The Ann Arbor Police are hoping somebody will provide them information about the suspicious fire that destroyed the former Technology Center, a large building a couple blocks west of Main Street formerly home to a variety of artist studios, practice spaces, and warehouse units. Purchased by the YMCA for their new building, the Technology Center burned while it was being demolished late last summer.
“Someone knows more about the fire in the community that could assist the police department in the investigation,” Monroe said. “If they understood the risk to the firefighters, neighborhoods and homes, I’m sure they would feel obligated to come forward.”
Authorities are also looking at a one-page flier that was posted up and down Washington Street near the ruins of the complex in the days after the fire. “ATTENTION ALL GAWKERS,” it began, and continued by bemoaning the loss of the “living, breathing, creative space.”
The flier does not take responsibility for the fire, but notes, “In the end, this building got to leave on its own terms, in a burst of artistic irony. No bulldozers determined its fate, just pure hot flame.”
In related news, the city council is finally realizing the AATA intends to tear down the low income housing units in the old YMCA building, and seems to be entertaining the idea of purchasing the building outright. (“Housing conflicts may stall new YMCA”)
While I’m not sure how it could best be managed, it seems to me a compromise could be found: part of the property could be sold to the AATA for an expanded bus station, the current low-income housing units could be preserved, and some of the old Y building could be rented for general commercial use, to compensate for the loss of the Technology Center. While such pipe dreams would require extremely innovative site planning, I’m sure somebody at the Taubman College would be willing to put their mind to it.