Downtown Hotel Project Heads to Council

The site plan and development agreement for a new downtown hotel at the northeast corner of North Ashley and West Huron is moving to the city council for consideration, following a recommendation of approval from Ann Arbor planning commissioners at their May 20, 2014 meeting.

First Martin Corp., Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Rendering of proposed hotel at the northeast corner of West Huron and Ashley. The One North Main building is visible to the east.

The proposal, brought forward by First Martin Corp., calls for a six-floor, 88,570-square-foot building with a ground-floor restaurant and an extended-stay hotel on the upper five levels. The site currently includes a Greyhound bus depot and a one-story building that houses the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Bureau. Both of those buildings will be demolished. The bus depot facade will remain in place as part of the hotel’s design. [.pdf of staff report]

The main hotel entrance is proposed for the building’s west side, facing North Ashley, while the restaurant’s main entrance is proposed to face West Huron, on the building’s south side. The site is zoned D1, which allows for the highest density development in the downtown. According to the staff memo, five off-street parking spaces are required. First Martin has secured a letter of commitment from Zipcar, a car-sharing service, for two vehicles. Parking spaces for those cars are proposed at the northeast corner of the site. For purposes of the city’s parking requirement, the two Zipcars would count as eight off-street parking spaces, and would satisfy the requirement.

The two existing curbcuts will be closed, and access to the two parking spaces, loading dock and trash/recycling would be from the mid-block alley to the north.

Nine bicycle parking spaces are required for the project, and would include two bike hoops in the North Ashley right-of-way and two in the West Huron right-of-way, for a total of eight bike spaces. Three more hoops are proposed for the Ann Ashley parking structure, with First Martin paying for labor and materials. The city of Ann Arbor and Downtown Development Authority would assume responsibility for maintenance of those hoops. The installation of hoops in the city’s right-of-way will require city council approval, and was recommended by the planning commission.

Construction is estimated to cost $13 million.

During a public hearing on the project, three people spoke representing owners of residential and commercial condominiums at One North Main, on an adjacent site east of the hotel project. Concerns included blocking views, noise from rooftop mechanicals, and problems with egress from One North Main’s underground parking.

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