Sunday, April 16, 2017

Library Lot sale on Ann Arbor city council agenda

The Library Lot, December 2010

DS-3 on tomorrow night's Ann Arbor city council agenda is a sale of the development rights for the land above the Library Lot. The resolution would approve a contract to sell the development rights to a Chicago-based firm, Core Spaces, for $10 million. Core spaces is proposing to build a 17 story building, which would make it the third tallest building in Ann Arbor*. Other highlights include 10% designated workforce housing and a 12,000 sq ft public plaza. Another part of the proposed contract is the long-term lease of about 300 parking spaces in the Library Lot by Core Spaces for a term of up to 50 years.

There is some controversy about the potential sale focused around three points. First, the long-term lease of the Library Lot spaces to the developer. Second, There is a group of citizens who would prefer the space above the Library Lot to be used as a public park. Third, there is some debate about whether selling the development rights would violate the terms the Build America Bonds used to finance the project. The city's legal counsel says the sale would not violate the terms of the bond, you can read more about it on the Daily.

Gentle readers, what do you think? Do you support the sale of the development rights to Core Spaces? What would you like to see happen to the Library Lot? Personally, I support development on the site. Given the Library Lot was engineered to support a tall structure, it would be a waste of the infrastructure the city built to not build something large on top of the site. I am sympathetic to the desire for more green space in downtown Arbor, but I don't think the on top of a parking structure is the right place to do that. As I said, gentle reader, I'm interested in hearing what you think.

From the Library Lot Archives:

December 9, 2010: Deconstructing the Library Lot
January 25, 2011: Conference Center or Central Park
March 24, 2011: Breaking News: Cthulhu stirs beneath the Library Lot
April 13, 2011: Who cares about the sinkhole?
July 10, 2012: What to do with the Library Lot?

* This is based on floor count and does not include Burton Memorial Tower (212 ft). Tower Plaza, Ann Arbor's tallest building is 26 stories tall (267 ft). University Towers (205 ft) has 19 stories. Source.


  1. I think the thing they are looking at is ugly, but I agree that something has to go there. (Take my opinion with a large grain of salt. I like my designs like I like my men--with curved arches and old timey. Wait. No.)

    I am not dying for a park in the downtown area and think some sort of convention center is the thing to have. I'd also like a gazebo in the public plaza just because I like gazebos :)

  2. TacherPatti, I fully support your downtown gazebo proposal!