Somebody was paying attention when the greenbelt passed: developers are gobbling up land in Washtenaw County in what could be a “feeding frenzy” in the hundreds of millions of dollars:

“In the last three weeks, I’ve delivered about $70 million in letters of intent (to purchase), and we’re still in the preliminary stages,” said Gary Lillie of Gary Lillie & Associates in Ann Arbor.

Lillie is working with one builder who seeks 2,500 acres in western Washtenaw and a second builder seeking 1,000 acres. Lillie would not identify the builders but said they are making the same offer to everyone.

In one case, that was just over three times the listed price on a 40-acre parcel.

The companies’ goals, said Lillie, is to amass enough property for the next 20 years worth of development in the area.”

I wonder if they’ll be anything left for the city to preserve with their modest budget? In a sense, it’s ironic: all that sound and fury, where new urbanist white male developers debated sprawl-obsessed white male developers, and Ann Arbor will turn out just as ugly and segregated as so much of the rest of the state. And they come whining to me to help figure out why Michigan just isn’t “cool” enough.

Author: Rob