Ann Arbor gives 601 Forest high-rise development yellow light

Ann Arbor's South University corridor could begin growing a lot more, except that the City Council hasn't decided on whether to approve the 601 Forest development – aka University Village.

The City Council postponed the matter until Oct. 6, leaving the city in the middle of the vertical vs horizontal growth debate. Vertical growth proponents want to see the city grow taller in its center as opposed to more horizontally at its edges.

A number of vertical student housing projects representing hundreds of new beds are either proposed or being built in the city's center. The 601 Forest project is definitely vertical, measuring 26 stories at its zenith.

Hughes Properties and partner Omena Real Estate Investments had hoped to begin building the urban mixed-use development this fall had the City Council given its blessing Monday night. The high-rise is set to stand at the corner of the South University and Forest streets where the Village Corner is now. The central tower will stand 26 stories and it will be flanked by two 20-story shoulders.
The project will have 342 residential units with 1,100 beds. These will stand over 16,000 square feet of first-floor retail space and 235 underground parking spaces. Each room will have a window overlooking the surrounding campus area. The Mud Bowl space at South University and Washtenaw will remain as it is adjacent to the project.

Each unit will come furnished with amenities like flat screen TVs and floor-to-ceiling windows. There will also be a café, fitness facility, business center and a landscaped roof garden.

The building will incorporate environmentally friendly construction techniques, materials and systems, such as passive solar technologies, advanced water recapture systems and a green roof. The developers are going for at least silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Source: City of Ann Arbor
Writer: Jon Zemke
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