Running Fit Addition Gets Planning OK

A proposal to build a three-story addition to the one-story building on the northwest corner of East Liberty and South Fourth – where Running Fit is located – received a recommendation of approval from the Ann Arbor planning commission at its Oct. 15, 2013 meeting.

Running Fit, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Aerial view of the Running Fit building, at the northwest corner of East Liberty and South Fourth.

The site plan calls for keeping the first floor as retail space, and creating six residential units on the upper three floors – one two-bedroom and five one-bedroom units. The project’s architect, Brad Moore, indicated that a decision hasn’t been made yet about whether the units will be apartments or condos.

The location in Ward 1 is zoned D1, which allows for the highest density development. It’s also located in the Main Street Historic District. The city’s historic district commission issued a certificate of appropriateness on Aug. 15, 2013.

The project is expected to cost about $900,000.

The site plan approval is contingent on constructing two Class A bicycle parking spaces in the Fourth & William parking structure or paying a contribution to install these spaces to the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. No vehicle parking is required. One footing drain disconnect is required.

During a public hearing on the project, Ali Almiri – who owns the adjacent building to the west at 119 E. Liberty – raised concerns that three bedroom windows in his building’s residential rental units facing Fourth Avenue would be blocked by this new structure. He and his attorney urged that the new project be required to accommodate those existing windows. However, there appear to be no legal documents related to these windows, such as an easement. Jill Thacher of the city’s planning staff indicated that the issue would continue to be investigated by planning staff, building staff and possibly the city attorney’s office prior to the project’s consideration by the city council.

Running Fit would remain open during construction.

This brief was filed from the second-floor council chambers at city hall, where the planning commission holds its meetings. A more detailed report will follow: [link]