Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority board meeting (Oct. 3, 2012): At its most recent meeting, the DDA board approved four resolutions – two related to downtown housing and two related to transportation.
Getting approval from the board was a $260,000 request from the Ann Arbor housing commission (AAHC), the bulk of which will pay for the emergency replacement of the roof on Baker Commons, a 64-unit public housing complex located at the intersection of Packard and Main streets. The sharply pitched roof will be made of steel, and is expected to last for 50 years, though it’s guaranteed for 20. Overall the board was positively inclined toward the request, but board member Newcombe Clark also wanted a clearer idea of how the DDA’s contribution fit into the AAHC’s capital maintenance and replacement schedule.
Also getting approval from the board was a resolution that authorized negotiating an arrangement for around 42 parking spaces in the public parking system for a proposed residential development at 624 Church St. The 13- or 14-story, 83-unit apartment building will include about 181 beds – a residential use that allows the project to qualify for a by-right “premium” under the city’s D1 (downtown core) zoning code.
The parking spaces for 624 Church St. can be provided through a contribution-in-lieu (CIL) program instead of providing them on site. That CIL program is administered by the DDA, because the DDA manages the public parking system under a contract with the city of Ann Arbor.
While the CIL authorization was perhaps at first glance only about housing, not transportation, two other items on the agenda were more obviously transportation-related.
A transportation connector study got a $30,000 contribution from the DDA. It’s contingent on the city of Ann Arbor contributing $30,000 as well, which is not a certainty. The total of $60,000 in city sources is part of $300,000 in local matching funds required for an already awarded $1.2 million federal grant. The remaining $240,000 is coming from the University of Michigan ($150,000) and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority ($90,000). The corridor to be studied runs from US-23 and Plymouth southward along Plymouth to State Street and farther south to I-94. This alternatives analysis phase of the study is to result in identifying a preferred mode – such as bus rapid transit or light rail – and the location of stations and stops.
The board also authorized a 50-bike storage facility that would have the footprint of two vehicle parking spaces. The “cage” will be located in the downtown Ann Arbor’s Maynard Street parking structure.
In addition to the monthly parking report, the board received an update on the electric vehicle charging stations that are located in public parking structures.