The city Planning Commission is scheduled to consider a proposal by developer Peter Allen to construct a $10 million, six-story mixed-use project at the corner of West Kingsley and North Ashley at their November 18 meeting:
” … A total of 20 to 25 residential units would be constructed, including 10 to 15 townhouses adjacent to the six-story structure, Allen said. According to plans, residences would range from 680 to 1,960 square feet and would consist of one- to three-bedroom units.
The condominium prices would begin at under $200,000, Allen said. Prices of the four units classified as affordable housing would start at about $100,000. To qualify for the condominiums, home buyers must have an annual income equal to or lower than 73 percent of the area’s median income. For a family of four, median income is $77,700.
If the city gives its approval, construction is expected to begin next summer and be completed within a year, Allen said. …”
In my mind, this is exactly the type of development Ann Arbor should be encouraging. If high property values downtown reflect the fact people want to live here, building a variety of types of sensibly priced housing within walking distance of downtown seems to me a sound investment in the city’s future. The type of developments proposed by Mr. Allen, while certainly not cheap, aren’t in the same level as the “luxury condominium” market developers like Spoon Equities and Ashley Mews thought existed: both are learning the lesson the hard way that not much of a market exists for their multimillion-dollar extravagancies.