Housing Commission

721 N Main St

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Image courtesy of SmithGroup

​Site Description and History​

721 N Main is a 5.26-acre site on the north side of downtown. The property is currently used by the City Public Services Department. There are warehouse buildings on the site that are no longer in use. The site is currently zoned PL, Public Land. Most of the site is within the floodway and floodplain. The City received a FEMA hazard mitigation grant to remove a strucure on the site and the FEMA grant restricts the future use in perpetuity to open space for the conservation of natural floodplain functions. 

This property is included in the Treeline Allen Creek Urban Trail master plan.  The recommended action is to split the parcel to create a smaller development site along Summit on the northwest corner of the property, which is outside of the floodplain and leave the majority of 721 N Main intact for a future use to be determined by the City.

Key adjacent uses include the railroad immediately to the west and the Ann Arbor Community Center and the Ann Arbor Distillery to the south. 

From a financial perspective, 721 N Main has multiple site constraints that reduce the traditional development subsidy options due to its small size and proximity to the railroad and Main street (related to noise).  However, this site may be developed using local and philanthropic funds. The concepts in the Feasibility Analysis consider different housing typologies to maximize the total unit count within the current site constraints and zoning options. Resident and visitor parking are provided on-site for all options. 

The City is considering the following objectives for redevelopment:

  • Maximize affordable housing units below 60% AMI
  • Maximize market rate housing units
  • Develop a mix of housing unit types and prices
  • Engage the Treeline Trail
  • Fit in with existing adjacent building heights and scales
  • Provide parking on site
  • Maintain some City ownership/control
  • Fit in with existing adjacent building heights and scales
  • Sell the property and use proceeds for affordable housing on another city-owned property

Project History

  • November 18, 2019: R-19-518 Directed the City Administrator to work with the DDA, Treeline Conservancy and other community partners to conduct a community engagement process around the optimal development options in support of affordable housing
  • April 19, 2021: AAHC shares results of community engagement process with City Council
  • April 19, 2021: City Council agenda item 21-0610 requesting approval to divide the property between the floodway/floodplain and a 14,520 SF Summit Street facing the portion that is not in the floodway/floodplain and designate the AAHC as the developer of the property that is not in the floodway/floodplain

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

Design Proposal and Concepts included in Community Engagement Process

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Images courtesy of SmithGroup

Community Engagement and Presentations

​November 9, 2020 721 N Main Community Engagement Presentation

December ​10, 2020 Community Engagement Main Room Presentation

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)

​Supporting Documents

City Council Resolutions​

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​-19-110 Directing AAHC & Administration to analyze 721 N Main​​​

R-19-​​518 Community Engagement for 721 N Main​

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

R-21-134​ Land Division, Rezoning and Development 721 N Main​

Affordable Housing Planning & Zoning

Zoning​​ Analysis - multiple sites​

Legal Documents

721 N Main FEMA Deed Restriction

Appraisals

721 N Main Appraisal 2019