Downtown Parcel Planning Gets Budget

At its March 7, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board voted to establish a budget of $100,000 for its Connecting William Street project, which it’s undertaking at the direction of the Ann Arbor city council. The council passed a resolution on April 4, 2011 that gave the DDA direction to explore alternative uses of city-owned parcels – currently used for surface parking – in a limited area of downtown. The area is bounded by Ashley, Division, Liberty and William streets.

Parcels included in the area are: the Kline’s lot, Palio’s lot, Fourth & William parking structure (ground floor), the old Y lot (Fifth & William), and the top of the Fifth Avenue underground parking garage, which is nearing completion.

Of the budgeted amount, $65,000 will come from a community challenge grant awarded recently as part of a larger $3 million grant awarded to Washtenaw County by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. The remaining $35,000 will be made up by DDA cash (no more than $20,000) and DDA in-kind contributions of staff time.

The committee that has been shepherding the project along since the summer of 2011 recently released an online survey to solicit initial community feedback. At the meeting, it was reported that the survey has so far received around 1,500 responses.

This brief was filed from the DDA offices at 150 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 301, where the board holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]