415 W Washington St


header image
Skip Navigation LinksHome » Departments » Housing Commission » Development of City-Owned Properties as Affordable Housing » 415 W Washington St


​​Image courtesy of SmithGroup

Site Description and History​

​​415 W Washington is located along the south ​side of W Washington Street between S 1st and 3rd Streets in Ann Arbor. Portions of the eastern edge of the property sit within the floodway, while the remaining property is in the floodplain. The property is currently occupied by a parking lot and U-shaped buildings. Portions of the buildings are used to store City of Ann Arbor and Republic Parking Services (RPS) materials and equipment and may have sub-surface environmental concerns. The buildings have been approved for demolition by the Historic District Commission. The remaining site is currently managed by the DDA as a paid surface parking lot. Key adjacent uses include the YMCA to the north, the old west side historic district to the west, a growing creative and entertainment district to the east, and an existing heavy rail line that parallels a proposed path of the treeline greenway trail. The site is currently master planned as D2 zoning which allows approximately 6 stories and 200% Floor Area Ratio. Because the site sits within the floodplain and is adjacent to a railroad track, state and federal subsidies for affordable housing are very unlikely on this site.  However, local and philanthropic funding are options.         

The City is considering the following objectives for redevelopment:

  • Preserve Chimney Swift Habitat
  • Maximize park space
  • Engage the Treeline Trail
  • Fit in with existing adjacent building heights and scales
  • Fit in with existing setbacks along Washington
  • Embrace W Washington Street
  • Maximize market rate residential
  • Provide adequate buffer to adjacent single family housing
  • Maximize affordable housing units for 60% AMI households on site
  • Sell the property and use proceeds for affordable housing on another city-owned property
  • Remediate any potential environmental contaminations

Project History

  • August 19, 2019: R-19-376 to contract with the SmithGroup to conduct community engagement process, develop potential building concepts and evaluate the feasibility of developing the property
  • July 6, 2020: R-20-0272 directs the City Administrator to authorize the AAHC to petition for pre-entitlement and work with staff and planning commission; to set-aside a portion for the tree-line trail, redevelop primarily as residential, with development standards that reflect the D2 Downtown Interface Zoning District
  • May 5, 2021: DDA approves pre-entitlement work on 415 W Washington, including:
    • Eliminating a functionally obsolete, blighted nuisance in the downtown
    • Increasing available housing stock in the city
    • Investigating the opportunity for affordable/workforce housing
    • Developing a signature portion of the Treeline
    • Develop a project that is approved by the City's HCC
    • ​Increasing the tax base​

Next Steps: AAHC hires development team, starts site plan approval process and secures development financing.​

​​​Design Proposal and Concepts Included in Community Engagement Process

Images courtesy of SmithGroup

​​​Co​​mmunity Engagement and Presentations

​January 9, 2020 Community Discussions Website Summary Results

2020 415 W Washington May-June 2020 Additional Public Engagement

​​​May ​3, 2021 ​​Affordable Housing Public Engagement Report

June 14, 2021 City Council Work Session on Development of City-Owned Properties as Affordable Housing

June ​14, 2021 City Council Work Session on Development of City-Owned Properties as Affordable Housing (download presentation)​​​

September 9, 2021 Historic District Commission Presentation

​Supporting Documents

City Council Resolutions​

​R-09​-273 Preservation of Open Space on Northeast Corner of First and William Stree​t​

R-19​​-109 Directing the Planning Commission to consider the benefit of downtown affordable housing premiums​

R-19-1​38 Directing AAHC & Administration to analyze 10 properties

​​​​​R-19-​376 Hiring of the SmithGroup to conduct community engagement for redevelopment of 415 W Washington​

R-19-5​​17 Community Engagement for Ashley/William & First/William parking lots

R-20-​​27​2​ Pre-Entitlement 415 W Washington

R-20-131​ Community Engagement, Downtown Parking Study, and Downtown Housing Market Analysis for 4 properties​​

Affordable Housing Planning & Zoning

Zoning​​ Analysis - multiple sites​


415 W Washington Appraisal 2019


415 W Washington ALTA Survey 10.21.2021

Title Work

Environmental Reports​

415 Washington Phase I 2013

415 W Washington Phase 2 FINAL 2013