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Posted on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 3:29 p.m.

U-M to buy 4 homes, pursue eminent domain for new dorm on Blimpy Burger site

By Kellie Woodhouse


The University of Michigan plans to purchase two properties on South Division Street and two properties on East Madison Street for $3.17 million. The school recently bought the building that houses Blimpy Burger, and an adjacent building, on South Division Street for $1.5 million. U-M plans to build a graduate student dormitory on the site.

Courtney Sacco |

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional comments.

The University of Michigan plans to build a dormitory for graduate students atop land where Blimpy Burger and several other homes currently sit.


A new dormitory for graduate students will occupy the site of the Blimpy Burger restaurant, the University of Michigan announced Thursday.

Joseph Tobianski |

The school plans to purchase two properties on South Division Street and two properties on East Madison Street for $3.17 million. The properties total just under 0.4 acres. The school recently bought the building that houses Blimpy Burger, and an adjacent building, on South Division Street for $1.5 million.

To make way for two other buildings on South Division Street the university is pursuing eminent domain because the owners would not agree to a deal with the university.

"We would like to proceed using the eminent domain process," U-M Chief Financial Officer Timothy Slottow told regents. Slottow wrote in a memo that negotiations with the property owners "have failed" and said the parcels "are necessary for the project."

Regents approved the purchases, the building, and the eminent domain request during a public meeting Thursday. The 370,000 square-foot project will cost $185 million. The apartment-style dorm will house 600 students.

The new building was made possible by a $110 million gift from Charles Munger. The gift is the largest donation in university history.

The properties the university is buying are at 535 and 537 South Division Street and 401 and 409 East Madison Street. They are registered to William C. Martin, former University of Michigan athletic director. When asked about the potential sale of the properties recently, Martin's son, Mike Martin, declined to comment.

The university is pursuing eminent domain to acquire the properties at 541 and 543 S. Division Street. They are owned by David Copi and managed by Copi Properties. Copi couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

The university will also be using a surface parking lot on Thompson Street as land for the new building. Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger owner Rich Magner was notified in late 2012 that he would need to vacate the Blimpy Burger building at 551 S. Division St. when his current lease expires in August. Patricia Shafer, the property’s long-time owner and wife of Blimpy Burger’s original founder, Jim Shafer, sold the property to the University of Michigan for $1.075 million in December.

"I think they should leave a space in there (the new residence hall) for Blimpy’s, don’t you?" Manger said. "That’d be nice if they did."

Magner said earlier this month he is confident he will find a new space for his iconic Ann Arbor restaurant before his current lease expires in August.

"I’m going to certainly miss being here and a lot of things about this location are unique and very difficult to duplicate," he said. "There will be no problem in duplicating the food, that's for sure. A lot of my employees will come with me too, and we’ll be taking many of the fixtures."

A crowd of regulars mixed with first-time guests were ordering burgers Thursday afternoon. Some posed outside the restaurant for pictures with the sign.

Mike Christopher, a 20-something living in Canton, said he came to visit Blimpy Burger Thursday because he saw it on "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives."

"I liked it," Christopher said. When he heard that U-M would be taking over the corner to build a dorm and that Blimpy would be closing at that location, Christopher shook his head.

"I think it should definitely stick around," Christopher said.

Born and raised in the city, Jeff Himlin, 39, of Ann Arbor, ordered his usual Thursday afternoon from Blimpy: A quad patty with cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms, wrapped up to go.

"I love Blimpy," Himlin said.

As long as Blimpy Burger stays in Ann Arbor and stays local, Himlin said he's not upset about them moving or the transition of the corner to a dormitory.

"Those four houses are old; this place is old too," Himlin said. "Change happens — they're building and expanding all over town."

James Franklin, 40, of Ann Arbor, was not happy to hear a dormitory would be replacing Blimpy Burger. He's been eating there for 20 years.

"I think it's bad," Franklin said.

Franklin said the development would create jobs and a more harmonious campus for students at U-M, but the removal of Blimpy Burger from the corner would leave a hole in the city.

"It takes a little bit away from what Ann Arbor is," Franklin said.

Until Thursday, the university had not divulged what would go on the site of the restaurant.

The school has commissioned Integrated Design Solutions LCC and Hartman-Cox Architects to design the new building.

In an December interview after regents approved the purchase of the Blimpy Burger property, Slottow said the surrounding South Division Street area was considered a strategic location by the university.

"When we do purchase property, it is for a very specific mission driven purpose or it is very strategically located property," he said in an interview with "These houses on Division Street, you can see they're right on the edge of central campus and we have virtually no empty buildable property on central campus at this moment."

Lizzy Alfs, Amy Biolchini and Ben Freed contributed to this report.

View Division-Thompson Street Property Acquisition in a larger map

Kellie Woodhouse covers higher education for Reach her at or 734-623-4602 and follow her on twitter.


Laura J

Sun, Apr 21, 2013 : 12:43 a.m.

Bill Martin and his entities paid $3,112,000 for the 4 houses. He sold for $3,170,000 to the University. He made $58,000. Trust me, not worth the work he went through to get those financed.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 11:53 p.m.

Per the university, Martin acted more or less as an agent for the university in that he earned no gain on the transaction and paid out transaction costs...which I believe is the $58,000 referred to. In other words, the transaction was done as an accommodation and was a wash to Mr. Martin.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 9:36 p.m.

UM--How can you possibly spoil that historic Blimpy's intersection with another big-box dorm? Don't tell me you're going to put up some of those lovely solar panels there too?


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 6:22 p.m.

This community thrives because of the University. The right answer is a broader tax base, with more services paid for and delivered through the country rather than a relatively small city.

Stan Hyne

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:01 p.m.

The University should have reached agreement for the additional properties before commitment to the project. If negotiations failed to purchase the adjacent properties, the project should have found a new location.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 10:35 a.m.

They paved burger paradise and put up another dorm. Ok, it was bad enough that they were taking away Blimpies. But now, they are kicking MORE people out? What gives? Don't they haven another vacant lot somewhere? Use that. It is not near campus. This is ridiculous.

C'est la vie

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 9:42 p.m.

I can only wonder how long it will be before the U tries to commandeer the area of Monroe Street where Dominick's is located, to expand the adjacent Law and Business Schools. What a travesty that would be!


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 6:07 p.m.

At least they will have a proper fight on their hands if that happens. I cannot imagine Mr. Davarti rolling over for another U land grab. Plus that place must do pretty well tucked in there, in season, have you ever known it to be anything but packed? It is places and structures like Dominick's that need protection under city zoning, that is an historic property, for sure. While the same could not be said for Mr. Copi's houses, there are many houses of lesser historical significance in our historic districts. Unfortunately as we have seen with Germantown, wishing it to be designated historic carries little weight in stopping development.

Ricardo Queso

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 4:36 p.m.

You are prophetic. Over/under bets start at 3 years.

shadow wilson

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 5:38 p.m.

Someone suggested Charles Munger as an employee of Berkshire Hathaway. He is more accurately a partner of Warren Buffet having been with B/H almost since Buffet.Munger attended UM.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 5:31 p.m.

Any more info about the Ed Martin, err, I mean Bill Martin connection to monies from this deal?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

It seems that unreasoning hatred of the University is distorting some posters' judgment in many comments. The article says the University now owns or has contracts for the necessary property, except for two lots, as to which it expects to assert eminent domain. The purchases and contracts were presumably reached in arms-length bargaining, as with the deal with Blimpy's owner. You wouldn't know it from some of the comments, but those two lots are owned, not by longstanding families or anyone else who might have a sentimental attachment to the properties, but by a David Copi, and they are managed by Copi Properties. Copi is, one infers, a real estate speculator, who is presumably holding out for a better price. He's free to do that, but it's surprising that people talk as though he's a victim. He's a businessman. Presumably in that location, the buildings are student housing with the usual student turnover. The sentimentality about "locals", etc, is therefore misplaced. Eventually, no doubt Copi and U-M will reach a price (probably greater then the fair compensation under the eminent domain statute, giving U-M the property more quickly and giving Copi a premium for holding out).


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 3:14 p.m.

Seems possible that Copi does not want to sell at all. This appears to be investment property that provides cash flow and tax benefits. Presumably, a sale would generate large capital gains (income) that would incur a large tax liability. This would reduce the net amount of cash received, reducing Copi's ability to invest in a similar property, even if one were available.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:49 p.m.

I wish Blimpys delivered. Cold crappy day like this. How cool would it be to have a grease laden paper sack delivered to your door filled with greazy warm goodness. With rings and a Grape Crush. ugh....

Alice Ralph

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:58 p.m.

"To make way for two other buildings on South Division Street the university is pursuing eminent domain because the owners would not agree to a deal with the university. " From whom is the use of eminent domain granted? The city (taxing authority) or which court? The eminent domain process is rarely used. One of the most frequent uses is for highway construction, usually because there are no practically alternative sites. I believe that this kind of living arrangement is appropriate only for enrolled students on public property [and not appropriate for private developments on private property]. It is not clear that there no alternative sites for this development on existing university-owned public property. The former Pfizer 'campus' does seem an obvious alternative, as well as nearby housing site on North Campus.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:55 p.m.

What is next? Will the University start taking parts of downtown or entire residential city blocks for their greed? Isn't it enough that they have the pfeizer campus for their business use, tax free?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Once they start eyeing Burns Park then we'll see some resistance.

Richard Fisher

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

So, the university is going head to head in competition with local residents. They wish to supply residences to non freshmen, competing with local property owners. And yes, the university is also subsidized by not having to pay any property taxes. They are already competing with high tech stat up companies in the same way. Although I do see some good arguments regarding high tech, I can see no moral argument for directly competing in the real estate sector. What's next?

Sarah McCallum

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

This has nothing to do with "hating the University". Does U of M really need more graduate dorms? Eminent domain should not apply in this case. U of M has the option to build the dorm somewhere else. Personally, I hope this is a long, drawn out court battle with the owners of the parcels in questions so that I can continue to enjoy the ambience of the restaurant as it is today. If it is moved, it just won't be the same.

David Wanner

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

It would be nice if Blimpy's could stay in the area. I went there while I was in high school at St. Thomas back in the late 70's.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:56 p.m.

I'm a big fan of UM, but this is a pile of crap. If these guys don't want to sell out, they shouldn't have to. How much OPEN land is there on North Campus? I noticed a link provided by aggatt to University of Wisconsin housing. Go open those links. The housing is WAY off campus. Both Eagle Heights and University Houses are located at "Picnic Point" on the map shown below. This is NOWHERE NEAR central campus, or any part of campus for that matter. Harvey Street is directly south of the other two apartment complexes and, again, nowhere near central campus. UM - Build your new place on North Campus. There is PLENTY of space out there and you keep buying more.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

Bullying people and taking their land is the legacy for which Coleman will be remembered. You've come a long way!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

I would like to know how each regent voted on this, anyone know where to find that out?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 6:25 p.m.

Most of the regents have became puppets. They are all comfy together...


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

Who has to approve the use of eminent domain? The City? The State? The city council has several UM employees on it. Will they recuse themselves? Not likely given past such votes. Governor Snyder has had some very lucrative business deals with UM (e.g. his company Discera was founded on a UM invention). Will he recuse himself?

sandy schopbach

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:16 p.m.

I don't understand where all these students are coming from! I really don't see why there's a need for even MORE housing! I mean, the University isn't growing THAT much! According to the Registrar's records, total enrollment has grown a little over 3,000 students since fall of 2005. I'm SURE more than that many beds have been created in Ann Arbor since then, seeing as the recently-built North Quad houses 450 students and at least four new high-rise apt bldgs have been built during that time period.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:57 a.m.

There is at least one dorm that was evaluated during the RLI initiative that is being taken completely off line because it was not judged worthy of renovation. As I understand it, UM also wants to add to the graduate student population.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

More land off the City Tax rolls!

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:59 a.m.

If you read some of the other comments noting the recent purchasers of property that the University has acquired it appears that Bill Martin is the politically connected developer (private interest) of which Justice O'Connor spoke. Thanks to all of you who are connecting the dots. Scalia and Thomas would be smiling. Someone might also connect the dots of the $110 million donation (I think it was a stock donation) and if it was used to off-set otherwise taxable gains. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it would be an example of how insiders are able to use the tax code and how Bershire Hathaway prospered in large part due to being able to buy small family businesses that were subject to inheritance taxes which forced them to sell out.

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Jay Thomas

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

You don't have to pay the cap gains if you donate the stock. Sometimes that is just enough for people to do something charitable.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:35 p.m.

"Someone might also connect the dots of the $110 million donation (I think it was a stock donation) and if it was used to off-set otherwise taxable gains." Berkshire stock has large embedded capital gains. You don't use a stock with capital gains to offset other gains. To offset gains you need losses. Munger probably has few losses. It is more probable that the donation of stocks with embedded gains is an estate planning device. Your other comment also makes no sense: a small family business, by selling, creates an immediately taxable gain which could otherwise be reduced or eliminated via proper estate planning. Families which own entities of tangible size generally will put the stock in a foundation, a trust, or a family partnership...not trigger gains on sale.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:06 p.m.

You don't get to be the richest guy in town without connections.

Chase Ingersoll

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:51 a.m.

It's nice to see all of the Ann Arborites on the side of the Kelo dissenters (Scalia, Thomas & Rhenquist) siding with O'Connor who wrote: "...Any property may now be taken for the benefit of another private party, but the fallout from this decision will not be random. The beneficiaries are likely to be those citizens with disproportionate influence and power in the political process, including large corporations and development firms..." Here is the list of your government worshiping corporatists in the majority: Justices Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg Breyer. AND WHO IS CHARLES MUNGER ? Why, that would be (Corporatist and Obama supporter Warren Buffett's) right hand at Berkshire Hathaway. (as reported by the Huffinton Post) The conservative justices could not have been more prophetic in their analysis. Chase Ingersoll


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:50 a.m.

I hope this isn't in "Germantown" ! It may end up looking like a Hampton Inn!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:20 a.m.

The only thing missing at this point - Jim Kosteva giving us a nice "greater good" speech. But it's early in the process, so we may still be "fortunate" enough to get that yet. I'll be waiting today to hear what our city "leaders" have to say about this.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:15 a.m.

Eminent Domain - "The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property." Just because the U of M is a public university doesn't mean this is for public use. In my opinion the use of eminent domain has been abused in many cases over the years.


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:54 a.m.

"corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property" 1) the university would appear to meet the entity definition; 2) whether or not the compensation is just seems like an issue for courts/arbitrator; 3) housing students at a public university, many of whom stay in state and/or donate money which will benefit the university and Ann Arbor in the future seems like a reasonable outcome; 4) which particular cases, in your view, demonstrate the abuse of eminent domain; which spring most readily to mind?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 10:51 a.m.

"The apartment-style dorm will house 600 students." Even if only 50% of the students have vehicles, that's still 300 parking spaces. "The university will also be using a surface parking lot on Thompson Street as land for the new building". Free parking is almost non-existent in and around that particular area. A large percentage of students drive their cars to A2, park it in front of their apartment, room they rent...... and don't move it again till they go home for the holidays. Taking away the Thompson parking lot and adding 300 (minimum) Grad Student vehicles is insane.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 10:26 a.m.

Curious, what the City lists the property value as, what the professional appraisal is, what the offer was and what the counter offer was before rendering opinion if the offer was fair or not. Not in favor of eminent domain strategy. Maybe go to a mediator?


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:51 a.m.

Stop making'll disrupt the usual mindless hate fest against the U. All of your points are sound.

Lizzy Alfs

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 10:20 a.m.

So I just remembered this: Just down the street from where I grew up in Birmingham is this little hole-in-the-wall burger joint called Hunter House. Very similar to Blimpy and its following and notoriety. When a hotel development was proposed for the large vacant plot the restaurant is on, it was written into the agreement that the first-floor of the hotel would have to keep Hunter House. That development fell through years ago, but when I drove back recently, I noticed something new is planned for the site. Not sure what it means for Hunter House. Just saying: dorm + Blimpy Burger? Why not!


Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 4:41 a.m.

Lizzy, is that the one on Woodward and Maple?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:42 p.m.

I like the Hunter House too!

T Wall

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 9:42 a.m.

For almost a decade Ms. Coleman and the University have refused to let me use a piece of useless (to them) property and even gone so far as to construct an 8 foot high fence to keep me, specifically, out. I am talking about an eight foot wide piece of property where Pauline intersects with S. Main (it used to be the old VFW Hall) that I had cleaned up, put in a couple of picnic tables in and used for the Special Need kids to enjoy as a park. Then the University decided to pave the area and use it for a parking lot and a production site for football games. On the north side of the property there is a drop off probably 20 feet high and at the bottom of the hill they constructed a fence so that their property could not be used. I realize that it is their property and I have talked to them about leasing or selling it to me but they refuse and instead they maintain a fence that traps paper and other debris, and denies my special needs kids a place that they could enjoy. I am a life-long resident of Ann Arbor and I can remember when the U did stuff that benefitted the community; like their spring carnivals and homecoming parades down So, U. Now I am so tired of the University just being a taker and never giving any thought to what they are doing to Ann Arbor. And here they are talking about taking over property using eminent domain so that they can make more money with a residence hall, take more money off the City of Ann Arbor's tax rolls and show their lack of being a good neighbor. I find it rather ironic that Robert Frost, the recipient of a lifetime Fellow in Letters at the University, would mention that good fences make good neighbors. Not in this instance Mr. Frost.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:12 p.m.

Perhaps it depends on which side of the fence one stands: My guess is that UM thinks the fence makes you a very good neighbor, Mr. Wall. You seem to be the one that was the taker in your story, not them. Taking or using someone's land without permission is known as adverse possession, and the first step to this claim is the open and hostile use of another's property. This is also known as "taking by open use," or stealing. You fail to mention that you also lease the referenced property for private parties during football season . . . complete with all of the tomfoolery those parties are known for. . . This activity benefits no one except you. So don't hate the U.

Stuart Brown

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:37 a.m.

$500/square-foot or about 2.5 times the average national cost in 2013 to build a dorm. Mr. Martin appears to not be the only one with his fingers in the cookie jar. How many insiders got their meal tickets punched the way Mr. Martin did the last few years because of UofM's building boom?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:25 a.m.

I'm from Flint. I'll take the liberal, arrogant, shameful, downward pressure, reckless and abusive entity all day long. Voice of Reason says it's not about hating the University but about keeping the government out of people's lives. To that I agree completely. Too many haters on here, I love the U, it is the primary and perhaps only reason why Ann Arbor is so different than Flint, Jackson, Ypsi, Romulus, etc. However, to those that want the U to quit taking property off the tax role, or to those that seem to feel helpless and angry to these folks, um, the regents are elected. From WikiPedia "Michigan is one of four states with public university governing boards elected directly by the people (along with Colorado, Nebraska, and Nevada). The Board of Regents is one of three elected university governing boards in the state (the others being the Michigan State University Board of Trustees and the Wayne State University Board of Governors)." I agree with many of the comments on here but not the venom that's in some of them, nor with the belief that the U is somehow bad for the city, in any way, except extra traffic, people and growth. Did I mention I was from Flint, I would take traffic, people and growth forever.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4 a.m.

If anyone cares about actual facts, here is the University News Service's article in the grad student housing to be built with the $110 Million gift from Charlie Munger (sometimes referred to as Warren Buffett's smarter, older partner):

Sieben 7

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:30 a.m.

Sky rocketing prices in Ann Arbor. Did your house triple in one year? According to the AA city assessor 401 E. Madison (house next to Blimpies) was bought by Cam-Homes LLC for $640,000 on 3/15/2011. On 3/27/2012 (note almost a year to the day could there be LT Capital Gains involved?) the house was bought by South Division St Properties (interestingly this is located at 115 Depot St - more on this shortly) for 1.8 million smackers! G** D*** that is one hell of a return on your investment. Oh did I mention that this is one of the properties that the U wants to purchase for their new graduate residence hall? Now the question is ... why would someone pay 3X the previous, year old purchase price? And not to jump to any conclusions but First Martin (read Bill Martin) is headquartered at 115 Depot St. The guy couldn't run an athletic department for crap but he still has some contacts at the U me thinks. Now that is sort of upsetting but then I went to the building tab on the left and if that building was built in 2012 then I was born yesterday. And a real nice assessed value as well. I only hope that if I sell my house I can get the same multiple

Jay Thomas

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:51 p.m.

He is also headquartered at Bank of Ann Arbor... which he owns.

Audion Man

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:20 p.m.

It's a little sad when the commenters do more digging than the "journalists".

C'est la vie

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:15 p.m.

State of MI records show that Bill Martin is the registered agent of South Division Street Properties, L.L.C. Document at:\2012051\GSI00953946.TIF Anyone curious can search any MI LLC or corporation info at:, how about looking into this further??

Sieben 7

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:50 p.m.

The facts about the property are facts and part of the public record, the only conjecture rises from who S. Division Properties is as I don't have any info on ownership but it would be hard to imagine that Martin is not involved given the address of record for both concerns. Not sure if the link will be active but you can copy and paste.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 10:30 a.m.

This is indeed very interesting; I think some folks should look into this. If what yiou're saying is accurate, this seems very, VERY fishy. If there are dishonest dealings here, I wonder if anyone in this town would actually pursue it.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:27 a.m.

So Billy Martin was a landlord?? Who would have guessed. Of course, after he royally screwed up the coach search and brought in what's his name RR and tanked the program, he had to do something to fill his time......


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:24 a.m.

So the UM is going to add a dorm to house 600 students at the corner of Division and Madison? They better hurry up. Students are renting in those monster high rises around town. Too much housing and at some point, not enough students to fill them up! Good luck! Where will these 600 grad students park?

Stuart Brown

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:22 a.m.

The lack of parking will generate lots of ticket and tow revenue for the city and U.

Mackinac Straits

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:45 a.m.

Eminent Domain is not for taking private property to hand to others for redevelopment. Its for building roads, ports, etc. The UofM has dramatically increased the value of the land by announcing their plans, it should suffer the (financial) consequences.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:27 p.m.

"The UofM has dramatically increased the value of the land by announcing their plans, it should suffer the (financial) consequences." Giving up the information for its plans probably was not much of a driver of pricing as common sense would suggest that property around university may receive a healthy bid at any time. Why you would want to see a public institution punished, and by extension its students, is beyond me. Absent more donors like Munger, a higher cost to UM is a higher cost to students. You won't punish UM directly as they control their own pricing and will flow it through to students subject only to donor relief. Think before you speak.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:30 a.m.

eminent domain? that is mean.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:36 a.m.

Perfect solution. Build restaurant space on the first floor of the new dorm. Blimpy's gets the first lease.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:22 a.m.

Baits on North Campus used to be graduate student housing, they're closing Baits I down, so build a new high-density grad student dorm there. The old married student housing on North Campus is very low-density, get rid of some of that and put a graduate student dorm there. There's all kinds of vacant land on North Campus near to Pierpoint Commons, and while I hate cutting down the woods, that's preferable over taking someone else's property agains their will. Of course, UM's long-term "strategic plan" probably has other classrooms already planned for those sites, but I don't care, mis-using eminent domain for this when you have plenty of other options is unethical and despicable. UM could choose to build it other places, and instead is stealing someone else's property. For shame!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:20 a.m.

I'm surprised that no one is talking about the shadiness regarding the other 4 properties...


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:05 a.m.

I had my first Blimpy Burger 10 days ago, even though I lived in the Ann Arbor area for 7 years prior to moving out to Novi. It's sad to see a staple like that restaurant go. I felt at home there. Next time I go though, I'm ordering a quad instead of a double. Those patties are like 2 ounces!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:05 a.m.

As U of M buys and builds more, our taxes go up. We can't afford this, Ann Arbor taxpayers! When will we say "enough is enough" and vote new administration into office?

T Wall

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:31 p.m.

An architect could of easily constructed a plan to keep Blimpy Burger at it's orginal location with U of M still having their dream dorm for their graduate students. It is sad that the City of Ann Arbor did not take a strong stand to say Blimpy stays.

Usual Suspect

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:52 a.m.

No, no, no, no, no.

Michigan Man

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:49 p.m.

Tom Wall for Mayor, once again!


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:19 p.m.

Why don't they build their dormitory on that piece of green between Angell Hall and State Street?

Craig Lounsbury

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

I wonder what they paid Bill Martin for his houses versus what David Copi turned down?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:41 a.m.

Timing is everything - just ask Martha Stewart.

The Picker

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:58 p.m.

Martin just bought those houses ! Humm??? I guess timing is everything !


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

If this isn't the ultimate in arrogance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:40 a.m.

I think the letters around the stadium were worse! Leaders and Best, in 3 billion font.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:11 p.m.

I thought eminent domain was a power limited to the government, not one that could be used by entities partially funded by the government.

A Voice of Reason

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11 p.m.

Stay tough David Copi or should I say David vs. Goliath. More private tax paying property off the City of Ann Arbor books--what is new. Does Ann Arbor make the University pay 100 years worth of property taxes when they do this? It is not about hating the University, it is about protecting people from the government thinking they have the right to their personal property, just because they think they do.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:59 p.m.

Some general info about eminent domain law in Michigan: In the second link, A 1 is of interest, because it seems to say that the U would have to be considered a state "agency." While it is obviously a state institution, is it a state "agency"? B 1 is interesting, too....


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:51 p.m.

"The properties the university is buying are at 535 and 537 South Division Street and 401 and 409 East Madison Street. They are registered to William C. Martin, former University of Michigan athletic director. When asked about the potential sale of the properties recently, Martin's son, Mike Martin, declined to comment." Are you kidding me? I wish people could see my "shock face" right now. Is there no law against self-dealing at this University? Are you to tell me that Mr. Martin didn't front-run the University based on insider knowledge, then "sell out" to the school for a hefty profit? Absolutely ludicrous.

Jay Thomas

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:50 p.m.

He also owns the Bank of Ann Arbor. I'm off to open an account... not!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:23 p.m.

From GoNavy: " Are you to tell me that Mr. Martin didn't front-run the University based on insider knowledge, then "sell out" to the school for a hefty profit? Absolutely ludicrous." The University has been in Ann Arbor since what, 1850 or so, or over 150 years, and people are shocked, shocked that that the university wants to expand its footprint. Who would have guessed? Anybody who buys in Ann Arbor, given the preponderance of population affiliated with the university as faculty, staff, students, must know what the driving economic engine is. GoNavy, if you think that "front running" the university occurred, here are several thoughts: 1) define a time when buying property around the university, or an airport for example, is not a good strategy; 2) having done that, invest your money for 5 to 50 years until the university decides to expand and can find a donor. Sounds pretty easy right? All you need is a lot of money, a lot of staying power, and the ability to carry taxes and utilities and what not until the speculation pays off. There is no arbitrage here as it depends on supply and demand and a lot of staying power. Of course, If you think there has been wrong doing, contact the state or the Federal government and share your concerns. In the alternative, get in on the game: earn a few million dollars, buy a portfolio around the university, wait a period of time and harvest that easy money. If Martin made money the easy way, why can't you?


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Pretty soon you Ann Arborites are going to be run out of the city by the U of M and you will be living in Ypsi. See ya when you get here. Yes, I expect to be voted down if my comment is not deleted.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:25 a.m.

You are welcome to any of our 14 story buildings.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:19 a.m.



Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:33 p.m.

Hopefully the mayor and council are already formulating their response to this (I believe) unprecedented act of abuse by the university against Ann Arbor taxpayers.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:42 p.m.

I mean the entire council and the mayor. They need to take a position on this surprise involuntary "annexation" of our tax base. Otherwise if they get away with it this time where will it stop?

Usual Suspect

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

You mean Mr Conflict-of-interest?


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:18 p.m.

Shame on U of M. Shame. Shame. Shameful. I want my city back.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

You want it back from the students who live in those rental properties right now? Because that's really all this is, one form of student housing turning into another.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:13 p.m.

Is there a need for the student housing? With all the high rises and condos being built for students all over the down town area, is there going to be a demand for student dormitory housing?

Ricardo Queso

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 4:21 p.m.

So this is not to satisfy a demand for housing but it is an attempt institute a social engineering theory of a very wealthy donor.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:39 a.m.

Not just any students, but grad students who Munger said "a building or money won't succeed in connecting disciplines, the students will." He's already given millions to the U of M and now another $110 MM as blue85 said. Wow! Want other perspectives? "It could be a huge tool for universities to transform the way they recruit and train graduate students," Gene Tempel, founding dean of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, said of Munger's gift. He said there have been larger gifts to other U.S. universities, but he's unaware of any as large as Munger's for such a purpose. While improving interdisciplinary studies is a common goal throughout academia, Michigan's project stands out, Tempel said. "Using the graduate students as a tool to help break down the silos – that in itself is a very innovative approach," he said.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.

That's all well and great, but what happens when it sits half empty because suddenly there's a glut of housing in town and students aren't living in the dorms? I lived in the dorms 1 year, and couldn't wait to get out of them. With all these fancy high rises all over town, why live in the dorms? How many grad students really want to live in the dorms? Will there be married housing in these dorms as well?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:30 a.m.

The donor, Charlie Munger, has a theory about education being enhanced by housing. He spent over $40MM at Stanford helping them build housing, and $20MM at UM for the same purpose. This is more than just another donor whim in that it appears to reflect a philosophy about how to enhance education. I'm not sure how the university approached trying to steer the donation into another domain, but when $110MM comes knocking, it is not practical to say no. The university has a residential life initiative going due to worn down housing stock (as opposed to private efforts) so it makes some sense that they accept this gift to further that end.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:09 p.m.

I can't believe that the University as a neighbor would try to use eminent domain as a way to push locals around. It could be and kudos if it is, hat the owners are holding out so they can take the U to the bank. I can tell you they will not win any friends over this.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:03 p.m.

"I can't believe that the University as a neighbor would try to use eminent domain as a way to push locals around." I can.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:56 p.m.

Am I to understand that eminent domain trumps any and all public opinion? So even if these owners could get the entire town rallying around them and signing petitions in the tens of thousands, etc., it really wouldn't matter?

Ypsi Russell

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

The U of M must have some leverage over these owners that is not public knowledge yet.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:40 a.m.

That's right.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

People, people, people. Look, I liked U of M. Chose it over Brown. Was great. Great school. But seriously, the building and the buying and the building and the building and the buying has GOT to be curbed a little, I mean come ON. That school has raised tuition and put about a trillion dollars into tearing down, rebuilding, buying new, new building, just non freaking stop, and it was ridiculous a while ago. Seriously. Let's try to give the residents of Ann Arbor a brief respite, OK? Eminent domain? I am appalled. I mean really, just disgusted. The people in this town, including the leaders, really need to take a stand at some point here. U of M owns PLENTY of land without taking more off the tax rolls. They have NO problem with tearing down existing buildings and building new ones in their place, so they can build up taller buildings where that whole Baits complex is. Or anywhere of the thousands of acres they own. Enough. Seriously.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:37 p.m.

I encourage the owner, Mr. Copi, to fight this attempt at eminent domain, his loss could set a terrible precedent in town. The city could cite this as a reason to do whatever they want 'for the benefit of the public'. Also, how do you put a price on Real Estate, when you own these rent producing properties, do you calculate not only the land value or do you add up all the lost rent for the life of the property, which could be another 100 years? Also, kiss that Thompson Lot near-State Street parking goodbye - it is hard to find parking for some events at the Union. Not surprising U of M is trying this, still terrible to hear - and this from a former West Quad resident...


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:45 p.m.

Actually, that's just YOUR OPINION of what the city's job is. One that many people would disagree with. The government's job is to supply basis services that they can do more easily and fairly than a private market. Not try and assess what the "public good" is. They are elected (still elected without caps), not royalty. And being a rentable property certainly changes property value. If one doesn't think he or she isgetting more than the actual land is worth because it's has worth more than just the house, but as a source of income, one doesn't have to sell. Unless it can be determined by the government it can supercede basic property rights. And mods, how is the last sentence of johnnya2 not a personal attack?

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:16 p.m.

The city could pass an income tax that primarily collected from university employees who make more than $150K. That would have a profound and immediate impact on the bad behavior of the University.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 11:54 a.m.

So.. It is acceptable commenting policy to CAP IT OUT when disagreeing, but not for the object of the CAP ATTACK to comment on such behavior? I know the law well enough to know that just because the mayor leads a mostly spineless council, it doesn't mean that the city cannot make an attempt to control what happens within its boundaries. READ the article, it is not the city who is pursuing eminent domain, it is the University, under state authority.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:43 p.m.

The city CAN and SHOULD do anything it wants for the public good. They are ELECTED officials and that is their JOB. If the city determines it needs a fire house, it can use eminent domain right now to build it on your property. As for what just compensation is, it is what the value of the property would be on the open market. That is ddone ith appraisals of like properties in the market. The U is actually going to end up paying a premium since the other properties they just bought were over market value. You do not get to say, I could collect rent for 100 years so I want THAT money as well. If the house burned down you can not get that as insurance either The city cannot require ANYTHING of the U. Until you understand that and learn the law, please refrain from making emotional comments not based on reality.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:40 p.m.

P.S. The city should also try to require just compensation from the University for the loss of taxable value. Wouldn't it be nice to at least have that conversation at City Council? At least ask for it, and stop rolling over.

Nicholas Urfe

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:33 p.m.

"These houses on Division Street, you can see they're right on the edge of central campus and we have virtually no empty buildable property on central campus at this moment." Build it on the diag. Build it on the Pfeizer campus. But trying to seize private property becaues they wouldn't give in to your low price demands is stealing.


Sun, Apr 21, 2013 : 10:05 p.m.

Please yourself Sparty. There's a profit alright. Building will house 600 grad students (typically on a year lease). A one bedroom in Northwood goes for $970 a month. Convienence of being downtown? Try a nice rounded off number of $1000 a month x 12 x 600. That's $7.2 million a year. Building costs $185 million, but $110 million of the cost was the Munger donation. So, the University pays $75 million, plus their land acquisition costs. In 11 years, they've received over $79 million in rent.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 6:19 p.m.

They could be trying to gouge the UofM for even larger payments, Nicholas ... did you think of that? The University doesn't make a PROFIT on it's student housing. Please.

Nicholas Urfe

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

@Sparty: If it was an adequate offer, they would have sold. It is an investment property, in a busy area, on a corner. Why should anyone be forced to give up their investment so someone else can make a greater profit?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:38 a.m.

How do you know it's a low offer? It's likely well above the assessed value.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:31 p.m.

Sigh. I'm becoming more and more ashamed of my alma mater

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:19 p.m.

Here is a story on Mlive about GVSU proceeding with eminent domain to acquire a warehouse property to construct a college of business. From that story: "University leaders say they cannot reach a deal with a developer, and are taking a different tack. The school Monday filed its intent to seek eminent domain." "An amendment in the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state to appropriate property to certain public or private entities, as long as the intended development falls within the realm of "public use."


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:49 a.m.

How about an investigation by about the Bill Martin connection to some of the properties the U is buying?


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:50 p.m.

Uh...thanks? You really don't need to yell though.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:38 p.m.

Actually you have that COMPLETELY backwards. Blimpys is VERY private business. I will also point out that the Blimpys property was sold WITHOUT eminent domain. If you have an issue, take it up with the owner of the property who decided to SELL THEIR PRIVATE PROPERTY. Oh and by the way, selling to the U gave that owner a higher return that if she sold it without the U involved in buying land. The U makes EVERY persons property more valuable based on supply and demand, They create a HUGE demand.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:20 p.m.

Public Use is Blimpy Burger. Public Use IS NOT a private dorm.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:17 p.m.

Good for you, private property owners! The University's reckless, abusive and unsustainable expansion plans need to be slowed. If not stopped. BOO, U of M, Boo.

Dirty Mouth

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:56 p.m.

Interesting. The property owners won't negotiate with the University of Michigan? This is hilarious! Hey University of Michigan, why not offer the property owners a free education for all generations? I believe it's the same deal you gave the Potawatomi and Huron Indians back in the 1880s?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:03 a.m.

The property owners may be refusing to negotiate with the University in hopes of a higher offer, can't blame them but it is understandable, after making offers significantly higher than the true value of the houses, that the University is seeking alternative routes.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:14 p.m.

Definitely. I hope we can connect with them to see if that's the case.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:06 p.m.

Lizzy, they probably want to keep what they have. Their "thought process" may simply be that they have no desire to sell.

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:20 p.m.

We haven't been able to get in touch with the Copi family via multiple phone calls to the office and home, an email and a visit to the office. Also wondering the thought process behind why the family couldn't or didn't want to reach a deal.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:44 p.m.

Eminent domain: "the power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private corporation, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property." The property is taken either for government use, who will devote it to public or civic use or, in some cases, economic development. The most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for government buildings and other facilities, public utilities, highways, and railroads. Not quite sure how building a dormitory for graduate students meets the criteria for Eminent Domain. Sounds like a huge over reach! Shame on the University of Michigan. So if they decide they want to build a dormitory in Burns Park, next to the B-school, they can use eminent domain to force people to sell them their houses, when they do not want to? Really? What happened to the private property owner's right?

Stan Hyne

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:13 p.m.

If i wanted to sell my house I would put it up for sale. It is unfair for someone or some group to decide they should pay a fair price and take my property.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:24 a.m.

Look at the buildings in the pictures and you will probably see that they are probably collectively worth less than the bid being offered and derive their value from proximity to the university, which will richly compensate them.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:36 p.m.

"Not quite sure how building a dormitory for graduate students meets the criteria for Eminent Domain." " property is taken either for government use, who will devote it to public or civic use"- The U is a PUBLIC Univeristy so it fits there "most common uses of property taken by eminent domain are for government buildings" This is a governmental building as are ALL UM properties Not quite sure how you do not understand that. You also see where the property owner WILL receive just compensation. That is fairly easy to determine and is done every day throughout the country.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:49 p.m.

There doesn't appear to be a need for a bridge, so I'm having difficulty seeing the "eminent domain" position. Ok, it's personal. My first meal as a U of M student was a Blimpy Burger.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:37 p.m.

eminent domain is not the way they should go. I hope UofM loses and loses big time. the use of eminent domain should only be applied to and used when it is a public NEED not a WANT.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:48 p.m.



Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:25 p.m.

If the property owners want to fight eminent domain they should talk with these guys: I question the wisdom of putting up a dorm in the middle of a construction boom downtown, but if Munger's gift was specified for that (if!) then I guess that's what they'll have to do.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:29 p.m.

This is a Univeristy town don't forget,,, the boom has been apartment buildings going up which will push vacancy rates up in the next 5 years. Listen for the bubble popping


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:22 p.m.

Can we have a map with outlining the properties involved?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 3:59 p.m.

The map has ISR at the wrong location.

Cindy Heflin

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:04 p.m.

We've added a map.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:02 p.m.

Agreed. I work on a nearby block and am having trouble figuring things out. Are they letting 2 houses in that area stay?


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:19 p.m.

The eminent domain legal process is often used for public school land acquisition. This is common and typical. What is interesting is that UM sees value in providing housing beyond the freshman level. That might make some developers take pause. . .


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:21 a.m.

"But I would love to get some clues about the U's movers and shakers reasoning with this project..." Say it Plain: the university is huge on the theory of diversity (often interpreted as racial, when it is really a much broader construct) and interdisciplinarity in research. I think that to UM, this is more than lip-service: they have seen time and again how the university's multiple strengths (e.g., medicine, engineering) can be correlated as a force multiplier (biomedical engineering). I think that they think, as Munger the donor notes, that when you put people from diverse cultures and intellectual backgrounds together, great things happen. This was the approach used with the open plan construction for, inter alia, life sciences. I think the goal here is exactly the same. If you put a few future doctors together with a few future lawyers and an MBA or two, you might see the sort of fusion that leads to a few new interesting start ups...more or less along the lines of the residential college framework.

michael Limmer

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 11:04 p.m.

There is a story that the U of M just received a donation of $110 million for the building of said building from a Berkshire Hathaway employee.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10 p.m.

Lizzy, most other big ten schools have grad student/faculty apartments. They're not really like dorms, they're mostly 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for individuals and families. Here's an example:


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:28 p.m.

hasn't city hall been approving these high rises because of the demand for graduate housing? I see those high rises turning into something very different in the future

Lizzy Alfs

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:11 p.m.

Very interesting point @a2grateful. This might be another story for us to explore. Is there a market for a graduate level "dorm?"

say it plain

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

very good point! I wonder what their reasoning is in this...who are they hoping to serve with grad student housing like this? Surely it would help grad students to have access to housing that is centrally located and *affordable* since they are already burdened by debt for their undergrad degrees (yes yes they are in deferment and all but still) and it's hard to live with the tiny stipends for students who are pursuing doctorates or to live within any sort of budget for the students trying to get through professional degrees. But I would love to get some clues about the U's movers and shakers reasoning with this project...


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Sounds like a great use for Eminent Domain. Take land from tax payers that pay good property tax on prime land and give the land to the University who doesn't pay property taxes. Essentially making everyone else cover the losses. Thanks again UofM.

Stan Hyne

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

This should not have anything to do with the economic impact on the city. It should have more concern for the existing property owners then any other factor. Should a person or group be able to decide I would like to live there or build a store there and just take it because they have the money?

Jay Thomas

Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 8:35 p.m.

It is going to take more property off the tax rolls. If it is "overpriced" property... well, that just means it produces more tax dollars for the city. 600+ units will depress the market. It is silly to argue otherwise. I'm sorry if you think it will just be absorbed like nothing happened. Copi (the owner) owns lots more properties like these and he knows that (otherwise he would just take the money!).


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:07 a.m.

@Jay- you realize the surrounding area is pretty much student housing and that they are paying more for the location than the view right? These aren't family homes, they are rented to students at ridiculous prices as are all houses in the neighborhoods surrounding central campus are and will continue to be despite all of the construction.


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 12:15 a.m.

"There is no way this development isn't going to put downward pressure on property prices elsewhere costing the city even more lost tax dollars than the houses and business in question." Jay, you need to do a gut check on this one. For example: 1) the buildings shown look pretty cruddy and the university is probably paying a 200% premium for those properties; 2) a higher bid due to the proximity to the university's footprint should raise all other such prices; 3) the money that would otherwise be sitting in a hedge fund investment is now circulating, at least initially, in Ann Arbor which should add to local economic prosperity; 4) UM puts over $125,000,000 into the local community as pure charity through debt relief (mostly medical care) as well as contributing the affluence from its $6bn budget. In this context, the lost tax revenue is a rounding error.

Jay Thomas

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:44 p.m.

There is no way this development isn't going to put downward pressure on property prices elsewhere costing the city even more lost tax dollars than the houses and business in question. Copi owns lots of student housing and he knows this could cost him elsewhere.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 9:25 p.m.

housing 600 students with money to spend down town keeping the downtown alive. This is a university town after all. just sayin without the U -A2 would be 4 corners and a gas station, besides city hall would use the tax money to buy another 750K fountain anyway


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:17 p.m.

Can't have some mere property owners getting in the way, can we? Anybody know if they've ever tried/done this here before?


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:16 p.m.

I hope they are not successful in their pursuit to acquire property through eminent domain. Shame on them!


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

And what will prevent it, M-Wolverine ?


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 2:31 p.m.

The regents don't get to decide that. They just can approve the University pursuing it. So it's not successful and done. (Though I imagine it will be.)


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 4:29 a.m.

The Regents approved it, so it has been successful and has been done.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

I hope that they make it as nice looking as North Quad and not some ugly boxy thing like South Quad.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 7:59 p.m.

No. That's not what imminent domain should be used for. Taking over dwelling structures so a dwelling structure can be built. Makes no sense.

Stan Hyne

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 : 1:53 p.m.

Eminent domain should be used for roads, railroads and the like where the exact location is required. It should not be used for I would like to live there, or it would be nice if....


Fri, Apr 19, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

Only the government can do this. Not the UM. They maybe getting government funding, but no, this is not what imminent domain is used for. So wrong on so many levels.

Usual Suspect

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:57 p.m.

Thanks you, David. I hope you are enjoying your incredibly perfect, mistake-free day.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 10:48 p.m.

It's eminent, not imminent. Consult a dictionary.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:15 p.m.

The Supreme Court allowed in Kelo an extensive use of eminent domain for all kinds of development.


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 7:51 p.m.

Brace yourself - the University haters are coming to comment.


Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 2:28 p.m.

count me in!!!!!


Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 8:49 p.m.

Count me as one.

Bertha Venation

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 : 7:54 p.m.

You called?