Ann Arbor agrees to sell land to AATA for $90K to help with rebuilding Blake Transit Center
The Ann Arbor City Council approved a deal Monday night to sell a portion of city-owned property at 350 S. Fifth Ave. to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority.
The city will get $90,000 for the strip of land measuring 6 feet wide by 132 feet long and sitting immediately adjacent to the Blake Transit Center.
The AATA asked to purchase the land to use it in the development of a new transit center planned for the site. The agency plans to get started on a $5.5 million project to rebuild the Blake Transit Center starting in spring 2012 and finishing by spring 2013.
In terms of outdoor program space, city officials cited bicycle lockers, landscaping, seating, a recycling and refuse area, and informational signage.
Mayor John Hieftje expressed support for the Blake Transit Center project and chalked up the sale of land as an example of intergovernmental cooperation.
"The AATA serves us very well in our community. It's one of the busiest bus services in the state and continues to increase its ridership," he said.
The city-owned property — the former site of a YMCA building — is bound by William Street and Fourth and Fifth avenues. It's currently used as a surface parking lot managed by the Downtown Development Authority. The strip being sold is used for electrical utilities.
According to city officials, DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay was advised of the offer made by the AATA and had no objection to the sale. The sale is not expected to change the number of parking spaces in the lot or impact the city's ability to develop the land in the future.
Commonly referred to as the "Y Lot," the larger property is one of a handful of city-owned surface lots downtown that the DDA is working to master plan for future redevelopment.
In addition to being adjacent to the Blake Transit Center, the Y Lot sits across from the Library Lot, another city-owned parcel where the city is building a new underground parking structure with hopes for seeing development on top. Additionally, there have been talks of tearing down and rebuilding the library immediately adjacent to the Library Lot, though those plans were put on hold in late 2008 because of the economic downturn.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.