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415 W. Washington Street

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- 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


415 W. Washington is located along the southside 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 except for the existing Chimney which currently serves as habitat for a threatened bird species known as chimney swift. 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 the preferred 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.            

The City is considering the following objectives for redeveloping 415 W. Washington

  • 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

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