DDA Renews Leases for First Martin Parking

At its June 6, 2012 meeting, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board voted unanimously to renew lease agreements for two surface parking lots in downtown Ann Arbor. One lot is known as the Brown Block, bounded by Huron, Ashley, Liberty Washington and First streets. The other is located on the southeast corner of Huron Street and South Fifth Avenue. The new leases extend for a period of three years.

The DDA manages the two lots as part of Ann Arbor’s public parking system. The leases, which have been in place for several years, are between the DDA and two limited liability companies owned by local real estate development firm First Martin Corp. Those two companies are Huron Ashley LLC and City Hall LLC. The lease for the Brown Block had been with the city of Ann Arbor, but this year it’s with the DDA.

The monthly rents paid to First Martin under the terms of the leases are stipulated at $28,333/month and $2,122/month, respectively. Based on arithmetic done by The Chronicle on DDA revenue data, the monthly revenues for the two lots since July 2009 have averaged around $61,000 and $9,500, respectively. There is a provision in the leases for the rent paid to the DDA to increase based on the consumer price index (CPI).

Although the two parcels are not zoned for parking use, First Martin Corp. could itself choose to use the surface parking lots for commercial parking – as a pre-existing, non-conforming use, according to city planning manager Wendy Rampson’s response to an emailed query from The Chronicle.

The lot on the Brown Block is used by the DDA for hourly parking, paid to an attendant in a booth. The other lot, across the street from Ann Arbor’s city hall, is used for monthly permit parking.

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