Stories indexed with the term ‘Traverwood’

Action Postponed on Traverwood Apartments

Ann Arbor planning commission meeting (Sept. 17, 2013): A major new apartment project in northeast Ann Arbor was discussed but ultimately postponed by planning commissioners, pending unresolved issues that the planning staff did not have sufficient time to review.

Wendy Rampson, Mike Martin, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

City planning manager Wendy Rampson talks with developer Mike Martin of First Martin Corp. prior to the Ann Arbor planning commission’s Sept. 17, 2013 meeting. (Photos by the writer.)

Traverwood Apartments is a proposed complex of 16 two-story buildings and 216 one- and two-bedroom units on nearly 22 acres off of Traverwood Drive, north of Plymouth Road. It’s one of the first large residential developments in the last few years that’s come forward outside of downtown Ann Arbor. For part of the site, a rezoning would be required – from ORL (office, research and light industrial) to R4D (multi-family residential).

Developer First Martin Corp. is making the proposal. In response to a query from commissioner Bonnie Bona, Mike Martin explained that although the site would allow for denser development – taller buildings and more units – the cost of construction would have been high, and they didn’t think they’d be able to charge the amount of rent necessary to make a larger project feasible.

The site is east of the city’s Leslie Park golf course, and south of Stapp Nature Area – created on land that First Martin sold to the city in 2003. Some of the discussion on Sept. 17 centered on pedestrian connections between those parks and the apartment complex, which will include a path running along the west side of the site, next to Leslie Park.

During a public hearing on the project, resident Paul Bruss supported the concept of that kind of public trail. He described a vision he shares with others, of a trail that would start at Stapp and loop south then west around the Leslie Park golf course, going north all the way to the Dhu Varren Woods Nature Area. “If we could figure out a way to connect all that as a necklace around Leslie golf course, this would be one of the premium trails in Ann Arbor,” Bruss said.

Commissioners Bona and Ken Clein advocated for more of a pedestrian focus within the complex. Calling First Martin and the architect firm Hobbes + Black “kind of the dream team for developing in Ann Arbor,” Clein – a principal with Quinn Evans Architects – expressed disappointment at the “cookie cutter” site design.

Depending the outcome of a staff review, the apartment project might be on the planning commission’s agenda for consideration as early as Oct. 1.

The other action item on Sept. 17 was authorizing two planning commissioners – Paras Parekh and Sabra Briere, who also serves on city council – to attend the Michigan Association of Planning annual conference, held this year from Oct. 2-4 in Kalamazoo. Their expenses will be paid for out of the city’s training budget for planning staff and related commissions.

Also during the meeting, planning manager Wendy Rampson gave a brief update on the work of consultants who are developing recommendations as part of a downtown zoning review. The consultants – Erin Perdu and Megan Masson-Minock – plan to present their report at the planning commission’s Oct. 8 working session, with commissioners considering the recommendations at their Oct. 15 regular meeting. [Full Story]

Traverwood Apartment Project Postponed

Ann Arbor planning commissioners postponed action on the proposed Traverwood Apartments, a complex of 16 two-story buildings on the west side of Traverwood Drive, north of Plymouth Road. The project – being developed by Ann Arbor-based First Martin Corp. – requires site plan approval and rezoning, as well as approval of a wetland use permit. The postponement took place at the commission’s Sept. 17, 2013 meeting.

Traverwood Apartments, Ann Arbor planning commission, The Ann Arbor Chronicle

Aerial view of proposed Traverwood Apartments at 2225 Traverwood Drive, north of Plymouth Road.

The total 21.8-acre site, which is currently vacant, is made up of two parcels: a 17.96-acre lot that’s zoned R4D (multi-family … [Full Story]

Traverwood Library to Close Temporarily

The Traverwood branch of the Ann Arbor District Library, located at Traverwood and Huron Parkway, will be closed starting Monday, Feb. 13 for repairs and maintenance to its wood floors, according to a post on AADL’s website. The branch is expected to be re-opened by Thursday, Feb. 23 or sooner, depending on how the work progresses.

The wood floors used as part of Traverwood’s design – featured in the video “Up From Ashes” – include wood from dead ash trees harvested at the branch’s site on the north side of Ann Arbor. It’s the only wooden flooring in any of the system’s buildings. As part of regular maintenance, the floors need to be resealed every year.

From the AADL’s post: “The … [Full Story]

Traverwood Library to Close for 8 Days

The Ann Arbor District Library's Traverwood branch.

The Ann Arbor District Library's Traverwood branch will be closed starting Thursday, Aug. 20 and reopening on Friday, Aug. 28. (Photo by the writer.)

Ann Arbor District Library board meeting (Aug. 17, 2009): The Traverwood library branch will close Wednesday evening at 9 p.m. and remain closed until 9 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, the result of difficulties with a floor resealing project. It’s connected to a two-day closure earlier this month, when sealant incorrectly applied to the branch’s hardwood floors failed to dry.

Josie Parker, the library system’s director, announced the unanticipated closing at Monday night’s board meeting, but it was a different closing that stands to have a longer-term impact on the library: The recent closing of The Ann Arbor News. Parker and the board discussed plans by the owners of The News – Advance Publications – to give the library most of its archives. Though no formal agreement has been reached, the board authorized up to $63,000 to lease storage space for bound newspaper copies, newspaper clipping files and most photo negatives. Parker called the digitizing, organizing and use of the archives an exciting, major undertaking, with “huge implications” for the library.

At Monday’s meeting, Parker also told the board about a live webcast she’ll be making next week as part of an international library conference – a reflection of AADL’s growing reputation as a model for library programming and technology.

But of most immediate concern to library patrons will be the Traverwood closing, and that’s where we’ll start our report. [Full Story]

Cups Are All They’re Stacked Up To Be

Adam Chaib in the ready-to-stack position.

At the Traverwood branch of the Ann Arbor District Library on the Friday after Thanksgiving, the room at the back of the building was awash with the colors of blue, purple, red, orange and green cups. On entering the room, the ock-ock-ock of cups getting stacked into pyramids then rapidly collapsed by small hands became audible. There were 20 or so kids from kindergarten through eighth grade at the event – enough to fill the room without making it feel cramped – which culminated in a competition with prizes awarded in the form of gift cards to Target. [Full Story]