Proposed Heritage Row Revisions Available

Added to the Ann Arbor city council’s online Legistar system on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011 are the proposed revisions to the Heritage Row planned unit development (PUD) on South Fifth Avenue.

The council will give initial consideration to the revisions at its upcoming Oct. 17 meeting. If the council chooses to advance the proposal to a second reading, that final consideration would take place at an extra council meeting scheduled for Oct. 24.

As revised, the Heritage Row project would provide for some manner of reconstruction of seven existing houses, and construct three additional buildings behind the houses. The project, as revised, would not be required to provide any on-site parking for a total of 85 dwelling units containing up to 180 bedrooms on the 1.23-acre property. The previous proposal would have constructed underground parking, for a total of 60 spaces on site.

The project has a long and controversial history dating back four years. The city council voted at its Oct. 3 meeting to reconsider the project, which it had previously rejected around 14 months ago.

At the Oct. 3 meeting, however, the council voted to postpone a decision on the project so that negotiations could take place between the developer, city staff and councilmembers about revisions to be made to the project. By offering concessions that could make the project more financially viable, the council hopes to induce the developer to divert from his imminent intention to construct City Place, which is a different, already-approved project on the same site.

The plan for City Place would demolish the seven houses and construct two apartment buildings separated by a parking lot. The two City Place buildings would comprise 144 bedrooms in 24 6-bedroom units.

At the council’s Oct. 3 meeting, a letter was discussed which councilmembers had received from developer Jeff Helminski. That letter outlined his requirements for concessions that he would need in order to build Heritage Row instead of City Place. At the Oct. 3 meeting, councilmembers expressed clear dissatisfaction with elements of Helminski’s letter.

However, the main points listed out in the letter appear to have now been incorporated into the revised proposal, which the council now has on its Oct. 17 agenda. The council could opt to try to amend the proposal at that meeting.

[.pdf of marked up Heritage Row supplemental regulations][.pdf of comparison chart between original Heritage and revised] [.pdf of letter from developer]