From the category archives:

Ann Arbor Jobs Economy

Six Story Apartment Building to be Built at 618 S. Main

by Andy Piper on December 12, 2011

After submitting initial plans to Ann Arbor‘s Design Review Board, developers from the Urban Group Development Co. take planning for a six story apartment building to the next step.

Downtown Ann Arbor Liberty Lofts Condominium

The Liberty Lofts arean inspiration for the design of the 618 project.

Ann Arbor has experienced no shortage of development and growth in recent years. High-rise apartments, condos, and buildings like the planned 618 S. Main project, have ushered in a new era of growth for the city. The  addition of so much resident potential in the main downtown area is aimed at fueling further economic growth and establishing stability for the city’s future, while providing the attraction of a major city and urban center.

An undeniable focus has been placed on the importance of increasing population density while sparing the surrounding area from suburban planning. Residents will note the way in which the city has approached and treated each development in turn; keeping a critical eye on the impact each will have on the community while insuring long term viability.

Some of these developments are located on the fringe of what is today considered “downtown” Ann Arbor. This placement has come along with the express intent of expanding downtown by block-sized areas, fueled by these buildings and the economic catalyst they ultimately serve as.

This is not the case with 618. Located between S. Main St. and Ashley St., 618 is placed in the very center of an already thriving urban hub.

Hoping to offer an experience that is fulfilling for both residents and pedestrians, developers intend to give 618 a very unique set of qualities including; a swimming pool, businesses, lounges, a gym, and open public/private courtyards that encourage mingling. One interesting plan includes the desire to create garden space for residents to use. The progress of this building should be watched closely by anyone interested as it moves forward. If Ann Arbor teaches anything about urban planning it is that things change. The central location of this project will only encourage the shifting suggestions to mirror a gambit, though an interesting one to be sure. Δ John Fenton




Positive Growth in Michigan and Detroit

by Andy Piper on November 5, 2011

The city of Detroit and the State of Michigan have recently experienced solid, stable economic growth.

For several years and throughout the recent period of economic crisis Michigan has qualified among the worst states. Soaring unemployment has been a standard as the industrial super structure that keeps Michigan’s economy alive collapsed. Industry like the production of automobiles slowed and for years many felt this choking the state.

Crain’s Detroit Business writes that the power of Michigan’s industry may be on the rise and along with it the power of the state’s economy. The article, originally published in the Bloomberg News by William Selway, points out that the growth in “Michigan’s economy is recovering from the recession at the second-fastest pace in the U.S., lifted by reviving carmakers and local manufacturers”. The auto industry, which had suffered for years, now sees itself growing and posting positive quarters in the billions.

The housing market may also be on upward trend. The listed prices, or asking price, of homes in Detroit has risen according to an article by Altos Research, which collects data on the real estate market. This kind of trend will help to further develop and re-establish Michigan’s economy nationally. There is a warning though, “beware, the weekly number is now moving down now because of seasonality effects”. Δ John Fenton



Moving may require walking away from a home

by Andy Piper on November 15, 2010

Moving to another area of the country today to accept a new job requires a lot more thought than it used to because so many home owners are “upside down” on their mortgage – they owe more than the home is worth.  Workers who do not have the cash to bring to closing to sell their home must consider becoming absentee landlords and often renting at a loss or consider a short sale or as a last case, foreclosure.  Giving the house back to the bank. We are finding that sellers faced with this situation are having more and more success negotiating a short sale with the bank.

From the NPR website:

“More and more people could face the dilemma of choosing between a job and a house — especially if the job market improves faster than the housing market.

Joblessness is a drag on the housing market, with many people no longer able to afford their homes. But the reverse is also true; a house that’s lost value can prevent someone from taking a job that requires a move.

Although recruitment has been down over the past few years, some experts say the inability to unload homes could become one of the biggest obstacles to matching talent with the right job. Experts say more and more people could face the dilemma of choosing between a job and a house — especially if the job market improves faster than the housing market.”

Ann Arbor area real estate


City of Ann Arbor featured as a “campus and Careers” Patchwork Community on’s Patchwork Nation.

Just a short drive from Detroit, Downtown Ann Arbor- home of the University of Michigan- attracts thousands of Ph.D.s, graduate students, top researchers and ambitious young people year after year.See Ray Saurez report on Ann Arbor Michigan’s vibrant economic engine.

Form PBS Newshour website