was reminded of a conversation of an even larger opportunity at that location, where the AATA
was looking to expand to include the Fifth and William parcel - the site of the former YMCA building. [It's now owned by the city and used as a surface parking lot.] That project failed for a variety of reasons, Cooper
The current proposal looks like it has a number of challenges, he
The reinforcement of the foundations to allow for just two additional levels was a concern for Cooper
The matter-of-right development allowed by the D1 zoning for the area was not just the 400% floor-area-ratio (FAR) that the two additional stories would yield, but rather the higher-density 700%, Cooper
A response from Nacht described the possibility of eventually combining the new BTC
building with a future development on what is now a surface parking lot at Fifth and Division. [But Cooper
's point - that the AATA
was not thinking of the largest possible option allowed under city zoning - seemed to elude Nacht and other board members.] Cooper reiterated that he
wanted to make sure that the AATA
was maximizing the potential of the site.
also wanted to know how space in the new building was allocated: staff use compared to rider use.
Jesse Bernstein responded to Cooper
by recalling how the public meetings had included questioning of the need for so many staff restrooms.
ventured it's not an issue of the operators' needs.
But in doubling the size of building, in the context of a tight budget time, he
wondered about the inclusion of a secondary dispatch center contrasted with "significant elements for the benefit of our customers.
Real-time information is simply an expectation at a modern transit center, Cooper
was particularly sensitive to the process that has more than doubled in price - but that was the result of working with stakeholders.
He'd been preparing to add an amendment to restore the three items to the budget, but had elected not to do that - out of respect for Nacht's concern as the treasurer.
It might be more appropriate to add those items back when the AATA
had more confidence in its financial position, he
There has to be a point in time where prudence takes over, he
To hear that careful accounting has to be done in order to confirm that the cash reserve policy is being met, he
said, means that it's time to look at the project and ask the staff to perhaps find different additional sources of revenue to make sure that those features can be included that will ensure the new building is state-of-the-art.
ventured that the $80,000 for LEED certification "buys us a certificate," but wondered, "What else does it get us?"
Outcome on the amendment: The board approved the restoration of the LEED certification in the Blake Transit Center project budget, over dissent from Eli Cooper
and David Nacht.
Starting at the near right and going clockwise around the table are: Charles Griffith (AATA), CEO Michael Ford, Jesse Bernstein (AATA), Eli Cooper (AATA), Karen Lovejoy Roe (TWR), Bill Mester (TWR), Paul Schreiber (TWR), David Philips (TWR), David Nacht (AATA), Sue Gott (AATA), Roger Kerson (AATA), Bill Lavery (TWR), and Anya Dale (AATA).
The other two members of that committee are Sue Gott and Eli Cooper
Eli Cooper, who also serves as the city of Ann Arbor's transportation program manager, reported that the city council had two transportation items on the agenda for its Oct. 15 meeting and both were approved.
One was the environmental review and preliminary engineering study for an Ann Arbor rail station.
The other was a study for a transportation connector between the northeast and southern part of the city.
reported that the city is "all in" for those two projects as they're currently understood.
Present: Charles Griffith, David Nacht, Jesse Bernstein, Eli Cooper, Sue Gott, Roger Kerson, Anya Dale.