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Ann Arbor: Development Boom Will Change Your Ideas About Student Housing

Ann Arbor Skyline Changes

While housing projects across the country shut down during the Great Recession of 2008, the construction cranes lingered over the streets of downtown Ann Arbor, where the need to house the more than 40,000 University of Michigan students remained paramount. With sparkling modern high-rises constructed by private developers and the university, students and young professionals now have their pick of luxury living options within walking distance of classrooms and urbane city life. But it’s not just student housing that’s been getting a revamp. Ann Arbor’s cityscape is growing bolder and more varied as new hotels, medical facilities, and businesses move in.

Browse through these then-and-now photos – which we collected with the help of Google Street View – to see how much Ann Arbor has changed over the last decade. The transformation is quite remarkable so get ready to be amazed.

1. C.S. Mott Children’s & Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital – Angell

Year Built: 2011

Before he died at the age of 97 in 1973, automotive pioneer Charles Stuart Mott left money to start the University of Michigan’s hospital’s pediatric ward which has evolved into one of the nation’s best. An infusion of $754 million created this ultra-modern facility with 348 private care rooms – all flooded with natural light from the curvilinear building.

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2. Zaragon West – Downtown

Year Built: 2012

This high-rise brick and stone housing community came online in 2012 and quickly became the highest rated living facility as ranked by University of Michigan students. Graduate students and young professionals enjoy 9 1/2-foot ceilings and fully furnished living spaces with great views of the campus. High speed internet and cable television is cooked into the rent.

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3. Varsity Ann Arbor & Sterling 411 Lofts – Downtown

Year Built: 2013 and 2008

The 400 block of East Washington Street has blossomed into a hub for off-campus University of Michigan students with the addition of these two paragons of urban living. The four-bedroom lofts of Sterling 411 can accommodate up to five Michigan Wolverines and Varsity Ann Arbor includes floor plans with as many as four bedrooms and four baths.

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4. North Quadrangle Residential and Academic Complex – University of Michigan / Downtown

Year Built: 2010

The University of Michigan poured $175 million into this brick-faced residential complex on State Street between Huron and East Washington streets to house 450 sophomores, junior and seniors. North Quad is a showcase for the university’s initiative to upgrade its dorm facilities as witnessed by the chandeliered dining room and suite-styled living arrangements.

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5. Michigan Stadium – University of Michigan / Downtown

Year Built: 1927 Renovated: 2010

Michigan Stadium – known around college football as The Big House – is America’s biggest sports stadium. It was designed in 1927 to be expanded and in 2010 a major renovation buffed out the official capacity to 107,601. Even if you never go inside the famous stadium the tailgating on football Saturdays int he fall is legendary.

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6. Zaragon Place – Burns Park

Year Built: 2009

Zaragon Place at 619 East University Drive was at the vanguard of upscale campus apartment living at the University of Michigan when it opened in 2009. The ten-story building is filled with two-, four- and six-bedroom units with industrial, loft-like ceilings. The fully furnished rooms boast flat-screen televisions and granite countertops. Students enjoy an on-site fitness center.

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7. Landmark Apartments – Burns Park

Year Built: 2012

Luxury off-campus living in Ann Arbor took another leap forward in 2012 with the opening of the Landmark Apartments at 1300 South University Avenue. The 14-story brick tower houses 606 students in studios to six-bedroom suites. Each room has a washer and dryer and common areas feature two hot tubs, a massage room, and a movie theater.

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8. 414 Main – Kerrytown

Year Built: 2015

These mid-rise condominium units, which replaced a Greek church at 414 North Main Street, offered owners the opportunity to customize the pre-sold living space in consultation with the developer’s architect. Each of 16 units display the whimsy of the original buyers when they come on the market. The spaces range to almost 3,000 square feet.

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9. 618 South Main – Old West Side – Check availability

Year Built: 2015

These six-story luxury apartments at 618 South Main Street are targeted to young working professionals in search of a walkable downtown lifestyle. The complex contains a mix of 59 studios, 74 single bedroom units, and 31 two-bedroom apartments featuring spacious floor plans, air conditioning, and energy-efficient appliances. Renters will find an outdoor oasis rain garden that includes free coffee and a bicycle repair station.

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10. Ann Arbor City Apartments – Old West Side

Year Built: 2014

This modernistic stone and glass box at the corner of West Washington and South First streets was the first high-end Ann Arbor living space not designed for students to pop up in many years. Beyond the hotel-style lobby residents can tap a yoga studio, fitness center, and Zen garden. The rooftop Sky Park offers cabanas and grilling stations.

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What’s your favorite addition to the Ann Arbor skyline?

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About the author

Amalia Otet

Amalia Otet is an online content developer and creative writer for PropertyShark. She loves all things real estate and strives to live beautifully, one green step at a time.

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