Honda Testing Facility in Ann Arbor to Expand

A testing facility for Honda, located north of Ellsworth on Research Park Drive in Ann Arbor, will be expanding. The city council’s action approving the site plan came at its Sept. 16, 2013 meeting.

Honda, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Aerial view of Honda test site, north of Ellsworth on Research Park Drive.

The project will more than double the size of the existing facility and increase the number of American Honda Motor Co. employees who work at the site from 6 to 10, according to the city planning staff. The existing 19,357-square-foot building, built in 1975 and used for vehicle testing, is located at 3947 Research Park Drive on a 2.72-acre site. The proposal calls for building a two-story, 24,116-square-foot addition. Part of that square footage includes a basement level.

According to Honda, the expansion will include a state-of-the-art environmental testing chamber, to help Honda develop vehicles with cleaner fuel emissions. Two of the site’s seven landmark trees would be removed, and mitigated by planting six new trees. In addition, 32 shrubs will be planted in front of the new addition. A 5-foot public sidewalk will also be built along Research Park Drive. A variance related to the size of the existing curbcut was needed from the city’s zoning board of appeals.

The site is zoned RE (research district) and no rezoning is requested.

The project is being managed by Poggemeyer Design Group in Bowling Green, Ohio. The estimated construction cost is $4.3 million.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]