If you own an existing commercial building in Ann Arbor, you may be able to expand your square footage without going through site plan approval.
How’s that? Ann Arbor’s parking space requirements passed in 1999-2000 means fewer spaces needed and more area available for development.
Office uses approved prior to 1999 were usually designed to meet higher parking count requirements. Same with commercial uses approved prior to 2000. The reduced requirements create opportunities for additional development including adding square footage to your existing buildings, constructing new buildings, removing parking, or creating outlots.
Existing office and commercial uses in Ann Arbor may now have excess parking spaces that could be converted to additional income producing assets. New parking requirements for office use range from a minimum of 1:333 sf to a maximum of 1:250 sf. Many office developments prior to 1999 were designed with 1:250 sf and even 1:200 sf.
New parking requirements for some commercial uses are also given as a range. Prior to 2000, retail stores and retail centers of under 300,000 sf were often designed with 1:200 sf. Current reduced requirements range from a minimum of 1:310 sf to a maximum of 1:265 sf.
Another benefit: new building square footage can be approved administratively, avoiding the higher cost of a full site plan, and the potential for public review, subject to additional limitations.
Earl Ophoff, LSA, is a registered landscape architect and senior project manager with Midwestern Consulting, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Call Earl at 734.995.0200.