Ann Arbor City Council approves 17-story high-rise building

City Council votes 8-3 in favor of high-rise

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The Ann Arbor skyline is set to change soon after the City Council approved the building of a 17-story high-rise.

After a five-hour long contentious back-and-forth conversation Monday night, the Ann Arbor City Council voted 8-3 in favor of the move to permanently change the city's skyline.

The proposed 17-story building is unlike anything Ann Arbor has had. It is expected to have 360 apartments, 130 hotel rooms, more than 20,000 square feet of prime office space and retail on the first level and a 12,000-square foot plaza out front.

Ann Arbor has been fighting for 10 years to figure out what to do with the prime piece of property on South 5th Avenue between Huron and Packard streets.

Advocates for affordable housing came out in support of the proposal because Core Spaces is offering the city a $10 million purchase price. Of that money, Ann Arbor said it will earmark $5 million to devote to affordable housing elsewhere in the city.

Those who came out against the proposal said they're tired of seeing high-rise buildings pop up in the city and they would rather see a green space put in the area.

"I can live with the decision," one resident said. "The problem is with the zoning. I think a lot of people in Ann Arbor are exasperated with the great number of tall buildings, not this building specifically because this building specifically has good architecture. So much of what's gone up in Ann Arbor is really poorly designed."

One of the reasons officials said a green space wasn't an option on that land is because it sits on a sunken parking garage. The mayor said it's not feasible to get the amount of filler needed to fill in the space and turn it into an urban green space.

You can view more renderings of the building in the video below.

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