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Ann Arbor's blighted property across from downtown YMCA seeking developer

Concept plan by SmithGroup

The City of Ann Arbor wants a private developer to build on a contaminated and blighted property across from the downtown YMCA. To help accomplish that, City Council approved a rezoningon a unanimous vote last night.

The planned unit development zoning for 2.5 acres at 415 West Washington Street paves the way for the city to attract a private developer. A concept plan has been created, but there are some strings attached.

The city plans to use state Brownfield credits to clean up the contamination on the former gas station site. The developer would have to avoid building any structure on a floodplain. And a portion of the housing units would have to be designated as affordable housing.

First Ward council memberLisa Disch says some people wanted the project to do more to help the city meet its carbon neutrality goals. But she says past attempts to attract a developer for this site have failed.

“There’s already a lot that we’re asking for. And so, we’re not going to put requirements for a net zero building, but we would like to have staff negotiate as much as they can, and we are trying very hard not to scare off that developer.”

Now, the search begins for a developer to take on the project.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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