A N N   A R B O R   I S   O V E R R A T E D . (a blog.)


Murph ([email protected]) - 2003-11-20 15:43:00
We need to coordinate our snarkiness better. We're starting to get redundant...

Brandon () - 2003-11-20 15:47:22
Well it looks like gentrification attempts are officially in full-swing in Ypsi... have fun, guys. To me it seems Ypsi desperately needs density, as it's land area is so small, with a good chunk taken up by EMU... argh.

Steven B. Cherry ([email protected]) - 2003-11-20 15:57:30
Murph, snarkiness needs no coordination, it's nice to see 3 blogs blasting the same issue with a 180 degree take from the News'. It's like independant test results.

Brandon, yes, I'm afraid the Master Plan is full of gentrification leaning plans. I'm only guessing at this point, but it seems the general feel. I should review the Master Plan before I open my mouth too much. The Revolution doesn't yet have a superior Master Plan.

Leighton () - 2003-11-20 19:04:21
Supposedly they are trying to corral the EMUs into a student concentration building that was the paper factory site? What about business zoning? Two Way Cross? Landlords are already trying to jump the Gentrificagun, downtown rents attempted to go up....

Laura ([email protected]) - 2003-11-20 19:05:17
AAIO is right; Ypsi is quite a bit cooler than it was even a few years ago; aside from the music scene my favorite bit of coolness is the Dreamland Theater in Depot Town, which offers alternative puppet shows and less categorizable art happenings. I'd love to see a summary of the Master Plan. Boo, gentrification. But--in all fairness (and as a loyal Ypsilantian) the student housing area around Cross between the water tower and Huron is...pretty seedy-looking. There's one abandoned old pile near the water tower that's downright sinister, and overall there's less than adequate maintenance being done on what are in many cases beautiful old Victorians. One wishes perhaps fruitlessly that there were a way to preserve and spiff up those lovely old houses--to me they're neglected jewels--and yet provide for dense housing as Brandon said and decent student housing.

Murph ([email protected]) - 2003-11-20 20:47:28
"a way to preserve and spiff up those lovely old houses"

Some of the student co-ops in Ann Arbor are kept up to Historic District standards--housing for 25 students and another pretty facade in the neighborhood. Example: OFW-located Vail House.

I think a big part of the reason that student houses get trashed is because the landlords want to milk them for as much profit as possible, which means not caring how they look, and the students just want to trash it, because, hell, it's not *their* house...

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-20 22:31:01
Yes, we're becoming a little lockstep. But this was really a pretty slow news week for A2.

Steven B. Cherry ([email protected]) - 2003-11-21 08:28:12
Everyone needs a little slumming in Ypsi, news or otherwise. *makes devil horns with fingers*

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-21 09:11:06
One of the biggest reasons why Ypsi has more crime and decreased property values in the student ghetto is that landlords are encouraged to be fucking slumlords to a degree that they simply couldn't get away with in Ann Arbor, mostly because of the Tennant's Union here. And for all to know: Romain Realty is the biggest fucking coke-headed slumlord in the city, and I wouldn't be surprised if the inspectors are on the take. People like him need to be drummed out to improve the student housing, rather than some bullshit density reduction. js

anna () - 2003-11-21 09:53:00
I thought the Ann Arbor Tenants Union was shut down, because of lack of funding by the MSA? Or did I get that wrong?

Murph () - 2003-11-21 11:35:14
Anna, as of April 30, 2003, the AATU still exists but will only serve non-student residents of Ann Arbor. Obviously, that's fairly useless, but I think it's meant as a way to keep the tenants' union legally existing until somebody delivers a well-needed boot to the head to MSA and they decide to start funding AATU again.

Joe F, () - 2003-11-21 11:52:40
In all fairness to MSA, it seemed like for a long time AATU wasn't really doing much of anything, or actually serving many students. I think a lot of people hoped that AATU would improve (maybe some fresh blood, a less overly antagonistic perspective on everything), but they didn't, so MSA cut them. Now, unfortunately it'll be even tougher for AATU to improve. It's a no-win situation. Also, I don't understand why AATU serve U-M students for a small fee? Is it just spite? Believe it or not, I think most students at U of M (now and for the last five years at least) would consider the University itself to be their best advocate in terms of housing issues. Make of that what you will...

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-21 14:07:24
I've had slumlord landlords here, and even though I wasn't a student at the time, just mentioning the AATU was enough to get the ball rolling and have them clean their acts up. However, in Ypsi where there's no such thing, I've had to threaten lawsuits and put my rent in escrow to get things like heat in the winter (when it was included in the lease). js

anna () - 2003-11-21 14:16:17
Wow, things must have changed at the Univ. level, then, because it used to be that the university didn't do ANYTHING when there was a housing problem. For example, they would continue to allow landlords against whom there were multiple complaints to continue to advertise in the housing office official listings.

Nick () - 2003-11-21 17:58:43
Yeah, if you have a problem with a landlord here you invariably get directed to U-M Student Legal Services. I had a landlord issue when I arrived in town and got pointed in that direction by everyone I asked (i.e., my department's student services and the AATU). Legal did collect lots of information about my former LL when I talked with them, but it doesn't appear anything was done with it. And JS, I understand the anger - coming here from CA I didn't realize that things like a sound physical structure and adequate heating, wiring, and plumbing were luxury amenities.

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