Monday, January 23, 2012

City Place animation

Sometimes people ask me "Hey, why did they knock down all those houses by the Library?" To which I respond, "Haven't you been following the developments with City Place/Heritage Row/The Showdown in Germantown?" Kids these days. It looks like the developer of the property, Campus Village, has released an animated preview of the project. Check it out!

Wow, that looks like it could be anywhere in the US. Great work! To me, it was amazing how quickly the endgame came to the whole "what's going to happen to the houses on South Fifth Ave." debate. After de Parry sold his interest in the project in November, the years of back and forth between the myriad parties came to an abrupt end and the historic houses gone. There isn't much we as a community can do other than reflect on what happened. Moving forward, what are the lessons we can learn from City Place about the tensions surrounding development in Ann Arbor?


  1. Oh phew, I hadn't felt all of my hackles raise at once in several days! But now, having watched this once again I know that, indeed, my hackles are still entirely raisable.

  2. Damn Arbor: Raising your Hackles Since 2010.

  3. OMG, aren't we also going the wrong way down a one way street?

  4. Not shown: The gaping concrete "area wells" surrounding each building, with metal guardrails around them. These concrete walls provide the view for the basement apartments. Maybe the Art Commission will install murals on them.

    Also not shown: The surrounding houses that will be dwarfed by these barns.

    Also not shown: The existing mature street trees that will likely not survive the current abuse being suffered by the contractor.

    And anonymous is right, the "camera" is moving the wrong direction, but hey, these guys are from Rochester, Ferndale and Chicago, what do they know about Ann Arbor?

    The bigger question is why they have the sun in the northern sky, casting shadows to the south. Last I checked, Ann Arbor and all the above-mentioned cities were in the Northern Hemisphere.

    Look for this development to start taking Section 8 tenants right away, and then probably foreclose within a couple of years.

  5. Hmm, lessons... maybe that Ann Arbor's zoning isn't as effective at restricting real estate development as some people would like?