More Funds for 415 W. Washington Study

An additional $32,583 for the study of the city-owned property at 415 W. Washington has been appropriated from the general fund balance reserve by the Ann Arbor city council. The vote, which included contracts with Tetra Tech Geo for $44,498 (environmental investigation) and Rueter & Associates for $26,935 (historic structure assessment) came at the council’s Dec. 17, 2012 meeting.

The council had previously authorized $50,000 for physical testing of the property. That vote had come at the council’s July 16, 2012 meeting.

The 415 W. Washington property, with its three buildings, was previously used by the city as a vehicle maintenance facility, before the construction of the Wheeler Service Center south of town on Stone School Road.

The council received a presentation at its May 7, 2012 meeting from representatives of 555 Nonprofit Gallery and Studios on the physical survey work. The 555 group has assumed responsibility for the art community’s component of an initiative established by the city council on Feb. 1, 2010 to explore a collaboration between the greenway and art communities for adaptive reuse of the property. The 555 group stepped in when the Arts Alliance could no longer devote staff time to the project. Prior to that initiative, the city had gone through an RFP (request for proposals) process for the property that did not lead to the selection of any of the three proposals that were submitted.

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