University Village developer holds public meetings on student housing project

People with an opinion about the proposed University Village development in Ann Arbor (and there seems to no shortage of them) will get a chance to make it known on March 5 and March 6.

The developer behind the student housing project will host open houses to discuss the brownfield aspect of the proposal on March 6 and all other aspects of it on March 5. The development calls for building two residential towers (22 and 18 stories respectively) above ground floor retail. There will be 421 total housing units on a 1.6 acre parcel at South University and South Forest streets.

The developers, Hughes Properties and partner Omena Real Estate Investments, recently shrunk the first proposed tower from 26 stories to 22 stories. It's only the latest high-rise student housing development in University of Michigan's Central Campus area. Among the others are university's North Quad (its first dorm in 30 years), upgrades to a number of other dorms, 4 Elevel Lofts and Zaragon Place Lofts.

University Village would 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 LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Each tower will be able to house about 850 students each in loft-style apartments. 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 project would replace a handful of buildings at the corner of South University and Forest, including the Village Corner party store. City officials are reviewing the plans, which must be approved by city council before the project can move forward.

The brownfield meeting will be held at 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Burns Park Elementary School, 1414 Wells St. The general town hall meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the MITC Conference Center, 1000 Oakbrook Drive, which is behind Howard Cooper car dealership off State Street just north of Eisenhower.

For information, contact Jill Thacher at (734) 994-2797 or Tracy Koe Wick at tracy.wick@kirkwoodgroup.com.

Source: Tracy Koe Wick, principal of Kirkwood A Marketing Group
Writer: Jon Zemke