Monday, December 30, 2013

10 Predictions for Ann Arbor in 2014

Last year around this time, I put made 10 bold predictions for 2013 for the Ann Arbor News Dot Com. They weren’t great great guesses, nor true or very clever, but I did nail a few (the world conqueringness of Biercamp, the rolling unstoppable domination of Tim Horton’s) and a few of my predictions are still alive and well (you’ve had your last Blimpy Burger—sorry guys). But last year was amateur hour. I didn’t tap into any of the dark forces at my disposal. This year, I’m tapping into some really powerful juju to bring you predictions from the other side—fresh with brimstone, hover shoes and all that other futuristic junk I’ve seen on the other side.

10 Predictions for Ann Arbor in 2014—Now with 20% More Power of Cthulhu

#1: Ann Arbor’s Next Mayor Will Hold Office for One Term
Mayor Hieftje will step down in 2014 leaving his seat vacant for a pack of well-heeled jackals who are probably all pretty decent human beings when it comes down to it. But like the classic Cinderella ballad, Ann Arbor will miss Hieftje a lot more than they think they will. The next mayor will take office amid some booming times in Ann Arbor and be trounced when they seek reelection—maybe by a puppet regime or maybe by a tanned, rested and ready Hieftje. That’s for another predictions column.

#2: A New Media Player Rises to Make Things Interesting
MLive, The Observer, The Chronicle, The A2 JournalThe Ann, The CurrentConcentrate Media, Damn Arbor (cough cough)—they're all vying for clicks and eyeballs in Ann Arbor, but there are still opportunities to seize in our little town. A new media player will rise to make things a lot more interesting, seizing on talent within the city and all the story possibilities therein.

#3: The University of Michigan Athletic Campus Expands
The Michigan athletic department leaves no sod unturned. I predict some major renovations to the existing athletic campus in 2014 and expansion south near the existing soccer and tennis facilities. Track? Volleyball? Multi-purpose 5,000-capacity facility? We’ll see.

#4: A Murder Free Ann Arbor!
Too many murders in 2013. Here’s to a murder free New Year.

#5: Something New From Zingerman’s
The deli is remodeled and Zingerman’s is more popular than ever. They’ve got the Roadhouse and the Creamery and the Bakehouse and candy and coffee and mail order, but they haven’t made a big move in a few years. I predict news on the Zingerman’s front about a new venture or improvement on something existing.

#6: Another Mark’s Cart Vendor Goes Brick and Mortar
The Lunch Room opened a brick and mortar shop in Kerrytown and they seem to be doing pretty well. Which Mark’s Cart will be the next to find real estate and make their business a year-round staple? Beet Box? San Street? Someone will take the plunge and I wish them the best of luck.

#7: Circus, Millennium and the Cavern Club Sold
As far as I know, this property has been on the market for some time, but with an asking price that’s a little too high. With the completion of the new fancy apartment complex across the way, that entire location is begging to be redeveloped for a few more Walgreens or CVSs or maybe an Arby’s. Point is, the mishmash of bars in that complex is kind of a waste. Someone is going to come in and put something properly corporate there. Wait and see.

#8: Ann Arbor Bike Share Program a Success
Ann Arbor’s bike share program (B-cycle) will be a big success in 2014, allowing students and residents to go from A to B without having to lock up bikes or fix pesky flat tires. But ...

#9: People Getting Run Over on Bikes is the New People Getting Run Over Crossing the Street
You thought the crosswalk debate was annoying? Wait until the number of bike-related auto accidents skyrockets and drivers and cyclists start battling at City Hall. Drivers don’t get up in arms about pedestrian safety because its hard to defend running over people in crosswalks. But hitting people on bikes who don’t know how to ride bikes—that’s every Corvette owner’s dream. Prepare for tons of grumbling.

#10: The Best Commencement Speaker Ever
Mary Sue Coleman retires in 2014 and will preside over her final commencement in the spring. That means a commencement speaker worthy of a grand goodbye. She’s booked Obama, Rick Snyder, Sanjay Gupta and Dick Costelo, so bringing in the best commencement speaker of all time will be a tall task. But Mary Sue is up for it. Allow me to make a few suggestions: Beyonce, Louis C.K., James Earl Jones, Ed Vielmetti, hologram Gerald Ford.

Got your own prediction. Leave a comment below and I'll consult the unholy oracle to see how close to the mark you are.


  1. More shitty corporate high rise apartments tailored to rich undergrads.

  2. GH: I didn't need the power of Cthulhu to make THAT prediction. Ha!

  3. Oh yeah, that's a given :( And sadly, I think you are 100% correct in that a few Walgreen stores will be added to the mix. And hey, you know what we REALLY need--more sub and pizza chains!!!!!!

    One prediction I'd like to see is development along the Argo Pond and on North Main Street. This is completely selfish because I live near there. We already have Sweet Heater Anne's (which is some good stuff) and wouldn't it be lovely to have a nice bar or restaurant that overlooks the beautiful river/pond? Oh yes!

    Great column!!!

  4. I'd pay the price of a commencement ticket to hear Ed Vielmetti speak!

  5. Hologram Gerald Ford would be awesome, he could do a Whip Inflation Now speech and hand out buttons.

  6. Here’s one: Blimpy Burgers reopens, yes reopens, at the former Maru location on William & Thompson late in the summer.

  7. @Phil, is that a rumor, or do you know something we don't?

  8. No secret infos, just a strong hunch. And regarding something new from Zingerman’s: imagine if they brewed beer.

    1. Phil: That's the location I'm hearing about too. But I'll believe it when they throw open the doors and unnecessarily yell at the first patron.