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Core Spaces

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Council member Julie Grand (D-Ward 3) spoke at length multiple times and twice scolded members of the public present.

Stopping in the middle of her comments, Grand glowered, pointed across Council chambers and snapped, “You. Not you. You.” Grant then said that she expected the public to “keep it civil.” At another point in her comments, when booed, Grand looked up from her comments and, smirking, looked into the audience and said, “Go ahead. I’ll be an adult.”

As the Ann Arbor City Council cast a controversial 8-3 vote to make way for a 17-story high-rise on the city-owned Library Lot along Fifth Avenue, Mayor Christopher Taylor argued change is inevitable.

He said Ann Arbor is a burgeoning city and he believes the changes coming with the Core Spaces development will be positive for Ann Arbor, a community many appreciate for maintaining its small-town feel even as it grows denser and taller, with a wave of high-rises altering the downtown skyline in recent years.

April 17, 2017 Michigan Daily - Ann Arbor City Council votes to sell Library Lot.
The tension reached a tipping point when Councilmember Julie Grand (D–Ward 3) charged that anti-high rise advocates were ignoring the realities of compromise and resisting stubbornly against a democratically decided process.

"We have residents that are telling us that they want to be able to have the desirable amenities in the downtown, that they can drive to with no traffic, that they can have lower taxes and have parking for free at 7 p.m. on a Saturday,” Grand said. “I’m going to be the adult in the situation … Sometimes I feel like I’m getting asks from residents like I’m talking to my children.”

Frenzel, D-1st Ward, said council heard from hundreds of residents on both sides of the issue in recent weeks. He said it was not an easy decision to make, and in fact it was one he was afraid to make, but he said the city needs to make hard decisions so the community can grow in positive ways.