Traverwood Apartment Project Postponed

Ann Arbor planning commissioners postponed action on the proposed Traverwood Apartments, a complex of 16 two-story buildings on the west side of Traverwood Drive, north of Plymouth Road. The project – being developed by Ann Arbor-based First Martin Corp. – requires site plan approval and rezoning, as well as approval of a wetland use permit. The postponement took place at the commission’s Sept. 17, 2013 meeting.

Traverwood Apartments, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Aerial view of proposed Traverwood Apartments at 2225 Traverwood Drive, north of Plymouth Road.

The total 21.8-acre site, which is currently vacant, is made up of two parcels: a 17.96-acre lot that’s zoned R4D (multi-family residential), and an adjacent 3.88-acre lot that’s currently zoned ORL (office, research and light industrial). The smaller lot would need to be rezoned R4D.

The project, estimated to cost $30 million, would include 16 two-story buildings for a total of 216 one- and two-bedroom units – or 280 total bedrooms. Eight of the buildings would each have 15 units and 11 single-car garages. An additional eight buildings would each have 12 units and 8 single-car garages.

The complex will include a 6,150-square-foot community building near the center of the site, with a leasing office, meetings rooms, a small kitchen and an exercise facility. An outdoor pool with patio will be located adjacent to the building. There will also be a play area with playground structures and benches.

The project will be constructed in phases, with the first phase consisting of 11 buildings and the community center. The site will include 336 parking spaces – 152 spaces inside garages and 184 surface parking spaces.

According to a staff memo, the property has several significant natural features, including 196 landmark trees. The majority of the woodland, located on the northern portion of the site, will not be disturbed, but about 40 landmark trees will be removed for construction. An additional 165 trees will be planted on the property to mitigate the trees that will be removed. The owner will also put in a woodchip path connecting to the adjacent Stapp Nature Area to the north. That nature area was created when it was sold to the city in 2003 by the owner of the Traverwood Apartment property.

There are three wetlands on the site, and one will be removed. The owner must secure a wetland use permit from the city and a permit for wetland disturbance from the Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality.

The city’s planning staff had recommended postponing action on the proposal. Outstanding issues relate to utilities, natural features, connections from the site to adjacent properties, and wetland mitigation. City planner Matt Kowalski reported that the owner had submitted revised plans on Sept. 16, but the planning staff didn’t have sufficient time to review those plans before the Sept. 17 meeting.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers at city hall, 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]