Two Downtown Projects Get Grant OKs

Grants for two projects have been approved by the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board – one an extension for a previous grant to the 618 S. Main Street project, and the other a new grant, to the 116-120 W. Huron Street project. Action came at the board’s first monthly meeting of the 2015 fiscal year, on July 2, 2014.

The Huron Street project is receiving a $390,000 grant. It’s an extended-stay hotel, which will be built by First Martin Corp. at the intersection of Huron and Ashley streets. The new building will be an 88,570-square-foot structure with a ground-floor restaurant or retail space. The extended-stay hotel will occupy the upper five levels and will be be operated by Marriott. The city council gave approval to the site plan at its June 16, 2014 meeting.

The $390,000 breaks down like this:

$340,000 New 12” water main on Ashley Street, and related hardscape 
$ 10,000 Sidewalk enhancements on Ashley Street 
$ 40,000 Right-of-way landscape maintenance (20-year commitment) 

$390,000 TOTAL


The $390,000 amount is to be distributed over three years – $100,000 (Year 1); $145,000 (Year 2); and $145,000 (Year 3).

The maximum amount that can be awarded to a project under the DDA grant policy – adopted by the DDA board at its June 2, 2014 meeting – is 25% of the tax increment capture due to the project that the DDA receives for the first 10 years after the project is built. That amount is about $390,000, according to First Martin Corp. based on an annual figure of $156,515. But the DDA’s resolution indicates the figure has not yet been verified by the city assessor. Grants are not awarded until after the taxes are paid.

Mike Martin and Darren McKinnon attended the meeting and gave a brief presentation about the project.

The 618 S. Main project is an apartment complex that Dan Ketelaar’s Urban Group Development Co. intends to market to young professionals. The 7-story building would include 190 units for 231 bedrooms, plus two levels of parking for 121 vehicles.

The original $650,000 grant to the 618 S. Main Street project was approved by the DDA board at its June 6, 2012 meeting, a week before the city council gave its approval to the project on June 18, 2012.

The $650,000 total breaks down as follows:

 $85,000 Streetscape costs (sidewalk adjacent to project on Mosley/Main)
$384,500 Streetscape costs (sidewalk on west side of Main north of project)
$100,000 Rain garden to infiltrate stormwater, rather than detain and release
$ 80,500 Upsizing the water main under Ashley Street to a 12” pipe

$650,000 TOTAL


That total is to be disbursed over four years in the following amounts: $100,000, $225,000, $225,000, and $175,000. None of the money is to be awarded before the taxes are paid each year. The DDA will use the tax increment finance capture from the project to make the grant payments.

Without an extension of the grant, it would expire automatically. The length of the extension, to receive all construction permits and to complete the project, is one year. The project has been delayed by the harsh winter.

The vote on the 618 S. Main grant was unanimous. Al McWilliams abstained on the vote for the First Martin project, but did not indicate why.

This brief was filed from the DDA offices, 150 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 301, where the DDA board holds its meetings.