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4. Fourth Plan (2012-13)

We moved this material from the front page because the development proposal has not advanced. On Sunday July 22, 2012, AnnArbordotcom posted an article asking What's next for the student housing project proposed for Grace Bible Church site in Ann Arbor? The article notes that the project is on hold while the developer looks for a site closer to campus.


A new project was announced in a postcard received by some neighbors on Monday January 9, 2012. The new project called THE GROVE, was proposed for the 42 North site, at 1430 South Maple Road. This project would have 224 apartments consisting of 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with leasing and amenity spaces, attendant parking and other required elements.





The Grove

After the City Council approved the second version of the huge student housing project for the 15 acre site at 1430 South Maple Road, the economy and housing market crashed. That developer abandoned its plan to develop the property. The land was put back onto the market. A local developer showed some interest in proceeding with the same basic plan, but with the idea of marketing the apartments to a more upscale resident. That plan went nowhere. More recently, the property owner sought an extension of the site plan. That extension was denied and the 42 North site plan expired.

In early January 2012, a different developer contacted neighbors to announce its intention to build a different student housing project on the 1430 South Maple site. The new developer is Campus Crest (this link no longer works), a publicly traded company. They have dozens of student developments using the name The Grove. In 2016, Campus Crest sold its interest to Core Investments of Chicago (link).

The Grove development proposed for the South Maple site would have 224 apartments, each with 2 or 3 bedrooms. The developer says that the development will have a total of 600 bedrooms, each with just one tenant. The proposed plan includes 600 parking spaces and 13 buildings. As with 42 North, the new plan would involve individual leases for each bedroom, potentially resulting in complete strangers sharing an apartment.

This development is part of a national chain. Their web page is: gogrove.com. An example of the marketing from that web site:

THIS AIN'T YOUR MAMA'S HOUSE NO MORE.

THIS IS YOUR LIFE. YOU'LL NEED YOUR OWN PLACE. NOW HOW'S IT GOING TO BE? A CRAMPED DORM ROOM WITH A RICKETY LOFT BUNK? AN APARTMENT THAT BOASTS A BASEMENT LAUNDRY AND A MICROWAVE? THAT'S IT?

WE THINK COLLEGE LIVING SHOULD BE AS EXCITING AS COLLEGE ITSELF. YOUR HOME SHOULDN'T JUST BE A SPACE TO CRAM FOR EXAMS WHILE EATING DAY-OLD PIZZA. WHY SETTLE WHEN YOU CAN HAVE OFF-CAMPUS, RESORT-STYLE AMENITIES WHERE YOU CAN STUDY, EAT, SOCIALIZE AND RELAX IN STYLE?

THINK THE GROVE. THINK FULLY-LOADED COLLEGE LIVING.

The company's web site also has "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) that provide a pretty good picture of what to expect. We have reproduced that FAQ on our Grove's FAQ page.



The Grove development team conducted two citizen participation meetings. For more information about the citizens participation ordinance, see our page "Citizens Participation". The developer's announcements of the meetings said that additional information can be obtained by contacting J Bradley Moore And Associates Architects at 734-930-1500 or thegroveapartmentsaa@gmail.com

The first meeting on January 19, was briefly described in the news article New student housing project proposed for Grace Bible Church site raises concern at public meeting. At the end of that meeting, the developer promised a second meeting to provide residents with information they did not bring to the first meeting.

A second meeting was held on February 8 at the Dicken Elementary School. That meeting is briefly covered in the article "We just don't want you here" Ann Arbor residents tell student housing developer. The developer had promised this second meeting to give them a chance to circulate the revised site drawings and to allow them to bring requested financial information. The drawing was not circulated before the meeting and no further information was provided at the meeting.

The March 2012 issue of the Ann Arbor Observer includes a short article about The Grove and the neighborhood opposition to the project.

What Comes Next?

The planning process starts with the citizens participation meeting. After that, the developer and planning staff hold a pre-submission meeting. The developer can submit the site plan after that meeting. There is a deadline each month for submitting a plan in time to be included in the next Planning Commission meeting, but the site plan can be submitted at any time after the pre-sumission meeting. After the site plan is submitted, a planning staff member is assigned to the project. After that, city staff holds an Advisory Development Committee Meeting. That meeting will be open to the public. Planning staff will write a report and the site plan will be submitted to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the site plan.

The Grove development team held the required citizens participation meeting. The City scheduled a pre-submission meeting, but the developer later canceled that meeting. Thereafter, the developer missed the deadline for submitting a site plan for consideration at the April meeting. As of February 29, the Planning staff had not heard from the developer since they canceled the pre-submission meeting. (We checked again on May 1, and the developer still had not contacted the planning staff).

The pre-submission meeting is not open to the public. Once the site plan has been filed, we can request a copy. The Advisory Development Committee Meeting is a public meeting and we will try to have a couple of neighborhood representatives present but there is no need for a large turn out. The planning staff will provide us with 2 weeks notice of when the matter will be on the Planning Commission agenda. We would like to have as many neighbors attend the Planning Commission meeting as possible. We will send out notices and updates as we learn more.

While we wait to see what the developer will do, we suggest that you review the issues discussed in our July 20, 2008 and September 2, 2008 letters to Council. They can be found on the Documents page. We believe the wetland mitigation issues are of particular importance and discuss them on the Wetlands page.