Revised 624 Church St. Gets Parking OK

A revision to a proposed residential development at 624 Church St. in downtown Ann Arbor has resulted in approval by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board for the purchase of additional monthly parking permits – up to 48 such permits. The action was taken at the DDA board’s Nov. 6, 2013 meeting. The spaces will be provided in the Forest Avenue parking structure.

The original proposal for 624 Church, which received site plan approval from the city council at its March 4, 2013 meeting, was for a 13-story, 83-unit apartment building with approximately 181 beds. And for that version, the Ann Arbor DDA had authorized the project to purchase up to 42 monthly permits through the city’s contribution-in-lieu (CIL) program. The CIL program allows a developer the option of purchasing permits to satisfy a parking requirement that would otherwise be satisfied by providing parking spaces on site as part of the project.

The newly revised 624 Church St. project, which still needs planning commission and city council review, is larger than the original project, with roughly 122 units and 232 beds. The parking requirement is a function of the by-right premiums for additional square footage beyond the basic by-right of 400% floor area ratio (FAR). So the parking requirement for the revised project is greater than for the original version of the project. That’s why the DDA was asked to increase the number of permits from 42 to 48. The number of required parking spaces for the revised version of the project is actually 53, but five of them will be provided on site.

The DDA makes the decision about whether there’s adequate capacity in the parking system to allow the sale of additional monthly permits – because it’s the DDA that manages the city’s public parking system under a contract with the city.

Ann Arbor’s “contribution in lieu of parking” program was authorized by the city council on April 2, 2012. That program allows essentially two options: (1) purchase monthly parking permits in the public parking system for an extra 20% of the current rate for such permits, with a commitment of 15 years; or (2) make a lump sum payment of $55,000 per space. It’s option (1) that the 624 Church St. project will be pursuing.

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