The Ann Arbor City Council had delayed deciding whether to exercise their option to purchase the YMCA building on Williams Street.
> See “Council delays its decision on YMCA”
Here’s a letter to the editor to the Ann Arbor News that I wrote with Ben King:
“To the editor:
As residents of Ann Arbor, we have been following the discussion about the future of the old Y building on Williams Street. We are discouraged that the city, the Y, and the AATA have failed to work together to find a creative solution to the problem. There are several needs of the Ann Arbor community that could be addressed through these organizationsí mutual compromise
The 100-unit affordable housing wing of the Y building takes up less that 7% of the Y’s lot, and it seems to us that the need for an expanded bus station could be met without destroying this important structure. Affordable housing downtown is one of the most important issues facing the city, and this is a unique opportunity for these organizations to work towards their mutual goal: a healthy and vibrant downtown.
We encourage the three parties to negotiate a resolution which would preserve the existing housing and also encourage a diverse and efficient use of the property.
Of course, in a perfect world, we’d like to see the new bus station include a rooftop cafe, moderate-priced housing, and artistsí lofts, but this may be too much to ask. Preserving existing affordable housing isn’t.
Benjamin C. King
Robert C. Goodspeed
Seniors, University of Michigan”