UM Wall Street Parking Moves Ahead

The schematic design for a six-story, 720-space parking structure on Wall Street, near the Kellogg Eye Center and the UM medical campus, was approved by University of Michigan regents at their July 19, 2012 meeting. [schematic of structure – view from Maiden Lane] [aerial schematic of proposed landscaping] [.pdf of map showing location of proposed structure]

The $34 million project had received board approval in April, following the university’s withdraw in February from the Fuller Road Station, a joint project with the city of Ann Arbor that would have included a large parking structure.

According to a staff memo, the plans call for an ”architecturally-detailed facade with open space at each end of the structure that will contain parklike landscaping with trees and gardens for storm water management which may also be used for irrigation and reducing storm runoff to the river. We also intend to include infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations.”

In introducing the project, Tim Slottow – UM’s chief financial officer – thanked university planner Sue Gott and Jim Kosteva, UM’s director of community relations, for their work in meeting with residents. Slottow also thanked Tim Mortimer, president of the Riverside Park Place Condominium Association, and Ray Detter, who’s a driving force behind the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Program, for their efforts.

Neil Martin of the S/L/A/M Collaborative (Stecker Labau Arneill McManus), the project’s architect, gave a brief presentation to regents. He noted that the site acts as a gateway to Wall Street and the Lowertown area, and as a transition between Lowertown and the UM medical campus. Community input has been vital to the design, he said, which includes a large landscaped area on the east side of the site, near the more residential area. The structure is being designed on a human scale, he said, and with an eye toward enhancing the pedestrian experience. He pointed out some of the architectural details, including medallions near the top of the structure that will evoke the area’s agrarian roots.

Martin, Gott, Kosteva, Mortimer and Detter had been among those at an April 16 meeting that UM staff held with neighbors about the project, where some of these design suggestions were floated. Another meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 31 at 6 p.m. at the Kellogg Eye Center, 1000 Wall Street. The project is expected to be complete by the winter of 2014.

Regent Kathy White thanked the administration for listening to the community about this project, saying that it “made my email box a lot better.”

This report was filed from the Michigan Union’s Rogel ballroom, where the board held its July meeting.