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June 11, 2007 - Image 2

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2007-06-11

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2

Monday, June 11, 2007
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

City gives go-ahead to destroy Anberay

10-story complex to
replace historic
apartment building
By CHRISTINA HAMATI
For the Daily
The Ann Arbor City Council
sealed the fate of the East Univer-
sity Avenue apartment complex
Anberay by unanimously vot-
ing last Monday to grant its new
owner permission to demolish the
84-year-old building for the con-
struction of a larger complex in its
place.
Anberay's owner, Chicago-
based real estate company Zara-
gon Inc., bought the building
- better known to students as
Melrose Place - earlier this year
and then soon after announced
plans to raze it to make way for a
taller apartment complex, parking
garage and retail space.
Zaragon president and Univer-

sity alum Rick Perlman said the
new 10-story building would pro-
vide more, better quality student
housing.
"It's going to be great," Perlman
said in an interview. "The new
building will be great for this uni-
versity and great for this city."
Zaragon plans to begin con-
struction this fall.
Maggie Ladd, executive direc-
tor of the South University Area
Association, agreed that Zaragon's
proposed development will benefit
the city.
"There are 21 units in that
building now, compared to the
66 units Zaragon plans to put in,"
Ladd said. "That's an equivalent of
around 250 people - people who
would be shopping and eating in
the South University area."
Jill Thacher, a historic preser-
vation coordinator in Ann Arbor,
said she objects to Zaragon's
plan to demolish Anberay. She
explained that the only reason
the 84-year-old building isn't pro-

tected as a historic landmark is
because in 2001, the court ruled
that the building wasn't located in
a historic district.
"There's no doubt this is a his-
toric building," she said. "I'd much
rather see the building maintained
or restored. It has a lot of charac-
ter."
Thacher's cited the book "His-
toric Buildings of Ann Arbor,"
which includes Anberay, as proof
of the building's historic value.
Anberay was designed in 1923 by
architects Albert J. J. Rousseau
and George W. McConkey and was
home to many notable University
figures, including late Michigan
football coach and athletic direc-
tor Fielding Yost, the book says.
LSA junior Stephen Hickner,
who lives in Anberay, agrees that
the complex should be saved.
"It's really old and showing a
lot of wear and tear," he said. "It
definitely needs renovation. But if
they could find a way to renovate
it and keep the fagade, that would

be great. I wish (the new building)
was going to have more character
and not look like every other new
building."
Perlman and Ladd do not
acknowledge Anberay as a histori-
cal building that merits preserva-
tion.
"Just because a building was
built in the 1920's doesn't neces-
sarily make it an architectural
gem," Ladd said. "The building is
not in a condition where renova-
tion is an option. It's not economi-
cally feasible to renovate it."
"It's an old building that isn't
historically significant," Perlman
said. "It's an energy guzzler and
it's in terrible condition - it needs
new walls, roofs, courtyards,
everything."
For LSA junior Arthur Shtern,
Anberay was more than just a
temporary residence during his
college years. He said he had a
personal connection to the build-
ing because many of his relatives
See ANBERAY, Page 3

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