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Posted on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 5:59 a.m.

County to move adult mental health services to its Annex building in downtown Ann Arbor

By Amy Biolchini

Editor's note: This story was edited for clarification at 10 a.m.

To allow the majority of its growing patient population better access, Washtenaw County's Community Support and Treatment Services is planning to move its adult mental health services to the county's Annex building at 110 North Fourth Ave. in downtown Ann Arbor.

The move is a part of Washtenaw County's 2013 space plan, presented to the Board of Commissioners at its working session Thursday by Infrastructure Manager Greg Dill.


The County Annex at 110 North Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor.

Courtesy of Washtenaw County

The Annex, built in 1904, is 32,852 square feet and houses the county's Public Defender Offices, Office of Infrastructure Management, Office of Community and Economic Development, Project Outreach (PORT) and the Washtenaw Housing Alliance.

The move of adult mental health services into the building would come after renovations to the facility, and the movement of all of its tenants out of the building to another county-owned property, with the exception of PORT.

PORT is a group of community outreach staff that work to engage homeless individuals resistant to mental health services.

Community Support and Treatment Services is housed at 2140 Ellsworth Road in Ann Arbor. It also has a location at 750 Towner St. in Ypsilanti that serves developmentally disabled individuals that will remain open.

The agency is serving 40 percent more people than it was five years ago, with a 25 percent jump in its patient population within the past two years alone, according to county staff.

In its adult mental health program, there is a team of psychiatrists, nurses, and case managers to help individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness.

The movement of the adult mental health program from the county's Ellsworth Road facility would allow the county's Youth and Family Services program to move in from its current location at 4125 Washtenaw Avenue.

The remainder of the county's 2013 space plan calls for renovations at its downtown Ann Arbor properties.

At its 200 North Main St. property, the county is planning to move the clerk's office services from the lower level and redevelop the space for other uses. The lower-level conference room in the building will be converted to office space.

At the administration building at 220 North Main St., the county is planning some renovations to the first floor, as well as adding conference rooms and storage space to the lower level.

A building study is under way to determine if 220 and 200 N. Main St. could be connected.

As for the county's Platt Road property in Ann Arbor that holds several vacant buildings, including the former juvenile detention center and the O'Brien Center, final plans have yet to be announced by the county. It is likely that the juvenile detention center will be demolished.

The county is pursuing a mixed use of the property, which could include affordable housing.

Amy Biolchini covers Washtenaw County, health and environmental issues for Reach her at (734) 623-2552, or on Twitter.



Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

What kind of privacy are clients going to get being right downtown?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

None...especially when the "clinic" is right across the street from the courthouse and the police station. Many will probably stop coming...


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:50 p.m.

This move seems engineered to favor "pet projects" of certain adminstrators...i.e. The PORT the detriment of others...heck, all other Adult Services...served by CSTS.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:49 p.m.

Does this building have a fire marshal capacity? Cuz lord knows, the County loves shoving all their employees in there.

Gen. Public

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:33 p.m.

This is a very bad move for the clients served by CSTS. The bldg is not very friendly to the handicapped. There is one main elevator that holds 5 people comfortably. I anticipate more smokers congregating outside the building and more 911/HVA calls to this location. In addition it will prove difficult for clients to get in and see the docs, nurses and social workers in a timely manner due to the lack of street parking. Those with limited income (i.e. almost all clients) won't be able to pay for parking in the structure. This move will come back to haunt those who thought it was a good idea.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

That's because it's NOT a good idea.


Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 2:26 p.m.

The people who work for CSTS will have to pay for parking.

Sam S Smith

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 12:49 p.m.

No one I know that goes to CSTS for treatment and services is in favor of this. They told me it will not be convenient for them. I hope that this does not become a reason to continue help. Increased traffic and lack of parking will be a problem for both staff and patients. Why do I get the feeling this is a feeble attempt to increase riders for the bus?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:47 p.m.

This is a feeble attempt to SAVE downtown PORT the detriment of the rest of the CSTS client base.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

What about parking???

Elijah Shalis

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 5:06 p.m.

They will go from free parking to charged parking which their patients can il afford

Elijah Shalis

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 3:46 p.m.

This is an awful idea. Did they even ask the clients/patients what they think?

Tom Joad

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 3:07 p.m.

First thing they need to do is get the cigarette smokers OFF the sidewalk in front of that building. Every day I walk past there are employees smoking right in front of the building subjecting pedestrians to a gauntlet of smoke as they walk by. You want to smoke, smoke in the alley.

David Cahill

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 1:33 p.m.

How does the County expect the low- or no-income recipients of mental health services to pay for parking? How does this proposed relocation give this population "better access"? I have heard that the mental health office is offering the County $1,000,000.00 (from grant money) if they are allowed to move downtown. So is it all about the money?


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 6:58 p.m.

This is a County move. The mayor has no input.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 2:37 p.m.

Isn't it always?:) The Mayor has his eye on some new artwork for City Hall...:)

Bertha Venation

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

First paragraph says North Fourth St. Is it on North Fourth Ave, or North Fourth St.? They are two different streets.

Amy Biolchini

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

I meant avenue. It's been fixed.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 12:24 p.m.

Pretty damn good hike from the bus center to 220 main...the bus now stops across from the facility on ellsworth...really well thought out ..duh...folks who need this service will say screw it as its not worth the hassle....if its expansion they need they own all the land around the current usual great thinking .....Oz you gotta love it...

Michigan Reader

Sat, Mar 23, 2013 : 12:02 a.m.

I wonder if the increase in the client population is coming from the Delonis Center?


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 2:32 p.m.

No worries. They Mayor and his rubber stamp Council will provide a free shuttle to and from on the taxpayers dime...........:)


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 11:32 a.m.

Where will the county clerk's office go then?

Amy Biolchini

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 2:09 p.m.

Clerk's Office will remain in 200 N. Main St., though some of the historical records in space the clerk's office uses downstairs will be converted to electronic formats to save space.

tom swift jr.

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 11 a.m.

Putting a client services building someplace like 110 N. 4th is a terrible idea. The parking in that area is nearly impossible to find and expensive.


Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

I'll second that about how poorly this has been thought out in regards to transportation. Most of the lower income homes, supported apartments, lower cost apartments...where most CSTS clients live is clustered on the EASTERN half of Ann Arbor, and more or less on the Ypsi/Ann Arbor line. The commute to downtown from this part of town is LONGER than the current commute to Ellsworth is for the majority of the CSTS client base that will be served at the Annex.

Gen. Public

Mon, Mar 25, 2013 : 10:41 p.m.

@ Vox: you're mistaken. The downtown bus depot cannot compare to the stop at Ellsworth which is right outside the CSTS building. The bus depot is two blocks away from 110 N. 4th. Keep in mind there is one elevator or two sets of stairs for those with limited mobility, and this bldg will now serve approx 1,500 clients. This move has been poorly thought out on many levels.

vox rationis

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

A majority of clients in the population they service rely on public transportation. A downtown location will remove the barriers they currently have for access to transportation at the Ellsworth site. While there is a bus line at Ellsworth it cannot compare to the 4th Ave. location. It will, however, result in challenges for the staff with regards to parking if they choose to drive their own car downtown as opposed to taking public transportation.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 11:11 a.m.

It is very close to the Blake Transit Center.


Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 10:24 a.m.

"At the administration building at 220 North Main St., the county is planning some renovations to the first floor, as well as adding conference rooms and storage space to the lower level. A building study is under way to determine if 220 and 200 N. Main St. could be connected." I hope this is all a well-thought out reconfiguration that results in a very easily measurable payoff in a short amount of time, and not just busy work and spending to make sure all the money's gone. Renovations are expensive, and I'm sure when it's on the gov's dime it's even more so. What sorage and conference needs does the county have in that building? Are they storing employee records? County Clerk documentation? Furniture? Have they had trouble recently fitting everyone into rooms for meetings, so need conference rooms? Maybe the problem with too many people to fit into rooms has a different solution than renovating to make bigger rooms...

Vivienne Armentrout

Fri, Mar 22, 2013 : 10:57 a.m.

I'm wondering whether those conference rooms will replace the one being lost in the basement of the other building. I'm sorry to see that one go - it has been used for many community purposes, including ballot recounts. There is also an excellent conference room on the first floor of 110 N. Fourth. Not clear whether that will be included in the conversion to CSTS use. Yes, there is a need for conference rooms, always. Sometimes they are needed for public meetings as well as for committee and staff purposes.