SouthTown Project Passes First Zoning Vote

Monday, August 14: SouthTown Rezoning, School Board Leadership, New Animal Urgent Care, Home Energy Ratings, and State Identity Crisis


Morning, Ann Arbor! A lot of Michigan football tidbits this week. The bullet points to know:

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Apple Maps | Synecdoche.Design

🏘 SouthTown Rezoning: In a critical step for the proposed SouthTown development, City Council unanimously passed the first reading of a rezoning request that would allow the entire block bounded by State, Henry, White, and Stimson to be demolished and rebuilt into a multiuse, environmentally friendly midrise. SouthTown, developed by Prentice 4M with help from Synecdoche Design, would be an all-electric eight-story building with 216 apartments and ground floor office and retail spaces - here’s a cool project overview from Synecdoche. City Council will vote on final approval of the rezoning request following a public hearing on September 5.

📝 School Board Leadership: In a developing story, the Ann Arbor School Board voted 4-3 last week to give Superintendent Jeanice Swift a pre-termination notice. The board’s meeting and subsequent vote come after nearly 100 local parents have called for Swift to resign over a school district lawsuit alleging a bus aid abused a student with special needs in 2021 and the district waited five weeks to review the footage.

🐶 New Animal Urgent Care: Last month, Animal Urgent Center opened at 215 N Maple Road Suite A-1. Intended to be a resource for local pet parents who can’t get into their primary vet but don’t want to visit an emergency room, the urgent care center will be open from 1:00 pm to 9:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am to 7:00 pm on weekends.

☕️ Sweetwaters Expansion: A new franchise location of Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea has opened on the ground floor of 777 Eisenhower Parkway. Despite the iconic 777 building serving as the headquarters of local real estate company Oxford Companies, the cafe will be open to the public. The coffee shop will be open Monday - Thursday from 7:00 am to 4:00 pm.

⚡️ Home Energy Rating: Last week, City Council unanimously passed the first reading of a new ordinance that would require all Ann Arbor homes sold in 2024 to obtain and publicly list a home energy rating score. Using criteria developed by the U.S. Department of Energy, the home energy scores would inform prospective buyers about the home’s monthly operating costs, energy usage compared to other similar-sized homes, and any on-site sources of renewable energy. City council will reconvene on August 21 to vote for final approval of the proposed ordinance.

🎸 Thursday’s Sonic Lunch: Laith Al-Saadi



🚗 Miles-Based Tax System: As the auto industry shifts towards electric vehicles, the state is exploring a miles-based tax system to replace lost income from the current 26 cents per gallon gas tax. Under the proposed system, Michiganders would pay a usage charge for how many miles of Michigan roads they drove. Like Oregon, Utah, and Virginia, the state plans to roll out a 20,000-person pilot program to study the new system this fall.

📚 Native American Mascots: Last week, the State Board of Education introduced a resolution recommending 12 schools across the state stop using Native American mascots, nicknames, and logos. Of the schools named, 6 used the Chief mascot, 4 used the Indians mascot, and 2 used the Braves mascot.

🧤 State Identity Crisis: In an article that hits far too close to home, the Detroit Free Press reopened the state’s Michigander vs. Michiganian debate. While Michiganian may have been the original term used to describe mitten residents, Michigander rose to prominence after trash-talking Abraham Lincoln called a political opponent a “great Michigander” - apparently this was an 1840s diss as it compared him to a goose. You can guess which side of the debate we fall on.


877 Starwick Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

3 Bed | 2 Bath | 900 Sqft | $269,900

1904 Arborview Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

3 Bed | 3 Bath | 1,631 Sqft | $450,000

5315 River Ridge Ln, Ann Arbor, MI 48103

4 Bed | 4 Bath | 4,364 Sqft | $850,000


High energy but also a couch potato

Almond | 9 years | Siberian Husky

Shy feline friend who needs time to warm up

Simba | 3 years | Domestic Shorthair
That's all for now! Have a great week in Tree Town!
- Andrew

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P. P. S. - Amon Ra St. Brown and C.J. Gardner-Johnson (two Detroit Lions) were on Family Feud