The DDA has begun work on the South University Streetscape improvement project!
Mother Nature had some problems with our intended schedule. The rain this past week was not helpful to the construction progress. However, Fonson Company (our contractor) did take advantage of the few good days to set up the construction zone and saw-cut the pavement to prepare for concrete/roadway removals. Necessary first steps that set the stage for future work.
Next week’s work (weather permitting!) will include removing concrete on the north side (1200 and 1300 blocks) of South U., as well as beginning underground water main work in the roadway.
Updates will be happening regularly on our website and social media feeds.
More information on the project can be found here:
Construction on South University
DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY INSTALLS ON-STREET BICYCLE RACKS FOR 2017
In support of its mission to strengthen downtown Ann Arbor, the DDA has begun installation of its on-street bicycle parking. Each bicycle rack provides parking for 14 people, taking up the same space as one car. The racks are located in an existing on-street parking spot, and will remain in place until foul weather returns.
The first five racks will be installed this weekend in front of Bivouac, Mighty Good Coffee Co., Zingerman’s, the People’s Food Co-op, and Spencer.
These businesses reached out to the DDA to request on-street bike parking for their customers. The DDA will install an additional four racks this year, and are actively working with businesses to determine locations.
The DDA welcomes feedback about bicycle parking. If you have a location you would like to recommend, or have a question or concerns about existing bike parking options, reach out to Amber Miller (email@example.com).
We will soon be beginning our annual preventative maintenance work in many of the downtown parking structures. Our goal is take care of the little things along the way so that they don’t become big things. This year work will include removing and replacing concrete on walls and columns, sealing cracks and joints, applying deck coating, and miscellaneous repairs.
Work will begin at Liberty Square in early June with a focus on deck coatings. Work will continue throughout the summer and include repairs at the Ann Ashley, Library Lane and Maynard structures. Work is scheduled to be complete in early October.
Throughout the work Republic Parking will coordinate with the contractor to manage the projects so that the impact to available parking is minimal. We greatly appreciate the patience of our parkers and neighbors during this work.
Spring is finally here! This means we have started installing additional sidewalk bike hoops and on-street racks in the downtown area. We plan to install over 50 standard inverted U bike hoops and have already installed the on-street bike racks for the spring season.
This season’s racks are currently located at:
- 300 S. State Street near Bivouac
- 200 N. Main Street near Mighty Good Coffee
- 200 W. Liberty near Bill’s Beer Garden
- 400 Detroit Street near Zingerman’s
- 200 S. Fourth Ave by Transition Rack
- 300 N 4th Avenue near Braun Court
- 200 N 4th Avenue near the People’s Food Co-op
We place these racks out during the warm weather season with the enthusiasm and support of adjacent businesses. Together we see tremendous value in converting a single car parking space or unused curbside space into 14 bike spaces – providing more customers, visitors, and employees with convenient spaces close to their destination.
We would love your feedback. If you know of a location that could use an on-street bike rack or permanent sidewalk bike hoop, contact Amber Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 3rd, The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority approved grants to two iconic institutions in Downtown Ann Arbor – the State Theatre and Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Later this year, the Farmers Market will begin construction on a new structure that will expand market operations and improve community event space, particularly in the winter months. The DDA granted $175,000 to help construct this beneficial public project identified through the City’s Capital Improvement Plan and Market Advisory Commission. “The DDA’s grant provided crucial final funding needed to enable Parks & Recreation to move forward with this project,” said Market Manager Sarah DeWitt.
In its 97th season, the Farmers Market serves as a vital retail venue for local food producers to engage with the community every week of the year.
Later this year, the Michigan Theater Foundation will revitalize the historic State Theatre building – improving accessibility and adding new movie screens. The $200,000 DDA grant will be used to restore a vital piece of the downtown landscape, the Art Deco Marquee. Lee Berry, the Michigan Theater’s Chief Development Officer noted that, “The DDA’s important contribution enables us to complete the exterior restoration at the level of excellence that the downtown community deserves.”
The Michigan Theater Foundation purchased the second floor of the State Theatre in 2014 to preserve, restore, and operate the historic theater designed by renowned architect C. Howard Crane. The State is scheduled to re-open in early 2017.
These important projects will further the mission and goals of the DDA by improving the pedestrian experience, encouraging increased activity downtown, and enhancing the identity of the Kerrytown and State Street neighborhoods.
The DDA is committed to ongoing maintenance in the parking facilities with the goal of extending the useful life of the garages and minimizing the potential of major structural deterioration. With this goal in mind, the DDA annually takes on important structure repairs called out by our engineers. This summer and fall, the DDA performed necessary and important maintenance work in four of the parking structures. By taking care of things early, the issues don’t become big problems.
We appreciate your patience and support as we do this work.
It’s interesting to note that this year’s work included:
Applying 65,000 square feet of deck coating
Applying 275,000 square feet of deck sealer
Applying 42,600 linear feet of sealant
Repairing 1,500+ square feet of concrete
Beginning in July and continuing into fall the DDA will be overseeing its regularly scheduled maintenance work in many public parking structures. The work includes replacing and repairing concrete, sealing cracks, reapplying deck coating, painting and stair work and will total more than $800,000. Our goal is to take care of the little things along the way so they don’t become big things. This reinvestment ensures the continued health of an important part of downtown infrastructure.
While this work will necessitate certain areas within the structures being closed to parking, monthly permit holders will always be able to park with their permits. We will also be diligent to keep the footprint of the work contained as much as possible to allow for ample hourly parking. Specific timing and project information will be posted at each location as work begins there. We appreciate your patience while this important work is being done.
Areas of focus this year will include-
• Concrete repairs and coating work in the Maynard Street stairwell.
• Sealant work at the roof level of the Forest structure. Waterproofing and coatings work inside the structure, as well as façade work.
• Concrete repairs and coating work at 4th & Washington.
• Concrete repairs at the Ann Ashley structure.
Demolition of the brick façade and canopy is scheduled to start this week as the Fourth & William project continues. The Fourth & William Structure is the largest public parking structure with 1,000 spaces on eight floors, it is also one of the oldest. Patrons using the structure have expressed frustration with the 30-year-old elevator, located on the southwest corner. In addition to the elevator, the stairs need to be repaired to better accommodate patrons in this busy facility.
This project will install a new, larger stairwell, and two new high-speed elevators, as well as other improvements. The construction will be undertaken in phases so that patrons can continue to use the structure throughout the project, with only occasional and brief service interruptions.
With demolition starting this week, keep an eye out for changes that may impact pedestrian mobility near the southwest corner of the structure. The Elevator/Stair Improvements Project will be completed in Fall 2016. More information on this project can be found in the 4th & William Project Updates section of our website.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Fourth & William project, do not hesitate to contact us.
On April 1st, 2015 our Board renewed our funding commitment to the getDowntown Program, the go!pass, and enhanced transit service on routes 5 and 13. We are very proud of our commitment to these programs in partnership with the City of Ann Arbor and the AAATA.
The getDowntown Program helps downtown employers get to and from work in downtown Ann Arbor, by providing access to commuting programs and services, including the go!pass program.
The go!pass is an unlimited use transit pass available to employees working within the Downtown Development Authority Boundary. The DDA funds 90% of the pass, making it available to employees for $10 per employee. Last year, nearly 5,000 employees held the pass – reducing CO2emissions and demand for parking by nearly 1,000 spaces – freeing up spaces for visitors and locals that are interested in spending a relaxing day in downtown Ann Arbor.
The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority has supported the getDowntown and go!Pass program for over 10 years using revenues generated from downtown parking. Since 2009, the annual go!pass ridership has increased from 521,768 to 678,103. If you have feedback about downtown transportation options and what we can do to help, let us know!
We are continuing the tree planting that we began last fall – this spring we are planting over 60 trees downtown, which will bring the total trees planted to about 115!
See the attached map showing trees planted in fall 2014 and spring planting locations for 2016.
We’ve worked closely with the City Forester to identify need and remove dead trees – once we wrap this spring we will have addressed the planting backlog that was identified in the City’s Tree Inventory.
The Area Associations and the Main Street BIZ help care for planting beds and keep trees watered. We have also reached out to business and property owners who are eager for healthy trees and they are excited to contribute as well.
Currently, we are working with the 365 Program to create a volunteer program for downtown to engage interested volunteers to care for the tree pits that are most in need of additional care.
Which areas of downtown do you think would benefit most from tree planting? Have you spotted any downtown trees that need additional care?
As always, we appreciate public input and feedback.