The owners of two neighboring properties just north of downtown Ann Arbor are looking to capitalize on the growing demand for urban living.
Beal Properties is marketing the sites at 221 Felch St. and 214 W. Kingsley St. for sale as a redevelopment opportunity for apartments or condominiums.
The price tag for the properties: $3.9 million.
“The reason it might be attractive to sell at this time is you’re seeing more of these near downtown or in downtown condo developments,” said Stewart Beal. “My father (Fred Beal) and uncle (George Beal) are of the age where it makes sense to start talking about retirement … one option would be to sell this property.”
Stewart Beal said the properties were listed for sale in 2009, but interest waned as the real estate market crashed. He said his family is not interested in developing the site, but would prefer to sell.
The decision to market the properties for sale again comes shortly after three Ann Arbor developers proposed a 22-unit condo project across Kingsley Street from the Beal Properties. Peter Allen, Mark Berg and Tom Fitzsimmons want to build 121 Kingsley West on the corner of Kingsley and North Ashley — a property once slated for a 46-unit condo project called Kingsley Lane.
Austin Warburton jewelry business occupies the 3,000-square-foot building at 214 W. Kingsley St. Because the property is located in the floodplain, the building is elevated from the ground level.
Stewart Beal said his father purchased the property when it was vacant 10 years ago. City records show it has a 2014 assessed value of $198,000.
The neighboring site at 221 Felch St. has been in the Beal family for decades. Thirty tenants occupy the 28,000-square-foot, multi-building complex. The property has a 2014 assessed value of $643,800.
A purchaser of the properties could continue to operate the sites with the current uses, or propose a comprehensive redevelopment.
Working with Ann Arbor architect Brad Moore, the Beals have outlined potential redevelopment options for the site:
- Combine the parcels, demolish the existing buildings at 221 Felch St., rezone the property to O Office and construct a new office building of up to 66,000 square feet
- Combine the parcels, demolish the existing buildings at 221 Felch St., rezone the property to R4D Multifamily and construct a residential building of up to 96,000 square feet for as many as 51 condos or 75 apartments
Stewart Beal said the building at 214 W. Kingsley St. could remain, but the purchase of that property is necessary to meet the minimum lot size requirement of 83,000 square feet under the R4D zoning.
Ann Arbor Planning Manager Wendy Rampson said she has met twice with the property owners to review the concept plans for a redevelopment.
She said preliminary concept plans suggest removing the buildings on the eastern edge of the Felch Street site and constructing a residential building on the western side with parking at the first level and residences above.
A majority of the site is located in the floodplain, meaning the residences would need to be elevated.
Rampson said she’s only had a very preliminary look at potential plans, but she said some sort of residential development on the site could be possible.
“They would need to rezone the property and they need to go through that review, along with a hydrological review to make sure the supports on the building were not going to unduly impact the floodplain.”
She said the city would likely support rezoning the site to multiple family, but the Master Plan does not necessarily identify R4D as the appropriate zoning for the properties.
“We would have to discuss the appropriate density for that location,” she said. “That would be a conversation with the Planning Commission.”
Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for The Ann Arbor News. Reach her at 734-255-2638, email her firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter.