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New Plan

The owner of the Georgetown Mall site announced a new development plan. The developer held a meeting pursuant to the Citizens Participation Ordinance to present the development to the neighbors. The neighborhood organized a great turnout for the meeting - about 120 people attended the meeting. The meeting was covered by ann arbor dot com, click here to read that article.

Below is a summary of the meeting written by member of the neighborhood group. Below that summary is an email from the developer clarifying some points included in the summary.

Dear Neighbors & City Council Members,

Below is a brief synopsis of the meeting. As always, please feel free to correct any misconstrued information and I will send out a correction a.s.a.p.

Craig Shubiner has offered the following e-mail address for anyone with any concerns/questions/suggestion: info@harborcos.com

They are working on a website devoted to the project: packard-square.com  They hope to have that up in the next month.

On January 10th Harbor Georgetown LLC held a meeting with the Georgetown community to discuss their development plans for the Georgetown Mall site and get feedback from the neighbors. Craig Shubiner led the meeting. Mr. Bruce Measom, the corporate attorney, was present as well as Anne Jamieson, representative from AKT Peerless Environmental and Energy Services, a company versed in working with environmentally challenged sites and applying for tax increment incentives to make the development of environmentally compromised sites viable. 

Mr. Shubiner gave a brief history of their involvement with the mall site, reiterating the uncertain relationship they had with Krogers,  the two previous development plans they had submitted, and the subsequent downturn in the economy that ended with the Mall's current vacant status.

THE PLAN:
The market study they had completed recently revealed the following: 1) No demand for office space; 2) No demand for "for-sale" housing (i.e. condos/houses); 3) Limited demand for retail spaces; 4) Strong demand for rental spaces. With that in mind, and the city zoning's encouragement of mixed-use facilities, their plan calls for a mixed-use development consisting of approximately 20,000 sq.ft. of retail space. That amount of space works out to approximately 10-12 different commercial tenants ranging from a specialty/boutique/deli-like market, coffee shop,  beauty salon, card store, pizza place - etc. (these types of stores are what Craig Shubiner envisions as possibilities.). The rest of the area will be devoted to 230 residential apartments, which break down as the following- 8 3-bedroom units; 113 2-bedroom units; 109 1-bedroom units.

The grading will be fixed so that the slope is no longer so pronounced and the complex will be much closer to Packard. The rental units will begin as two stories above of the stores and gradually extend to 4 stories as the units follow the graded slope down (I suggest looking up the actual blueprints for a better idea on what this looks like. I assume it will be on their website, but if you would like to see it now, it is public domain information. Unfortunately, I do not know the actual website address, but would suggest starting with the Ann Arbor's building department site.) The rental complex is slated to have a pool, fitness center, & lounge area.

Although a portion of the project is HUD financed, it is under specific 221B4 loan terms that have no affordable housing clause/component to it. The HUD loan will allow them to rent all the spaces at market rate. Projected rent for the apartments fall between approximately 700 - 1,400 dollars/month. It is NOT envisioned as college housing nor does it specifically cater to students.

There will be a 15ft landscaped buffer zone between the complex and family homes bordering the development with a  total of approximately 85 ft. between the houses and the complex.

As of the date of the meeting, the name for this complex will be Packard Square.

Harbor Georgetown LLC will not be managing the complex. They will bring in a professional management company.

PARKING:
There will be a total of approximately 365 parking spaces for residents and 85 spaces for retail parking. The residential parking comes to approximately 1.5/1.6 spaces per unit. Roughly 150 of the parking spaces will be under the rental complex. The traffic survey done revealed a minimal increase in traffic, but not enough to warrant changing the signage or traffic lights. The driveways off of Packard into the complex will remain the same. There will be driveway access off of Page as well as sidewalk access from Page along the entire complex to the retail stores.

BROWNFIELD and GEORGETOWN:
Ann Jamieson assured everyone that they have been monitoring the environmental conditions of the Mall since 2002. As a result, they have a clearly defined area of contamination that is proving to be stable, and not causing dangerous levels of groundwater contamination. All hazardous material, including asbestos, and any other toxic material will be excavated/removed and abated prior to demolition.
The next Brownfield Review will be on January 24th, @ 5:30pm at City Hall. It is open to the public and any interested neighbors/residents are welcome to attend. There will be other meetings as well. They will be posted in the newspaper.

WHY WILL THIS WORK THIS TIME?
The reason why this plan might be realized this time is that the company has received an "invitation for financing" from Graystone Bank. In essence, it is relatively secured financing for the project. That invitation, as well as the Tax Increment Financing (which reimburses the developer with his own money for eligible costs incurred to develop a brownfield site. SEE previous summaries where this incentive is explained in more detail), along with Brownfield Development credit have pieced together enough of the $30 million needed to build this project.

TIME FRAME:
They will apply for site plan approval  in 2 weeks. Demolition of the site could begin the end of summer/beginning of fall. After approximately a year of construction,  the grand opening could be in 2013.

Until then,
Mary Krasan


From: Bruce A. Measom <bruce@harborcos.com>
To: Mary Krasan
Cc: m c <mcclaryc@ewashtenaw.org>; john hieftje <JHieftje@a2gov.org>; jeff k <jkahan@a2gov.org>; k larcom <klarcom@a2gov.org>; MHiggins@a2gov.org; MTeall@a2gov.org; Craig Schubiner <craig@harborcos.com>
Sent: Wed, January 19, 2011 4:35:40 PM
Subject: RE: Summary Georgetown Mall Development Meeting

Mary,

 

Thank you for your summary.  It has been a pleasure to work with you and the community group over the past 8 months and we appreciate your concern for the neighborhood and the Georgetown Mall site.

 

Your summary is very nice, but we'd like to offer a few minor clarifications:

 

Regarding the market study that was completed, it indicated a strong demand for rental apartments.  We just wanted to offer that clarification as your summary used the general phrase regarding strong demand for "rental spaces".

 

Regarding financing, the proposed project is not yet HUD financed, but rather HUD has issued what they call an "Invitation" letter to guarantee financing under a set of certain conditions.  The "invitation" is from HUD rather than from Greystone Bank.  We hope that Greystone Bank will issue a formal commitment at the appropriate time, but, that is dependent upon final HUD approval and a variety of other things (like site plan approval, brownfield incentives, etc).  The federal code section under which HUD issued the Invitation letter is the 221(d)(4) loan guarantee program. 

 

The eventual property management has not been determined yet; but, we would not rule out an affiliate at this time.  If the project gets built, it will be necessary to either hire a new firm, or to hire local professionals to manage the daily operations, with on-site managers and maintenance staff.

 

Construction is anticipated to be 15-18 months rather than a year; however, your date for a grand opening in 2013 is correct.

 

Thanks again.  We just felt it would be good to point out these minor clarifications.  We have prepared our own summary of the Citizen Participation Meeting, and it will be going out shortly.

 

Bruce Measom

Harbor Property Management, LLC

PO Box 7067

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302

Ph. (248) 332-4444

Fax (248) 332-8844

email:  bruce@harborcos.com