Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority

Community
11:27 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Looks To Make Streets And Sidewalks More Vibrant

Ann Arbor's typically vibrant Main Street was quiet following one of this winter's snowstorms.
Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

Improving downtown Ann Arbor streetscapes is becoming a priority. The downtown streets have different primary functions, but the Downtown Development Authority wants to make sure all are as vibrant as possible.   

89.1 WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the first public meeting for the Downtown Development Authority's Downtown Streets Framework Plan.

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WEMU News
4:23 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Use Booming In Ann Arbor

Credit a2dda.org

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority plans to install more electric vehicle charging stations, as use of the stations continues to grow.

A report to the U.S Department of Energy, which provided a grant that covered the cost of installing 18 charging units at six locations around town, shows usage grew from about 2,700 kilowatt hours in the third quarter of 2012 to over 14,000 kilowatt hours in the fourth quarter of 2013. 

DDA director Susan Pollay says Ann Arbor residents tend to gravitate to and embrace new technologies like electric and hybrid vehicles.

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Community
8:08 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Ann Arbor Parking Structure To Get Upgrades And Temporary Bus Station

Credit Andrew Cluley / 89.1 WEMU

One of Ann Arbor's oldest parking structures is getting a $5 million update.  The Downtown Development Authority has approved an improvement plan for the building at Fourth and William.  

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on changes coming to Ann Arbor's 4th and William parking structure.

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Community
11:53 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

14 Story Apartment Project for Church Street Approved by Ann Arbor City Council

Ann Arbor City Council has approved the site plan and development agreement for an apartment building at 624 Church Street.  The proposal is for a 14 story apartment building built partially over the Pizza House Restaurant.  The plan calls for 232 bedrooms in 123 units. 

The project has been given positive reviews from the city’s Design Review Board but parking issues led to a lengthy conversation at the council table.  The concerns centered around having spaces reserved in the Forest Avenue parking structure for the next 15 years, and three five year extensions to have spaces somewhere in the city’s parking system. 

Council members say the city’s payment in lieu of parking program needs to be reviewed, as well as the requirement for parking at downtown developments. 

The developers of the project hope to begin work in the spring with a targeted occupancy date in August of 2015.

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Community
7:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Looking at Making Improvements to Parking Structure

Ann Arbor skyline viewed from atop the northeast corner of the Fourth & William Parking structure, facing east.
Credit Wikimedia Commons/ Creative Commons

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on efforts to improve Ann Arbor's Fourth and William parking structure.

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority officials say users frequently complain about the slow elevator in the city's largest parking structure. 

SEE ALSO: A2 Bike House Getting Good Usage, Program May Expand to Other Parking Structures

The DDA has now hired Carl Walker for preliminary design, schedule, budget and phasing plan for replacing the southwest tower of the Fourth and William Parking Structure. 

DDA Executive Director, Susan Pollay says the goal will be to have a more efficient and attractive elevator and stairs tower.  She says the challenge will be to ensure two elevators and stairs remain open throughout the construction project. 

Pollay says the tower improvements are expected to be only the first upgrades to the structure.  Others may include incubator space on the ground floor, adding electric vehicle charging stations, and a new facade for the structure.

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Community
3:49 am
Tue January 7, 2014

Ann Arbor will Charge Developers to Permanently Remove Parking Meters

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor's new policy to charge developers if their project results in parking meters being permanently removed.

With over 100 on-street parking meters removed in Ann Arbor since 2006 and an additional 12 meters pending, city council has approved a new policy dealing with the issue. Council Monday night approved the policy that would charge developers $45,000 per meter permanently removed plus the projected ten year value for the meter. 

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Community
4:31 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Parking Plans for Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on efforts to find parking for over 100,000 hockey fans attending the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

New Year's Day will be more than just recovering from the party the night before for much of Ann Arbor, as over 100,000 hockey fans are expected for the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium. 

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Community
2:44 am
Tue December 24, 2013

A2 Bike House Getting Good Usage, Program May Expand to Other Parking Structures

Credit Ann Arbor Downtown Development Athority

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on the success of Ann Arbor's Bike House that opened in the Maynard Street Parking Structure earlier this year.

The success of Ann Arbor's bike house inside the Maynard Street Parking Structure has officials with the Downtown Development Authority and the Get Downtown Program considering putting another one in other parking structures. 

The enclosed and covered bike house opened in May with space for 30 bikes in what had been two parking spaces. 

GetDowntown Program Director, Nancy Shore says the feedback they've gotten from users of the bike house is that it's another valuable option to get to work.  She adds that they've also heard that some people that occasionally used a bike to get to work are doing so more frequently now that they have a safe place to store their bike out of the elements. 

Shore says the bike house gets the most use from nine-to-five, primarily from people who work in the State Street area.

Environment
8:41 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Issues of the Environment: Downtown Development in Ann Arbor

In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Susan Pollay about development in downtown Ann Arbor and how it fits into a more sustainable future for the city. Susan Pollay is Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority. 

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Community
4:42 am
Tue December 17, 2013

A2 Council Again Delays Decision on Parking Meter Removal Policy

Ann Arbor City Council has once more postponed a decision on a policy to charge developers for the removal of on-street parking meters.   Some fine tuning is expected before council votes on a policy to charge developers $45,000 if their project leads to the removal of on-street parking meters.
The proposed policy was developed by the Downtown Development Authority in response to a growing number of parking meters being removed.

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Local News
3:14 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

New Parking Garage Opens in Ann Arbor

A new 250-space parking garage is now open on the corner of First and Washington streets in downtown Ann Arbor. 

Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority Director Susan Pollay says the new garage provides the mix of public and private uses, with an apartment building under construction above it.

A "soft opening" for the structure was held Friday, with a grand opening expected sometime in January to coincide with the apartments opening.

Community
7:38 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

A2 DDA to Fund All Main Street Lightpole Replacements

Credit meltedplastic / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority has resolved a dispute with City Council on the replacement of lighpoles along Main Street by agreeing to fund the entire project.  During the budget approval process in May City Council tweaked the DDA budget, leaving the city responsible for about $280,000 of the $580,000 cost to replace the poles that are rusting out at the base.  In October however City Council failed to approve funding for their portion of the project. 

DDA Board Chair Sandi Smith says this work is too important not to be completed.  Smith says the additional funds will come from money leftover from a more than decade old State Street Improvements project, and next fiscal year's budget.  She says based on how long the entire lightpole replacement project will take having the funds split between two budget years won't be a problem.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority covering the entire cost of replacing lightpoles on Main Street.

Community
2:54 am
Thu December 5, 2013

DDA Waives Reimbursement for Y-Lot Expenses

Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority has asked the city to commit the funds the DDA spent on the former YMCA lot to affordable housing projects.  The DDA board yesterday passed a resolution to waive the reimbursement of their costs on the Y-Lot property, and encourage City Council to commit as much as possible to affordable housing as well. 

DDA Board Member Keith Orr says to make a real impact on affordable housing as much money as possible is needed from the $5.25 million for the sale of the Y-Lot.

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Community
3:51 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council Delays Vote on Removal of Parking Meters Policy

Ann Arbor City Council has delayed a vote on a proposed policy developed by the Downtown Development Authority to address the permanent removal of on-street parking meters.  The two-week delay is so council can hold a public hearing on the issue. 

The policy proposes a $45,000 fee per meter removed for reasons other than an overall benefit to the community. 

DDA Executive Director Susan Pollay says the policy could help the DDA work with developers to get the best possible projects for all.  Pollay says over the last few years about 150 parking meters have been removed for a variety of projects large and small.  She says the policy includes an option for developers to appeal a fee to the city administrator to review if the meter removal is an overall benefit to the community.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on a proposed policy to charge developers if their projects require the removal of on-street parking meters in Ann Arbor.

Community
2:24 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Consultants to Develop Framework Plan for Downtown Ann Arbor Streets

A pair of consulting firms are working with Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority to create a framework to be used to make more active streetscapes.  The DDA approved a $150,000 contract for the downtown street framework plan. 

DDA board Member John Mouat says the framework will be designed so streets that face different challenges and issues can be tailored to meet their particular needs.  He says the DDA, the city, or private developers should all be able to use the framework.  Mouat says some additional civil engineering work may be done for the city to look at infrastructure under the streets.

WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports on efforts to create a downtown streets framework plan for Ann Arbor.

Politics
7:12 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Ann Arbor DDA Commits to Streetlights but wavers on Funding Beat Cops

A2 DDA approves expenditure for streetlight replacement project along main street, but expresses concerns over the city's request to fund three beat patrol police officers.

  The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has formally responded to one the funding requests that comes from the City of Ann Arbor.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, it also put off a decision on another request for money.

Ann Arbor
7:31 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council and DDA Form a New Look Committee

Ann Arbor City Council re-establieshes the "Mutually Beneficial Committee" with the DDA under the new name, "Joint DDA-Council Committee".

Ann Arbor city Council and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority will have reformed an old committee, with a new name and different method of operation. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the move last night comes as changes are considered to the ordinance that created the DDA.

Government
6:45 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council To Consider Measures To Shorten Meetings

  Ann Arbor City Council meetings famously run long. Sometimes, meetings don't end until well after midnight. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, council tonight will consider some measures that may help shorten up the sessions.

Preview of the July 1st Ann Arbor City Council meeting.

Law Enforcement
10:28 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Ann Arbor City Council Asks DDA to Fund Three Downtown Beat Cops

Credit Sasha Y. Kimel / Foter.com / CC BY

  If Ann Arbor City Council gets its way, there will soon be three, new beat officers patrolling the downtown area. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, the council Monday night passed a resolution asking the Downtown Development Authority to provide the necessary funding for those positions.

 

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Housing
9:00 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Affordable Housing Wins in 2014 City of Ann Arbor Budget

Credit woodleywonderworks / Foter.com / CC BY

Ann Arbor City Council will dip into fund balance a bit further next fiscal year to give a boost to affordable housing and human services. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports,  early this morning the City Council,  passed an 83.1 million dollar general fund budget for the 2014 fiscal year. 

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Ann Arbor Development
8:38 am
Thu March 7, 2013

DDA Opposes Changes Proposed by City Council

Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority board members are speaking against a proposed city council ordinance amendment that would change the authority in several ways.  Hear more from WEMU's Andrew Cluley.

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