Local developer, First Martin Corp., has released drawings for the six story hotel they are proposing for the D1-Zoned parcels that are currently the Greyhound Station and the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Center. For the project they are teaming up with Virginia-based Zivic & Hurdle Architects, Ann Arbor-based Hobbs + Black Associates, and Ann Arbor-based Midwestern Consulting. According to this article on the AnnArbor.News, the developers are in talks with an undisclosed national hotel chain. All in all, I think this is a pretty positive move in terms of development. The proposed 80 ft. building is much smaller than what is allowed under D1 Zoning. I understand, from some conversations with fancy business people, that there is currently a lack of "business class" hotel rooms in Downtown. So hopefully this project will go towards addressing that.
Given the extent to which D1-Zoned parcels are in historic districts, I think it's safe to say that these rare parcels, that are 1) only one or two stories, 2) Zoned D1, and 3) not in historic districts are not long for this world. And I know some people are upset about the prospects of losing the Greyhound Building, because it's a classic example of Art Deco/Streamline Moderne architecture. fortunately, the current plans call to preserve the building's facade. Also, I feel like it's worth noting, that, in it's current state, the building is pretty neglected. Or, at least it has a pretty neglected feel to it. It's amazing that you get half a block off Main Street and you feel like you've walked into another city.
I will never cease to be surprised when I hear people decry a proposed six-story building as "out of scale" when that building is situated between two much larger 10-story buildings.
It looks like we're entering into a pretty steady post-recession building period. Time to start speculating on when other under developed parcels will get their own projects. I know a lot of folks have their eyes turned towards the Brown Block, across the street, which is also owned by First Martin.