

Overall very impressed. A few ideas though about signage. When I drove down to the first level it wasn't totally clear about which way to go. Also, after I realized I couldn't go past the first level, I had to turn around and at that point started looking for the exit sign which was very difficult to find as well as the exist ramp. I would recommend clearer signage pointing people to the exit.

Jon Saalberg

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

Does the city have any plans to resolve the design blunder in this site - the fact that when you pull out of the Post Office parking lot and look to your left, for oncoming traffic on Fifth Avenue, you get a whole lot of...parking structure tower, and cannot see the oncoming traffic at all?


Sun, Jul 15, 2012 : 2:53 p.m.

oh no the brainacs didn't think of that.

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:51 p.m.

John, I wouldn't hold my breath.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

Math lesson: 711 spots at $50M is $ 70232 per spot. At the introductry rate of $95/month that's a payback period of: 740 MONTHS - 61.6 YEARS!!!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

Silly Uabchris...don't you know, they're a non-profit. what would they know about payback?

Matt P

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 6:14 p.m.

Or, if they filled it to capacity 24hrs/day, at the hourly rate of $1.10, it would be paid off in a little over 7.5 years.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

And as for getDowntown and go!passes ... Candidate for the 5th Ward Chuck Warpehoski is married to getDowntown director Nancy Shore, whose best friend is (resigned) Commissioner Erica Briggs, formerly of WBWC. A recent article discussing the 5th ward candidates noted, "Chuck Warpehoski is running with the support of Mayor John Hieftje and his political allies, including outgoing 5th Ward incumbent Carsten Hohnke." FYI


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

A veritable "who's who" of people that you don't want in charge.

Ryan J. Stanton

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

Update from DDA Director Susan Pollay: "Inspections are currently taking place, and we are working with the plan to have the structure open for Art Fair next week."

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:50 p.m.

Ryan. please. I didn't ride in on the last turnip truck coming into town. Susan Pollay will say ANYTHING to justify this ill-conceived hole in the ground.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:04 p.m.

That is going to be fun to watch. Lines down the street and patrons trying to get and out. But won't that increase crime? Or will they be watching the cameras all the time? This sounds like a perfect time for thieves. As for parking fees? I'll catch a bus downtown.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:49 p.m.

If the city were to charge Art Fair rates all year round, the city may recoup the costs within a hundred years.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

I don't remember reading about a complete safety experience. Especially females parking late at night. Hopefully there are cameras everywhere? It looks great. Very well lit during the day? Probably night also. Is it secured that no one can walk in off the street and hijack or rob?


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 3:30 a.m.

if you witness something above ground you can get help by yelling /waving..people are around and will hear and see you easily and note your position and get others on the street to help you or "pin down" a fleeing person. If something has happened 2 or 3 stories down and you yell-what then? Nothing. a person flees on foot and up the stairwell.....perhaps no one has seen anything or is able to correlate a person coming up the stairwell with an echo of a yell from down 3 stories. Seems like a big difference to me. It's not a given that crimes will be commonplace...I'm not convinced at all....but the structure isn't a place that I need or want to park in as well.....those who worry somewhat have to be given credit as I do think distinctions can be made due to this design.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:40 p.m.

and what's stopping anyone from stealing things in an above ground structure??


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

Lets see here, that photo shows off new cars against new chrome and glass. Wow. Nice and shiny. Won't be for long. Glad to hear it is open, won't see me down there under there any time soon. As for top of the garage? It would be interesting to see a park there. But wouldn't it hinder or destroy the top of the garage? Just a thought.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:03 p.m.

Did I read that right? A plaque that proclaims: "Big Ass Parking Structure"? How FAIL BLOG is that!!! "Let's all drive to Ann Arbor and enjoy their BIG ASS PARKING STRUCTURE! WOO HOO!" Okay, I'll buy the t-shirt. Maybe Elmo's can make some money here.


Sun, Jul 15, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Gotta Love It

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:48 p.m.

Roaring Chicken, you are right. Elmo Morales is a good and decent man and I would buy the shirt if ONLY to give this dear man some well-deserved business.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:21 p.m.

German glass when we have Libby glass and Corning glass, right here? Like the German fountain that is still trying to function properly? Why not buy US? Oh, yeah right, we're all democrats and therefore very European.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 6:03 p.m.

because the companies you mention do not make channel glass, which is a cast glass. If it's coming from Germany, it was probably made by Glasfabrik Lamberts which is the world leader in this type of glass. Actually, I don't know of any U.S. manufacturers of this... now, could they have designed something different? Well, that's another question.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

The computer you're typing on is from overseas. Why didn't you invest in an American made computer. They are out there you know.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:03 p.m.

I think it's wonderful! ANd I'm glad for the decorative touches, it makes such a difference. (I love pkg in the Washington and 4th st structure because it's attractive. It's better looking than some of the new bldgs in town...). I think underground parking is a wonderful idea for cities!! Why take up valuable real estate with ugly surface parking or hideous pkg structures??!!! I look forward to using it (and I am an older woman who is frequently downtown after dark). AND...I think it would be a lovely gesture to offer the owners of Jerusalem Garden & the Earthen Jar a free 2 yr parking spot for the aggravation and loss of income they had to put up with. C' it! It would be a wonderful gesture!!!

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

LA, while I STILL think that this project was a complete waste of effort I do agree with you that owners/employees of J.G., Earthen Jar*And*Herb David are entitled to 2 free years of parking for all the hassle they went through. I wouldn't hold my breath though...


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:12 p.m.

A better gesture would be for the city to fire whomever is resonsible for the pathetic project management that kept 5th Ave. closed far too long and put these local businesses in undue peril. Now that would be a statement. A free parking place - not so much. Actually I'm expecting neither.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

That's a neat idea or at least a discount parking rate.

David Cahill

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:01 p.m.

I love this structure! It was brilliantly designed by Carl Luckenbach - his latest triumph. Barracuda's decision to relocate downtown is one more vindication of this project. It's the first good City project since the Wheeler Center. The less said about the police/courts facility and the Dryseitl the better.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:49 p.m.

I totally agree.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:10 p.m.

You people and your "Barracuda vindication" are too much! And you said "one more" - can you name another?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:56 p.m.

What a bunch of whiny crybabies. Geesh. I think it looks fabulous, and glad they built it.

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

yeah, that's me Tesla. WAA-WAA-WAAAAAH!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

"Ann Arbor's newest parking garage gets mostly rave reviews at grand opening" Ahh – Journalism at its best, the underground parking structure is not open and there is no established data for an opening, it's still under construction. 50,000,000+ dollars for this unnecessary and very inefficient underground parking blunder. Ann Arbor features itself as a "green" city; there is nothing green about this underground parking structure. Being underground there is the requirement for ventilation, lighting and other mechanical systems 24 hours a day 7 days a week, allot of energy usage.

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

Tanzor, very well put. I agree. if the journalistic spin on this is a representation of what people think, I'm surprised we aren't all holding hands and/or dancing in the street...let's hear it for the Bigass Basement Boondoggle!


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:01 p.m.

"Rob Aldrich said, 'We need a big ass parking structure ..." We do indeed.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:28 p.m.

In the last 3 years, I have never seen the William and 4th structure full...the 4th and Washington, yes...but only because people are either too lazy to walk two blocks or too scared of the transit center...even last year during art fair there were available parking spaces...and it is what an 8 floor structure? that sounds like big ass to me and we already have it....


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

Does this mean we can say ass from now on in the comment section? We spent a big-ass amount of money on this parking structure, didn't we? I can't wait to see the big-ass tax break we all give to whoever builds a big-ass commercial building on top of this thing.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

I'm not convinced these consistent nay sayers ever leave their houses or need a parking spot.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Well considering when I come down here on a friday night and can never find parking I imagine it will help me find a place to park.... Considering everyone is afraid of it, I also imagine I will be able to park wherever I want!

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

sure....with all the OTHER big ass parking structures in the downtown area, how is one more going to make that much of a difference?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

"If you work in the downtown, you can get a free go!pass." Free? Really?? I sure can't find anything on their web site about that. Unless you are talking about "free" to employees after their employers PAY FOR THEM? Yes, that's exactly what he means. The "getDowntown" site also uses the same language saying that if you have a pass that you ride the bus for "free". Why the misleading language? Also, why are we further subsidizing bus passes for downtown employees on top of the heavy subsidy of AATA that we're already carrying?

Dave Koziol

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:54 p.m.

goPasses are $10 a year for employers, while it's not free, it's certainly not a big expense for anyone already paying to lease space downtown. I know a number of our employees use them and like them.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

It's like if the mayor said that if you work downtown you can get a free pony. Which would also be true as long as someone else was paying for your pony. Same principle of obfuscated political-speak language.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

Only free to you after your employer pays for it and the taxpayers subsidize it heavily.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

so its still free if I work downtown right?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

Personally, I really think this parking structure looks cool and I am glad that it was built. I am most certainly glad that all of the construction is FINALLY completed.

Peter Eckstein

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

My biggest concern, cost and safety aside, would be air pollution, including but not limited to carbon monoxide. What systems have they installed to monitor the buildup of noxious gases from vehicle exhaust. The University's parking structure off Fletcher Street reeks of exhaust fumes after a major performance at the Power Center, when hundreds of cars are stalled all trying to get out at once, and it has some natural ventilation because it is built on a hill and is largely open on one side.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

There is an exhaust system and when it comes on the residents who live nearby can't hear themselves think.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

There is a very large filtration and fan system I think that monitors pollution levels and turns on as needed.

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:15 p.m.

Yes, I am certain the after-bar patrons who urinate in the structure will enjoy the art.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:20 p.m.

@Ron...lest you forget those that feel it more "liberating" to urinate or defecate in public...ya know..."show the man" they can't be told what to the very least is a tp holder...

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:03 p.m.

Alan, if the DDA builds a public restroom it will cost taxpayers $50 million because they'll insist on constructing it to support a 30 story building, and putting lots of artsy glass in it.

alan haber

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

there should be a public rest room in downtown. there is no such provision. there should be. do you agree?


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 1:07 p.m.

Rave reviews? It's a parking structure. You park your car and leave. And, eventually the stairwells will feature little questionable puddles and smell like urine.

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:46 p.m.

Where is the budget disclosure on how much they spent on non-essential stuff like fancy glass? Did they pay consultants to select the glass? Often those posh consultant positions are filled by friends, wink wink, nudge nudge. Also, how much does it cost us to operate those lights and fans 24x7?

Ron Granger

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

"It was one of the last things we put in because it's expensive and it comes from Germany," Sullivan said, describing it as a high-quality curtain of glass with interlocking pieces. -- Apparently this is what we get from an out of control DDA. Must we pass a law preventing this waste in a parking structure? I mean, really, where is the oversight? Who will be accountable when someone scratches their name into that glass? "Oh gosh! What a terrible thing someone did! We had no idea vandals would do that!!" Any predictions on how long it will take until that glass is smashed? What a waste.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 7:48 p.m.

The entire area has close circuit monitoring system. Nothing will get smashed.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:14 p.m.

Is Christman not an American company? Their HQ seems to be based out of Lansing.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

You forgot about the graffiti. It is very prevalent in Ann Arbor now. I hate to say it, you do not deserve the negative votes because i agree with you 100%. I agree though, with Americans out of work? Why weren't Americans building this?

alan haber

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:42 p.m.

the Saturday party to "imagine a park " begins at NOON with Joe Reilly opening, and continues to 11pm with music speakers, and opportunity for Ann Arbor area people to envision a park for the future. picnic poy luck. do come


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

I can imagine a park if the city would be willing to give up one of the other parks that is not properly maintained.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

A lot of anti American here, isn't there?

alan haber

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:11 p.m.

Yes , always an optimist, i'm hoping for a good turn out from the Chinese community, bringing a marvelous, never before tasted "poy luck" dish to the pot luck. Either way, whatever the food, it will be an open community party with opportunity to share imagination. Watermelon is always welcome.

Elaine F. Owsley

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:49 p.m.

Is that "pot" luck, or a Chinese dish? I noticed your apparel and wonder if that's the connection.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

They should rename this structure the "Boondoggle Basement"

Madeleine Borthwick

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:11 p.m.

amen. I like to call it the Money Pit.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 12:19 p.m.

I think this could be published in "The Onion" without changing a word.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Thanks for starting my day with a smile.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:44 a.m.

Coming from a really busy city with hundreds of underground parking garages, this one gives me the chills. It looks a long way down and very isolated. Let's see how safe it is late in the evening - or perhaps any time of day...


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

Buy some mace, or a firearm.

rusty shackelford

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

Stories you never thought you'd have to write in j school.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:09 a.m.

So you're saying that it got "rave reviews" from the people who think that attending a parking garage opening is somehow interesting? Big shocker there. And of course the mayor got in a "Barracuda moving downtown" plug like it truly validates the decision to build an overpriced parking garage. Nice try.


Sat, Jul 14, 2012 : 12:52 p.m.

Shiny objects always get a lot of "up" votes here.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

actually, if you check the voting here on this article...the majority like it and are glad it was built...52%

Lets Get Real

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 10:57 a.m.

A glass wall was installed last because it is "expensive" (Thanks for being fiscally conservative with our tax dollars), and guess where it is from - Germany! Again? No one in Michigan or more specifically in Ann Arbor could provide glass? Thanks, once again, for buying local and supporting the economy here. Disgusting. Who decides this stuff? Brainsless, thoughtless, inconsiderate idots.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 5:39 p.m.

whether we want to believe it or not, there actually are some specialized things that are not manufactured in AA or Michigan...or even the U.S.. Your ignorance is in thinking that glass is glass is's not.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 3:15 p.m.

If he's a taxpayer, he's already a part of it, and his concerns are legitimate.


Fri, Jul 13, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

Have you considered being part of any of these projects that you so roundly criticize from the peanut gallery? Are you an engineer or an architect? Do you actually know anything about large construction projects and their logistics? OR do you just like to rant?