FEMA Grant to Fund 721 N. Main Demolition

Two buildings on the city-owned 721 N. Main property near downtown Ann Arbor will now be demolished, using $87,704 in funds granted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

721 N. Main site showing the two buildings to be demolished, which are located in the floodway.

721 N. Main site showing the two buildings to be demolished, which are located in the floodway.

The unanimous vote to accept the funds came at the council’s March 4, 2013 meeting. The 721 N. Main site is a former city maintenance yard, and is part of a broader area being studied by a task force. That area includes the North Main corridor and extends to the Huron River, covering the MichCon site near Broadway.

The cost of the demolition will be $116,939, with the remaining $29,235 to be paid by the city. The city’s portion will be drawn from a combination of funds – fleet services, major streets, local streets, and stormwater utility.

The two buildings are being demolished because they’re in the FEMA floodway. A third building – not in the floodway, but still in the flood fringe – is being studied for possible re-use. On a recommendation from the task force, the council approved $30,000 for the physical testing of that building at its Feb. 19, 2013 meeting.

The task force recommendation for the use of the 721 N. Main site has already been delivered to the city council, and is consistent with a previous council resolution that the floodway portion of the site would be incorporated into an Allen Creek greenway. The site-specific recommendation for 721 N. Main was delivered to meet deadlines for grant applications. The recommendation for a broader area on the 721 N. Main site is due at the end of July 2013. The city is applying for $300,000 in funding from the Washtenaw County parks and recreation commission’s Connecting Communities program, which had a December 2012 deadline. The city also plans to apply for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, which has an April 1, 2013 deadline.

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]