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AADL Board of Trustees Meeting - September 17th, 2018

Mon, 09/17/2018 - 11:59am

When: September 17, 2018 at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

Watch the September 2018 Meeting of the AADL Board of Trustees. Select an agenda item below to jump to that point in the transcript. 

For more information, please see the Board Packet for this meeting

18-129 I. CALL TO ORDER

18-130 II. ATTENDANCE

18-131 III. APPROVAL OF AGENDA (Item of Action)

18-132 IV. CONSENT AGENDA

CA-1 Approval of Minutes July 16, 2018

CA-2 Approval of July and August 2018 Disbursements

18-133 V. CITIZENS' COMMENTS

18-134 VI. FINANCIAL REPORTS Bill Cooper, Finance Manager

18-135 VII. COMMITTEE REPORTS

18-136 A. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

18-137 VIII. DIRECTOR'S REPORT Josie B. Parker, Director

18-138 IX. NEW BUSINESS

18-139 A. WORKFORCE HOUSING, CITY CENTER DEVELOPMENT MASTER PLANNING, & AN EXTENDED TREELINE TRAIL PRESENTATION Peter Allen, Jonathan Chavis, Genevieve Doman, Kani Najeeb Hasan, Jose Lujano, Jin Li, Dewi Tan

18-140 X. CITIZENS' COMMENTS 

18-141 XI. ADJOURNMENT 

Transcript

  • [00:00:01.48] NARRATOR: Ann Arbor District Library Board of Trustees Meeting, September 17, 2018.
  • [00:00:11.87] JOSIE PARKER: Got to hit it.
  • [00:00:12.73] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: I don't usually hit so hard. Welcome, everyone. OK, great. So this is to call the meeting to order. We're all set on attendance?
  • [00:00:21.29] KAREN WILSON: Yes.
  • [00:00:22.29] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: OK, great. Is there a motion to approve the agenda?
  • [00:00:25.94] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: So moved.
  • [00:00:28.65] LINH SONG: Second.
  • [00:00:29.79] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Any discussion? All those in favor?
  • [00:00:32.59] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Second. Oh, second. I'm sorry.
  • [00:00:34.56] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Oh, Linh seconded it.
  • [00:00:35.72] JIM LEIJA: We got it.
  • [00:00:37.01] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: All those in favor?
  • [00:00:38.18] ALL: Aye.
  • [00:00:39.64] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Opposed? OK. Consent agenda.
  • [00:00:43.27] JIM LEIJA: I move to approve the consent agenda.
  • [00:00:45.43] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Second.
  • [00:00:46.86] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Great. Any discussion on that? All those in favor?
  • [00:00:50.74] ALL: Aye.
  • [00:00:53.08] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: OK, opposed? OK. Citizen's comments. Did anyone sign up, Karen?
  • [00:00:59.50] KAREN WILSON: We haven't had anyone sign up.
  • [00:01:01.37] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: This is the most people we've had ever.
  • [00:01:02.89] JIM LEIJA: All these people and not anyone wants to talk?
  • [00:01:04.67] JOSIE PARKER: This is-- I think I'll help out a little bit. This is a class from the University of Michigan School of Ross Business for the most part, right? Here?
  • [00:01:14.22] AUDIENCE: For the most part.
  • [00:01:14.96] JOSIE PARKER: For the most part. So they are here this evening as part of their class, because we're looking at projects from former members of the class and current members of class tonight. And then they're moving into the semester work. And I will take that up. This evening, actually, they're going to be meeting the rest of their class in library space.
  • [00:01:32.93] So if you feel that you would like to make a comment, you can, cause we ask again at the end of the board meeting. And anyone in the room who would like to make a comment may. You speak for three minutes. And whatever the content has been on the board meeting, so don't feel you have to do it right now.
  • [00:01:54.43] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: OK, it looks like we move on to financial reports.
  • [00:02:03.76] BILL COOPER: Good evening, everyone. You have my report for July and August in front of you. You'll notice that the numbers are going to be a little bit different this year, because we're reporting actuals, no accruals. And with our tax revenue, we collect most of it in the first few months of the new fiscal year.
  • [00:02:22.31] So you'll see in July that we collected nearly 12% of our estimated tax receipts, giving us revenues over expenditures of $803,138. And then by the end of August, we've received 63% of our tax revenue, which gives us revenue over expenditures right now of $8,083,251.
  • [00:02:48.81] And so you'll notice on the expenditures that, using historical data, we try to match the budget with what our historical spending has been. So we should never be over budget during the year. Are there any questions for me?
  • [00:03:06.16] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Sounds good.
  • [00:03:10.54] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Questions? Thank you.
  • [00:03:15.58] BILL COOPER: All right, thank you.
  • [00:03:20.61] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: OK, so the committee reports this evening. The executive committee, that's just this afternoon, and mostly just to prepare for this meeting, so not much to report there. But we have-- yeah, we are moving forward with completing, ticking off, some of the portions of the strategic plan that we've been working on these past few years.
  • [00:03:44.57] So we have accrued a lot of other data points regarding the library's strategic plan. There's so many people here who are not normally here. So we have our strategic plan, and that's got different parts of it, and there's sections-- one, two, three, four, and one of them is three. And like we talk a lot about section 3.3, which is about the future of the downtown library.
  • [00:04:08.49] So it's actually really convenient that you all are here thinking about the future of Ann Arbor, because we think a lot about the future of the library and how it fits into the context of the future of the city and the sort of surrounding region. So we talked a little bit about what we're going to be doing with you this evening.
  • [00:04:28.84] And we also talked about moving forward with some continued investigations that we're doing to figure out what-- as we think about the library of the future, this library, what sorts of activities are going to happen in the library? So thinking about moving forward with like a program statement. So that's pretty much what we talked about. Yeah, any questions about that?
  • [00:04:52.93] LINH SONG: Do we explain what a program statement is?
  • [00:04:56.02] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Yeah, great.
  • [00:04:58.24] LINH SONG: Oh. I will explain what a--
  • [00:05:00.66] [LAUGHING]
  • [00:05:02.83] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Sorry, I assumed that meant that you wanted to do that.
  • [00:05:06.10] LINH SONG: I think it's just an evaluation of what our expectations of programming will be like.
  • [00:05:11.47] JOSIE PARKER: Programming statement's an architectural term. It references the narrative description of what happens in a building and the general square footage requirements around those activities. Sometimes it will talk about adjacencies, depending upon what is occurring and what type of institution. So the library does not have a program statement for the downtown library that it would need to use to utilize the services it currently has.
  • [00:05:40.15] We move a lot of things around a lot here to make certain things happen. And we are doing a program statement that would address, if you could do what you do now and what you think you might need in the future, what would that program statement include? And what would those square footages be in ranges. And then you can extrapolate cost based on those ranges.
  • [00:06:02.86] And I know I see people nodding their head in this room, because a number of you already know a whole lot more about this than I do. But I do know what that program statement is. So we've just started working on program statement with HBW, which is an architectural firm in Cleveland, who is a planner that specializes in public library planning.
  • [00:06:24.48] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Do they do structural plans as well, or are they mostly programming?
  • [00:06:29.41] JOSIE PARKER: They do all of it. It's a full service architectural firm. But for what we're asking for, it's the narrative program statement.
  • [00:06:40.74] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Good.
  • [00:06:44.10] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Any questions about that?
  • [00:06:47.24] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Excuse me, I'm waving at my friends.
  • [00:06:49.32] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Oh, of course. No, I just did the same thing. We don't usually have so many people. It's just exciting.
  • [00:06:55.04] LINH SONG: Josie, when will the program statement be?
  • [00:06:58.69] JOSIE PARKER: It will be presented to the board in January of 2019. So they've just started and we've asked them to spend about six months working on this with us, because that's generally what this takes. And so in January of 2019 we'll have a public discussion about what that program statement is.
  • [00:07:15.45] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: And they're going to be engaging with the staff?
  • [00:07:17.37] JOSIE PARKER: Yes, yes. And then once it's developed, it'll be a public document. So then there'll be feedback about that from the public. I'm going to ask Len I know you're in here, Len. Can you open this door? OK, because that will get air through here. Thank you.
  • [00:07:36.17] And a trick when you are in this building. We learned how to do this. In case you're here a long time.
  • [00:07:41.95] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Thank you. Any further comments or questions? OK, let's move on to the director's report.
  • [00:07:52.80] JOSIE PARKER : Thank you. So this is the Shiga Prefecture Calligraphy Exhibit, some of which you see here. What you see in the slide is what's on the third floor, and then there's more on the north side of the second floor. And what's on the north side of the second floor was done almost totally by schoolchildren, so it's really interesting and well worth looking.
  • [00:08:15.68] What this is about is the citizens of Shiga, which is a sister province of Japan to the state of Michigan-- they have their big lake also-- wanted to give something to Michigan. And so the people there went into a process of designing all these scrolls. And there was a competition there to see which ones would be sent to Ann Arbor, to Michigan.
  • [00:08:48.06] The Michigan-Japanese Partnership Committee decided that they wanted this to be hung in this library. We're gratified by that, very gratified by that. We've had a number of visitors from Shiga. The governor of Shiga was here on Saturday morning and he toured it with me. He asked especially to do that.
  • [00:09:08.31] The mayor of Hikone, which is the sister city to Ann Arbor, is here. Hikone is in Shiga. They met here with the mayor of Ann Arbor and the school superintendent to talk about that exchange, which will have its 50th anniversary next year. So the library is part of helping them organize to celebrate that.
  • [00:09:27.69] So what you see is a calligraphy scroll that the governor of Shiga and the governor of Michigan did together in Shiga two years ago. And so--
  • [00:09:41.96] [SIREN]
  • [00:09:42.46] I was afraid of that. That's all right, it happens. And so you can go upstairs to the third floor and see that. So this is here until October 13. There was such interest in that population to send these to Michigan that we have too many to hang in the library at one time.
  • [00:10:08.08] So all of them, except for the major one, will come down on Wednesday. And the same number will go up and be up through the 13th. So this has been a pretty amazing experience for a lot of different people. So if you walk around, you can see who did them. In some cases, they've translated what they mean. So we invite you to explore in the library through the 13th.
  • [00:10:35.01] And I want to read a thank you note that just came to me from Yuko Watanabe, who is the Hikone City promotion director. He was here for 10 days. "I'm writing to express my sincere appreciation for the warm kindness and hospitality of all the people involved in our sister city relationship during the Hikone mayor's visit to Ann Arbor.
  • [00:10:56.07] It was our genuine pleasure to spend a wonderful time with everyone there, and was able to gain valuable insights into our 50-year-old sister relationship. As the Hikone mayor told the Ann Arbor mayor in the meeting, Hikone City would like to welcome the Ann Arbor mayor, as well as others who have been a part of the sister city relationship, to our city in 2019.
  • [00:11:17.49] Around the same time, we are also hoping to invite Ann Arbor student ambassadors to Hikone in November 2019 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the sister city relationship together with us. Thank you again for your warm welcome and hospitality in Ann Arbor. It is our hope that our relations will deepen even further for the future generation."
  • [00:11:39.35] 35 years ago, the then mayor of Ann Arbor, Ingrid Sheldon, worked with the current still mayor of Hikone, who was, as he put it, a very young man. She brought him a chocolate cake on his arrival to Ann Arbor. They determined together that there needed to be an exchange of students, but not college students. It's middle school students.
  • [00:12:03.75] So every year, middle school students from Ann Arbor visit Hikone and middle school students from Hikone visit Ann Arbor. And that's about to happen in the next month or two. So there was a build up for that. So we're very happy about this, and you can tell how pleased I am and how proud I am that Ann Arbor District Library is right in the middle of all this celebration.
  • [00:12:23.99] ELI NEIBURGER: We have the video.
  • [00:12:26.07] JOSIE PARKER: I'm sorry. I'll hush now. Forgot about the video. We had many events here with the calligraphy masters who came and visited to teach calligraphy.
  • [00:12:43.65] [VIDEO PLAYBACK]
  • [00:13:04.07] [END PLAYBACK]
  • [00:13:06.76] JOSIE PARKER: So to more mundane matters, MeLCat. And I doubt most of the people sitting in this room know what MeLCat is, but I assure you that many other people in Ann Arbor do know what MeLCat. It was an statewide inter-library loan. It's a process that we had to end a year ago in order to do an upgrade to the website and to the system, our technology system that moves material.
  • [00:13:30.58] So we're bringing MeLCat back a year to the day that it went down. And as a token of our sincere appreciation for all the patience of all the many people who relied on MeLCat it and did not have it, we will give them a toe bag with their first MeLCat items. And it just simply says, I survived a year without MeLCat.
  • [00:13:50.41] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: That's so good. Nice work.
  • [00:13:54.55] JOSIE PARKER: We have a program in the library that we've had now coming up on 20 years called Songsters, where staff from the library work with local musicians in the community to bring music into the public schools. That's generally been folk music, but it's no longer only folk music.
  • [00:14:12.16] And this summer we spent a lot of time at Arrowwood Community. And the Arrowwood Community and all the children involved gave us a plaque that wanted to acknowledge the library. And it says, "for the constant support of youth and families throughout our community, to the Ann Arbor Downtown Library District, from the Arrowwood Hills Community Center."
  • [00:14:35.93] And I wanted to share this with you. This is a special thing that these kids felt this strongly about it that they wanted to do this. So, to the library for it. The end of Summer Game saw 8,184 Online Summer Game players this year. You can see, from 2014 to 2018, the increase in players and how it worked. This year we saw, from the very first day, it started to climb all the way to the end.
  • [00:15:05.18] So you can see our number of players, how pleased we are. We have an online game we play every summer with our community. And it's-- badges are digital, clues are there. It's a quest. Some of the clues are incredibly difficult, so we have some adult players who really get into this. But we make it easy and fun for children. It helps them learn how to use the catalogue and how to use the internet and the website and the library's resources.
  • [00:15:33.20] And so they get prizes. We have an online game shop and they can use their points to get prizes. And they come and pick them up. So it's a tremendous success. Also, I'd like to thank Shoshana, I don't know if she's here--
  • [00:15:47.98] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: She's in the back.
  • [00:15:48.58] JOSIE PARKER: --this evening. Oh, where is she?
  • [00:15:49.96] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: In the back, standing up.
  • [00:15:51.14] JOSIE PARKER: Shoshana on the steps. Shoshana Hurand is our volunteer coordinator, and we've had a volunteer coordinator now two years. And what you see are her results. We had almost 2000 volunteer hours in 2018 from 246 active volunteers. And these are people in community from high schoolers, all the way, all the way to whatever that number might be for someone, who volunteered in the library at all sorts of events.
  • [00:16:17.98] I think tonight, next door, there are volunteers in a program for the library. What's going on next door? Sewing lab. So we teach sewing. We have sewing machines that we check out, and there's a sewing lab on Monday evenings. And so there will be volunteers there helping people with their sewing projects. So thank you, Shoshanna, very much for hard work.
  • [00:16:43.97] The AADL accepts gifts of art carefully and with real consideration. And this summer it was my great pleasure to have that conversation with a 10-year-old who was able to have her art admitted into the youth jury exhibit of the Ann Arbor Art Fair. And at the end of that art fair, she felt so strongly about her experience with the library in the summer and all the things that she does here that she wanted to donate one of her original artworks to the library.
  • [00:17:18.92] The library circulates original art to its community. And so Aditi Kayal Kandiah is the artist of Inside Einstein, which I have here. This will be framed, and you may check it out with your library card in a few weeks. And you can take it and put it in your home and realize that you're not too young to be an artist and to have your work on display at the public library.
  • [00:17:48.10] COLLEEN SHERMAN: Are you sure it's not a portrait of Ed?
  • [00:17:50.42] [LAUGHING]
  • [00:17:57.59] JOSIE PARKER: Aditi would argue. There it is. So I'm very-- this was such a delightful conversation to have with this 10-year-old. So I'm very pleased to share that with you. While we're still talking about summer reading, I want to share a card that came today from a young woman whose name is Claire Elizabeth who is very young.
  • [00:18:18.14] At the end of summer reading, this game, in addition to prizes that a child might earn that they can choose out of the online game shop, they can also receive a book of their choice from a large selection that are bought and paid for by the Friends of the Ann Arbor District Library. Claire Elizabeth clearly did that, and here-- you have to see this card. It's such a thoughtful card.
  • [00:18:41.53] She wrote, "Dear library, thank you for the book. I really like it. It is cool. From, Claire." You have to see that. So just see that. Project initiatives underway-- the construction drawings for meeting rooms at Pittsfield, Malletts and Traverwood are due shortly. You'll see the board will see bids for review at the November meeting.
  • [00:19:06.22] We have bookable meeting rooms in many locations in the system that are very well used. We do not have them in the three older standalone branches, Traverwood, Malletts, and Pittsfield. And we have architectural drawings done so that we can add meeting room space in those buildings that are bookable. So we're going to be looking at the bids for that work, and hopefully get that work done all in this fiscal year.
  • [00:19:35.75] You heard us talking about the contract with HBM for a program statement. And then we are doing a half day training with Cook Ross, which is an HR consulting firm, for managers and supervisors in early October on identifying and eliminating unconscious bias in the process of hiring and interviewing. So we're doing that here very soon. And these are goals and that are part of our strategic plan, that is a three-year plan that ends next year.
  • [00:20:12.36] The other thing we do is we have a Lego contest, and we've had like a Lego contest for the past 13 years. And this little person did a boat.
  • [00:20:22.07] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Wow, age three.
  • [00:20:22.84] JOSIE PARKER: It's five pieces. Age three. If there were a directors pick for Lego contest, and I want to say there isn't, this would be it. I saw it right away. She wrote, "This is a boat. I put it on the water." And so she won in her category the most sophisticated design. So what you're about to see in this little film is what we mean by Lego contest in Ann Arbor.
  • [00:20:55.61] [VIDEO PLAYBACK]
  • [00:20:56.63] - They dream of reaching the pinnacle, to see their vision made real. Brick by brick, plate by plate, stud by stud. They adore the grind. They put in the time, the work, the sacrifice, just to submit their vision for judgment and wonder with awe at what awaits. The thrill of victory or the agony of the feet?
  • [00:21:29.20] It's an unrelenting drive, the focus on the craft, in hopes of one day reaching that dream-- the minifig riding a robot tyrannosaur. Or a giant pirate ship. They'll stack to new heights, build with the utmost precision and beauty, balance the order with the chaos, unleash creativity with no regrets, challenge all obstacles that stand in their way in pursuit of the title of master builder. Just when it seems like the impossible can't be built, they'll redefine impossible. This is why they Lego.
  • [00:22:09.49] JOSIE PARKER: It is great fun. We hold [APPLAUSE]-- thank you. This is held in the Ballroom of a local hotel, because that's the space we need to set it all up and have it there. Next year it will be on a Sunday afternoon during the summertime, so we'll see how many more people we can bring in.
  • [00:22:34.93] Summary of our comments. Let's start with some babies. Our little friend on the left is enjoying his first ever visit to the library, and our little friend on the right is learning to play chess downtown in the lobby. Two young readers completed their summer game challenge, and another enjoying the spoils of a summer game will played. So you see, these are little girls who are getting their book. They've chosen their book. And then those are items that were in the online shop.
  • [00:23:11.93] Our paint-along with Bob Ross. Who in this room does not know who Bob Ross was? Because there are people who ask, is he at the library? And he isn't, but his films are. They have become a huge success. Over 250 painters came to our event on September 9 here in the library.
  • [00:23:32.53] And we've had so much buzz around our Bob Ross events that American Library Magazine will be featuring us in the November issue, which is coming up. And in the library world, American Library Magazine is the magazine, so we're feeling pretty good about that. These photos never get old. New patrons signing up for library cards. We like that.
  • [00:23:57.48] This is Lillian V, who lives in Detroit, is saying, I'm moving to Ann Arbor. Letterpress and ADL followed by a bit of shopping and dinner at Zingerman's. Awesome day. These are her messages that we were sent. And Valerie Sherman, a trustee for the Palatine Illinois Library Board, took these photos in the library in our downtown courtyard using the hashtag #librarytourism.
  • [00:24:24.39] Apparently she took a lot of photos, and this is the one we chose for what we're showing. ADL created programming around Eda Lotta including a card making workshop. We had high praise from a current resident with visitors from out of town complimenting our programming on what a great time they had celebrating that event.
  • [00:24:47.28] Another music related workshop we held this summer invited patrons to create their own one string garage. Excuse me, listen to me. Well, it's like GarageBand. That's where I was going. Their own one string guitar and take them home, probably to play in their garage. And here's one attendee showing off his surf setup.
  • [00:25:14.04] [BEGIN PLAYBACK]
  • [00:25:33.92] [END PLAYBACK]
  • [00:25:34.93] JOSIE PARKER: So you never know what you might get into at a public library. We had a young man come and make a one string guitar for his father, who's a very well-known local musician or performer in town. And then he came back to the sewing lab and made a case for the one string guitar. It was delightful.
  • [00:25:54.59] And a beat lab program. In July, a patron named James arrived to participate. He was in a wheelchair and had paralysis in his fingers, but because of the way our music tools are set up and because of the nature of the tools themselves, he jammed right along with the rest of the attendees. And he sent us this picture to show his set up and view.
  • [00:26:18.96] And that's my report. Are there any questions? I'm happy to answer. The one other announcement I'd like to make is that, at the November 12 board meeting at six o'clock, preceding the official board meeting, we're going to be acknowledging and honoring the public service of two trustees who are ending terms with the library this year.
  • [00:26:44.20] Ed Surovell, who's been on the library board since 1996, will have served 22 years as a library trustee this year. And Jan Barney Newman, who's been on the library board since 2006 and has served 12 years at the library board, will be acknowledged at that time. But we can do it tonight [APPLAUSE].
  • [00:27:12.46] LINH SONG: Can you just say one thing about summer games? So for students in the room, if you ever have an opportunity to stay in Ann Arbor for a summer, this is a way to explore the city, get to know other folks here. It's an obsession for townies. I think it really taps into Ann Arborites, and they're very competitive. They have to compete in everything. Badges, points.
  • [00:27:40.36] And there are a lot of puns involved. So my 12-year-old loves this. He appreciates all the puns. He wants know if there is a job to make puns at the library. He will volunteer for that. But I appreciate all the staff and the work that they do to really make the summer special for folks.
  • [00:27:56.16] JOSIE PARKER: Great, thank you. Do you want me to--
  • [00:28:01.74] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Yeah, I guess we should--
  • [00:28:02.78] JOSIE PARKER: Introduce?
  • [00:28:04.01] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: --without further ado move on to--
  • [00:28:06.66] JOSIE PARKER: Our new business this evening is a presentation that I had the pleasure of seeing parts of this presentation several times, more than once. It's been my pleasure over the years as director of the library to be invited to the University of Michigan to various schools to review projects.
  • [00:28:24.90] I've been invited to studios at the architecture school. I've been invited to the School of Public Policy for discussions on public policy, on a national level generally, that affects the public library. One instance would have been when the Patriot Act was passed, just to give you an idea of how long I've been involved doing those things.
  • [00:28:41.79] And then to the Rosco, Peter's class on urban planning and design. So it's always been interesting and part of my job to be invited. And so because I've been going for a long time and I've seen many, many projects, when I see one that I know is extremely well thought out and well done, it's interesting for me to be able to turn around and say to Peter and to these students, whose names some of them we listed here, because these are the ones I've met and know, would you make this presentation in public before a public body, the library board, knowing that we're on YouTube?
  • [00:29:18.99] We're live. So there are people watching and there will be people able to see this in the future whenever. So I just blew some minds when I said, people are watching. Sorry about that, we should have told you from the very beginning. So it's--
  • [00:29:31.88] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: We are recorded.
  • [00:29:33.00] JOSIE PARKER: Yeah, we are recorded. So it's my pleasure to welcome Peter Allen to this meeting. This is strictly a student project presentation. There's not been contracting by the library for any of this work. This is very interesting information related to the community at large. So Peter, welcome. Thank you very much.
  • [00:30:00.17] PETER ALLEN: First, let me say, 50 years ago I first came to Ann Arbor. And I came here to bring my then girlfriend to the Graduate School of Library Science. And she graduated a year later, we fell in love and more love. I got married, came back, I came back to school. We've been here ever since 1971.
  • [00:30:20.89] The next most important thing I want to say is, you folks now realize that this library is not a bunch of stacked books. I mean that was an incredible board presentation, directors report from Josie. You realize that this library is these community rooms. It's the kitchen, it's the living room, it's the place where you bring everyone of every ilk, every background, every age, every income together.
  • [00:30:48.17] And what I want to accomplish tonight is to start a discussion, to take it to the next level of robustness, with hopefully board input. Let me introduce-- most of these folks here-- raise your hands if you're students in my class. So they're architects, urban planners, law students, public policy students, engineering students, business students. It's a class of 50. It's been going on every fall, every winter for 37 years.
  • [00:31:20.96] And I give great credit for President Schlissel and our deans, particularly Jonathan Matthew, architecture and planning. And also to Scott Drew, the dean of the Ross School of Business, who have really pushed our faculty to change the routine, to engage the community, and term projects. Our classes are not lectures. They're not rote memory or memorization.
  • [00:31:46.17] They are case studies with the most living problems we can possibly get our arms around. And in my mind, there's not a more important problem than what are we going to do with our heart and soul of downtown Ann Arbor. I will go through a few things from this rotary speech about problems and reasons. I will go into what the students presented.
  • [00:32:07.14] Unfortunately, most of those students that you met, Josie, have taken jobs and they're working. They're full time, out of town. I do have Najib with me.
  • [00:32:16.50] JOSIE PARKER: I saw Najib.
  • [00:32:17.79] PETER ALLEN: Najib is here, of course. And along with those other students that are on the cover, you'll see their names presented in the next report, really took the best work for last semester and filtered it. Worked with the clients, worked with the city, worked with Josie, worked with the DDA, Susan Pele and others.
  • [00:32:39.96] And we tried to fine tune, what is it about Ann Arbor that is a really difficult, complex, interconnected set of problems that maybe we in the classroom over the next several years can do something about. And that are now huge debate points in the city election, the big primary that we had in August, in the final election coming up in November. The level of understanding of real estate issues and what should go where and how do you finance it and how do you approve it and what's the design.
  • [00:33:15.54] These kinds of really difficult real estate placemaking issues are so complex. If we have time, I've got a one page gouge handout template that talks about the complexities of real estate all on one page, and how you have to get them all to fit together. So I want to get to that, but I think we've got our arms around these three big issues of, what do we do with the heart and soul of downtown Ann Arbor, what do we do about affordable workforce housing, and what do we do about interconnectedness, about transit, about trails, about multiple connectivity?
  • [00:33:53.64] So those are the three issues that we've really drilled down in the summer. We're going to get into more this fall. Tonight, however, I want to focus for the most part on downtown. To me, this city center block is the most important place for Ann Arbor to really be unique itself. And a lot of the sites are open. A lot of the sites are owned by the city. And a lot of the sites, such as the former Y and what we do there with affordable housing, are so important.
  • [00:34:25.24] But none of them, in my mind, is as important as what do we do with the library. And I say this because I was reading The New York Times book section yesterday, and lo and behold, there's a great review of this book. This book is called Palaces For The People, by Eric Klinenberg.
  • [00:34:43.83] I went over to Literati. They had a couple of copies of the shelf. Josie, I'm going to give you this at the end of the evening. But let me read from the inside front cover why this book is so relevant to what we're going to talk about tonight. This is an inspiring blueprint for rebuilding our fractured society, according to this eminent sociologist.
  • [00:35:07.59] We are living in a time of deep divisions. Americans are sorting themselves along racial, religious, and cultural lines, leading to a level of polarization that the country hasn't seen since the Civil War. Pretty strong statement. Pundits and politicians are calling for us to come together to find purpose, but how exactly can this be done? In Palaces For People, Eric Klinenberg suggests a way forward.
  • [00:35:33.84] He believes that the future of democratic societies rest not simply on shared values, but on shared spaces. Let me stop reading for just a moment. Our class is organized into three real estate buckets-- where you live, where you work, those are first and second place, and where you do everything else. That's third place. I'll keep reading.
  • [00:35:55.90] He believes that future democratic societies rest not simply on shared values, but on shared spaces. The library's, child care centers, bookstores, churches, synagogues, and parks, in which crucial, sometimes lifesaving, connections are formed. These are places where people gather and linger, making friends across group lines and strengthening the entire community.
  • [00:36:22.87] Klinenberg calls this the social infrastructure. When it's strong, neighborhoods flourish. When it's neglected, as it has been in recent years, families and individuals must fend for themselves. So I just-- and I've just got in the first few pages. That is a book that is so appropriate to what we're trying to get our arms around.
  • [00:36:48.09] This downtown block, including the former Y across the street, this whole block, with Williams on the south, 5th Avenue on the west, Division on the east, and Liberty on the North, has got four or five sites that need to be turned into something really meaningful. And they need to be connected. And the first mover, in my mind, is the library. And the library has set the tone with what they've done with the branch libraries.
  • [00:37:18.84] You have got to see three branch libraries in Ann Arbor, you students. They're all different. They're all great designs. They are all what this is, but they're out in the neighborhoods and they're just great created space around those sharing of values and times together. And I am convinced this building is functionally obsolete.
  • [00:37:44.06] It's done it's part. It's been expanded and repaired and expanded and repaired, and it doesn't serve the purpose of the kinds of things we saw the board and Josie talk about tonight. So let me now get into some backgrounds. Let me give credit to a few people in the room that have helped me with this, and helped the students and worked with the students.
  • [00:38:03.58] Certainly Doug Kelbaugh, right here. Doug is former dean of the School of Architecture And Planning and teaches design studio. You're going to see some of his class work. Thank you very much, Ed Surovell, who I've known for 40 years. He really understands place, Ann Arbor, economics, stakeholders, what makes Ann Arbor work. Let me look around. I've introduced Najib. Am I missing anybody that's been helpful this summer?
  • [00:38:30.33] OK. So let's-- I've given these two PowerPoints to the board beforehand. Did you all have a chance to open and look at them? Because I don't want to spend a lot of time on it. The students have seen these, or I'll make them more available to them. But is this live to the public?
  • [00:38:50.16] JOSIE PARKER: Mhm.
  • [00:38:52.65] PETER ALLEN: Najib, you need to help me find a website, we talked about this, so that anybody from the public can email Peter@PTL.com. And I can give you the link to all this background material. Or do we have it on a website at the library?
  • [00:39:06.58] JOSIE PARKER: You just told them, PTL.com. And they can get that from you. We can put it up, certainly.
  • [00:39:13.57] PETER ALLEN: OK, so if they email me, Peter@PTL.com, I will get you everything you see tonight. So the problem that I was talking to the downtown rotary, it's about 200 people in the Anderson room at the Michigan Union last December. These problems are very frequently talked about. You can probably relate to them.
  • [00:39:42.18] Ann Arbor is not the cozy little college town it was for centuries. It's becoming so successful, so dense, so many people. People coming into work, people moving here, students staying here, more students here in the first place. So how do we deal with these issues? Ed Surovell has just been incredible at identifying this 20 years ago-- the role of downtown parking, the role of parking decks, the role of the DDA, the role of maintenance, the role of the streetscape, working with the merchant associations, working with city hall, creating the DDA in the first place.
  • [00:40:20.04] We are not ever going to come back to a little college town. We have the University of Michigan. As our key employer, they're not going to be bought and moved south. So we have got to either go backwards or we've got to go forwards. Fortunately, we've got the most incredible big employer we could ever hope for and they're only getting better and better.
  • [00:40:44.32] If you look at the rankings, you look at the people, you look at the grads, I can compare the students from year to year. I mean, it is just amazing the quality of the students that we've got here, the quality of the research going on at the U of M. Some people think these big buildings are big and ugly, or the ones that are proposed for the parking lot next door. Other people think they're quite nice.
  • [00:41:07.93] The ones on South U that are all sort of student dormitories are pretty good looking for dormitories, but you can criticize the architecture. So we have to keep great design in mind, especially when we're talking about a public place like a new library. If you look at the rankings-- I mean, we've just-- it's embarrassing.
  • [00:41:28.36] I mean, we got to be careful that we don't get overconfident about our wonderful town. We have to marshal this growth. We have to look at who is being left aside. What elements create great civilization, great society, great town, to grow and come to school and live and retire? And who are we listening to? Who are we including? Are we as inclusive as we need to be? So we've got so many building blocks to build upon, but there are some things that we need to be much more sensitive to.
  • [00:42:03.88] I don't need to tell you this. I do want to highlight again the role of the DDA. I had a wonderful conversation with Susan Pele a couple of weeks ago who said, you know, our name maybe needs to be rebranded. People don't like any word in our name. Some people resent downtown for how successful it is, some people resent the word development, our middle name, and some people in Ann Arbor hate authority.
  • [00:42:28.64] But it has been amazing at what it's done to create economic development, capture the taxes, use that to pay for the park and the streetscape, the quality of life, and even things like affordable housing. What they're doing around Kerrytown. You get frustrated when you can't quickly get through the construction, but it's going to be amazing when it's done.
  • [00:42:49.64] Look at these. These jobs are a year old, two years old. They're much higher over the last 18 months. So the university, as it builds all new campus, all new buildings, millions of more square feet, billions of dollars of invested bricks and mortar. It has a lot more people running the buildings. It has a lot more students and faculty in them, and staff. And I think the student enrollment is up over 3,000 now.
  • [00:43:14.75] This is an interesting slide, because it reminds me of some really, really big milestone the last 15 years. I remember reading about the conversation between Mary Sue Coleman, the president, and Larry Page, the co-founder of Google, along with Sergey Brin. Larry Page had gone to grad school here in computer science. Mary Sue Coleman cornered him out in California and said, why don't you come back to Ann Arbor and open a Google shop?
  • [00:43:40.25] And he did. It was just a marketing shop. It wasn't a bunch of engineers at the time. It was 12 years ago or so. They promised they would eventually hire 1,000 people. They're up to that now. They eventually began to hire a lot more than just LS & A grads doing marketing. They're now got quite an engineering presence in town. But boy, did they put Ann Arbor on the map for high tech.
  • [00:44:02.33] And it grabbed Barracuda and it grabbed all these other firms. They're-- Linh, how many firms downtown? 40, 50?
  • [00:44:10.24] LINH SONG: There's a lot.
  • [00:44:12.61] PETER ALLEN: And there's-- Google moved out of downtown. It didn't cause much of a problem for the shopkeepers or the restaurants. They have their own campus now up on Plymouth Road. Michigan Medicine has been so incredible at their tech transfer and their medical spinoffs and their growth. Michigan Engineering campus, of course, has done the same.
  • [00:44:33.96] SPARK and what they did working with the university in the city and getting us back from the brink when Pfizer pulled the plug in 2007. I mean, property values dropped 40%. They've now come back in spades. We all know about Zingerman's success. The NCRC is now back up to full, 2,400 research scientists now instead of just narrow little drug researchers. Probably the most robust it's ever been.
  • [00:45:04.48] And there's this incredible milestone of Duo Security. With Duo Security having been sold, closing next quarter, next year, for over $2 billion, do you think they're going to pick up and move? Do you think Cisco is going to take them back to the west coast? Not a chance. Because they grew in Ann Arbor. They grew their talent base here. It's a reflection of Ann Arbor's attraction at all levels that they were able to attract such smart people and accomplish what they did in such a short period of time.
  • [00:45:36.92] And now it's going to put more money in more pockets to create more other spin offs and put Ann Arbor even more on the map in terms of-- need money to grow? We're there. So Ann Arbor is not about to slow down. A huge problem-- if you go out on any of the expressways at 8:00 o'clock, 7:00 o'clock, even 6:30 in the morning, 70,000 commuters coming into town. People that work here can't afford to live here.
  • [00:46:07.50] I don't need to spend much time on that slide. Up in the top right, you NBAs would appreciate how the prices have gone up so dramatically. From free 40 acres to now $40 per cubic foot of air to buy to build in Ann Arbor. So there's a relationship between what happens in downtown, what happens with the new library, what happens with all these problems we just went over, and what we do to get everybody to get around and connect and to do it healthily.
  • [00:46:40.33] I heard a term a couple of weeks ago that I just love called forest bathing. Anybody know what forest bathing means? Wonderful. I think Rachel Kaplan was one of the big proponents of forest bathing. But when you walk into a wonderful park at Ann Arbor and you're alone and it's the right time of day and the weather's good, it just is like a great shower. It's like just a bath.
  • [00:47:04.70] So the idea of the Treeline Trail, that needs to be funded, needs the final design, needs to be budgeted. But it is going to happen. Pieces of it are now beginning to fall into place. Joe O'Neal is working closely with the city to begin to make this happen. One of the things that the students worked on was that the yellow line on the left side is the 2 and 1/2 miles of the Treeline Trail. It's not long enough.
  • [00:47:31.67] And everybody we've talked about over the summer agrees that it needs to go all the way around town. Josie, can I walk up to the map?
  • [00:47:39.31] JOSIE PARKER: Sure. But you have to really speak here, because you lose your microphone.
  • [00:47:46.63] PETER ALLEN: OK, am I loud enough for that mic, you think?
  • [00:47:48.52] JOSIE PARKER: You're good.
  • [00:47:49.53] PETER ALLEN: So this is the Treeline Trail, starting at Argo Pond and going to the U of M football stadium. The idea is that we need to go another three and a half miles down stadium to Washtenaw, past the County Farm Park. Oh, perfect. Thank you. Good. Past the-- this red line is three and a half miles following Stadium to Washtenaw to Huron Parkway.
  • [00:48:12.58] This yellow line is four plus miles all the way along Huron Parkway. And keep in mind, as you go up here on Parkway, how much the sidewalks, the parking, the open space are there. To make those sidewalks for three feet to fifteen feet, to them a dedicated place for the [INAUDIBLE] to travel someday, when it is a little safer, a little more acceptable to move commuters around.
  • [00:48:38.17] And then to get to Plymouth Road and come all the way back down Plymouth Road to the river. The blue line is the border to border trail that's already there. Trying to connect all the campuses with a connector is the next big agenda that the university's working on now very closely.
  • [00:48:52.64] How do we connect all the campuses with maybe extended buses, maybe electric buses, maybe the Navia type idea of the dedicated streets. Or you just get on a Bird. Anybody been on a Bird yet in town?
  • [00:49:06.17] AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [00:49:06.93] PETER ALLEN: How are they working? Great. What's it cost to take a bird for 20 minutes?
  • [00:49:12.43] AUDIENCE: Under three or four dollars.
  • [00:49:14.67] PETER ALLEN: Under three or four dollars. Interesting, interesting. What an idea. I saw two people on a Bird the other day without helmets. It just terrified me. So-- there you go. Thank you. What can we do-- we have got to improve our neighborhoods. This was important to the Rotary crowd. If we have time, we'll get back to this.
  • [00:49:40.02] You all know Argus Farm Stop over on Liberty Street. The two founders are right there. Both Michigan MBAs. I went back in to do something that their kids would really, really get excited about. And these ideas of more housing, tiny houses, ADUs, more third place-- we need to do this. We need to get them more in the neighborhoods.
  • [00:49:59.59] The enclosed neighborhoods like the Old Fourth Ward and the Old West Side certainly get the benefits of being close to downtown. But getting some of these neighborhood-like amenities out into the neighborhoods is something I want to work on this semester or next. And that gets into this neighborhood community centers. If we have time and you want me to I can talk about this more later.
  • [00:50:20.41] I got my students in the car this summer and we drove around neighborhoods in Ann Arbor. And we couldn't believe how many parks we could find, particularly near schools, that are nothing but weeds. They're invasives. They're not used, they're not programmed, they're not maintained. Oftentimes this is land that the city bought because the neighbors insisted on it to try to stop some sort of a housing development, probably an apartment project, from impacting their single family neighborhood.
  • [00:50:46.63] So using some of our park land, some of our public land, some of our school land, some of our U of M land, some of the city owned land around town really could give us a lot of well-located land near transit stops, near schools and commercial districts, to build on appropriately. Are these radical ideas? They're not so radical, but they might have been to some of the Rotary folks. We talked about electric bikes, electric scooters, and already they're here.
  • [00:51:17.62] So I want to get on to the next presentation. See-- I think the new transit options-- we've been waiting to hear what's going to happen with the train station. I don't have a quick, simple answer. I think something is going to happen by next year. I think it will probably happen at the hospital. More importantly, to get the commuter connection to Detroit has got to happen.
  • [00:51:40.17] And that will have an impact on the entire town. So I think what I want to do now-- there's my email address. Eli, let's go ahead and shift to the other program, the one on downtown. Any questions so far?
  • [00:52:02.77] LINH SONG: Can I just point something out? About the comment about unused perks or neglected parks, have you been to Thurston Nature Center?
  • [00:52:14.87] PETER ALLEN: Not recently. Tell me about it.
  • [00:52:17.23] LINH SONG: So it's a preserve that's been maintained I think since the 1960s. Thurston Elementary School's PTO and locals around that neighborhood, which is my neighborhood, my ward, fundraise and maintain it. It's all volunteer driven. It's beautiful. It's right near Orchard Hills Athletic Club, OHAC, which sounds like a really fancy club. It is not. It's a neighborhood pool.
  • [00:52:45.94] If you walk to the Thurston Nature Center, you'll feel like you're up north. It's programmed with local schools, so students will take hikes up there. And they've done different water tests. And it's all volunteer driven. There's-- what is the Dr. Seuss book about? I remember there's a Dr. Seuss--
  • [00:53:06.89] JOSIE PARKER: The truffula trees?
  • [00:53:07.57] LINH SONG: Yeah. So it's-- He feels--
  • [00:53:10.38] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: She's in children's library.
  • [00:53:11.02] LINH SONG: Yeah, I should've known. It's a really, really, really wonderful place. And I think it's an excellent example of a partnership with the schools, with the neighborhood, and I don't-- maybe a little bit with the parks. It's actually school property that's maintained and funded by the PTO. And then there are other parks too that I think donors through the committee foundation have given to.
  • [00:53:36.06] PETER ALLEN: I'm glad to hear it, for a PTO or for a neighborhood group or a Boy Scout, Girl Scout troop to say, I want to be a park steward. Or I want to work with the PTO of the school and take over the invasives and the programming and connecting it to the neighborhood. Great idea. And one of the things that Howard Lazarus has now come out publicly, the city manager, is they don't want any more park land.
  • [00:54:02.45] Look the way they're treating the redevelopment of the river frontage of the MichCon DTE property and saying, you keep the eight acres to our standards, design it to our standards, but we want you to program and run it. Look at the difference of Liberty Plaza when it's programmed with like Sonic Lunch. So to take the initiative and go to the city and say, we want to take responsibility for this, they'll be open armed.
  • [00:54:29.27] LINH SONG: So I have one question for you. When we talk about development downtown, there is the theme of preserving the neighborhood character. Can you speak a little bit to that?
  • [00:54:45.55] PETER ALLEN: I've met with the Old Fourth Ward a couple of times. I'm meeting with the Old West Side representatives in a couple of weeks. I think neighborhood preservation-- let me go this slide. So QIMBY, Quality In My Backyard. One step better than YIMBY, obviously the other end of the continuum from NIMBY.
  • [00:55:17.38] And this speaks to that issue. How to do it with quality, how to do it with great design, how to do it with mixed use, how to do with walkability and connections, how to do it with activating the park land. So these 12 principles that I use for the class, I think, address your concern. I think there's a third of people that don't want change.
  • [00:55:46.31] There's a lot of neighborhood people who say, any change in my neighborhood is probably going to be high density, ugly, and impact my property values. And we need to do more grassroots, ground up, shred design kinds of analysis to get every stakeholder's point of view represented at the table really early on. And that's why I'm here tonight, to try to do that for the library block.
  • [00:56:14.17] Everybody's got a legitimate point of view that needs to be put on the table and analyzed. We did this with Downtown Ann Arbor 15 years ago as we rezoned. We realized we made a few mistakes now we wish we could correct. And I think with this block we can catch it in time. Here are the other QIMBY principles.
  • [00:56:35.50] So that slide number eight, neighborhood community space. I mean, I think, around the schools for instance, there's often public land or school land that's unused. And it's often a parking lot. One of the ideas we've got in this report is what to do with all that acreage to the immediate west of Huron High School.
  • [00:56:57.67] And that could be quite a mix of tiny houses, accessory dwelling units, workforce housing, a coffee shop, a cafe, neighborhood community center, a little tiny branch library bigger than the little boxes you see along the sidewalks. And great connectivity, because they usually have a bus stop right there. And they're better than a parking lot.
  • [00:57:23.86] But right now they're unzoned and they're off-limits. I want to begin to explore that. That's a great way to begin to density an appropriate way with various income levels that would be good for neighborhood. Old Fourth Ward has got Kerrytown. What a miracle. Old West Side has got Argus Farm Stop and what's going to happen with 415 West Washington, and it's got the Y. Did I answer that OK?
  • [00:57:51.26] LINH SONG: Yes, thank you.
  • [00:57:52.94] PETER ALLEN: OK. So these are the new design principles and the development principles that we want to follow with all that we do. You can ask me questions about these. These include some references the DDA and references to the Treeline Trail.
  • [00:58:11.05] LINH SONG: Is there low income housing also in these 12?
  • [00:58:15.19] PETER ALLEN: Yes, absolutely. It's, I think, inclusive development process and appropriately increased--
  • [00:58:23.98] SPEAKER: Number three.
  • [00:58:24.73] PETER ALLEN: --number six, number three. So if I don't actually call out-- there's no question that the 30% to 60% of AMI needs to be a critical part of downtown. Out in the neighborhoods, you might go the entire spectrum. I think right now, as we are meeting here at city councils, Jennifer Hall is talking to city council about what to do with the Y site for affordable housing.
  • [00:58:52.32] And I think she's looking at quite a broad spectrum there, at least 30% to 60% of adjusted median income. Adding market rate housing on top would help make the numbers work. That number 11 is a rendering from Detroit Edison MichCon of the riverfront, with condos and a hotel, that they're trying to fast track through the city processes. Trying to do something on it starting next year.
  • [00:59:25.30] OK, now there are three components of this PowerPoint. How to increase workforce housing, which I'm going to go over rather quickly because I want to concentrate on the second section, which is downtown and various things to happen right around this block. And then the third section is a further drilling down into transportation networking and more [INAUDIBLE] options.
  • [00:59:49.30] So Jennifer Hall is really, really smart at using low income housing tax credits, using federal funding. However, I find those tax credits, low income housing tax credits that work with the feds, right now, impossible. And the feds are not doing much to help out with transportation systems. They're not very helpful through the Housing and Urban Development side of the White House.
  • [01:00:17.25] And so I think the more we can find local solutions, the faster we'll address the problem. These are three sites that all could be affordable housing. The one on the far right is the parking lot adjacent to here Huron High School. The one that's in red, top left, is the 721 North Main. And the one lower left is the library block and the former Y.
  • [01:00:42.15] This is the 721 North Main vacated abandoned city maintenance yard. Any of you live on Water Hill? Any Water Hill residents? OK, this is right in Water Hill's front door. This is right down next to the-- Eli, I'm going to borrow that. So here we have North Main. Here we have the Ann Arbor railroad tracks.
  • [01:01:09.54] This is Summit going up the hill. The housing that you see up there is all Water Hill. These are a low density proposal, medium density. This whole site is five acres. It's been abandoned for about eight years. For 30 years before that it was the maintenance yard. This is Felt Street right here. It's mostly flood plain. Three to five acres is flood plain.
  • [01:01:32.71] So we're envisioning that that's all park land. There's some housing around the edges and up against the railroad tracks. If you try to use the Low Income Housing Tax credits here, it would violate the principles that you can't have low income housing near the railroad tracks. So we have to go with local resources. And we're suggesting that includes office, retail, residential, some parking, and a lot of parks.
  • [01:01:54.38] LINH SONG: And the new centers as in the [INAUDIBLE]--
  • [01:01:56.66] JOSIE PARKER: New center's on the other side.
  • [01:01:58.84] PETER ALLEN: The new center is up Main Street. That's another block and a half up Main. This is Depot. Depot is another half a block. This is sort of hard to find. You go back in there, it is the worst property in the neighborhood. It could be a wonderful front door. It could be-- this park ought to be turned over to Water Hill. This would be a great resource for them. Please?
  • [01:02:26.27] SPEAKER 3: What are some of the barriers to accomplishing these ideas you're presenting? Like, is zoning like a big-- is that the main issue or?
  • [01:02:35.16] PETER ALLEN: Well, glad you asked. Everything is listed right here. But I will summarize that by saying, the first thing in my mind is meeting with Water Hill and all the neighbors and saying, what do you want? It has to be rezoned because it's on public land, or industrial. It's got some environmental problems that have to be dealt with, but those can be solved with the redevelopment.
  • [01:02:59.13] We have a huge water table right there, floodplain, so we can't build on three fourths of it. The ideal density, the ideal uses-- I mean, this shows sort of a water feature that's a creek in the summertime and it's ice skating in the wintertime. Ice track, they call it. I just saw one in Toronto. There the lower left picture, thumbnail picture, talks about the stream becoming an ice track in the winter.
  • [01:03:26.91] It is a huge opportunity to create a wonderful neighborhood resource and gathering place, particularly when you tie it together with the river, which is just a block away. It's just up the river to the Argo Dam. And the Treeline Trail either come along the back side of it or come out the front side of it. There are two different ways to get from here to the river.
  • [01:03:49.26] This is just the first-- this was done by Genevieve Deban, who grew up in Ann Arbor. She was a third year graduate architect, she's now working for an architecture firm in Detroit. She did a magnificent job with her team coming up with these ideas. And the economics work all day long.
  • [01:04:07.29] So basically, Jamie, this deal could work. It's just city inertia. The city owns it. The city wants to give it to Treeline. The Treeline wants some money to cover the capital costs of the trail. So how do you reconcile all those needs? This is an idea for Portland called the Treehouse.
  • [01:04:27.63] Imagine something like this overlooking the Treeline Trail. The middle picture shows a coffee cafe restaurant on the first floor. Imagine the trail is along that concrete wall. A lot of glass, a lot of openness, and it's all affordable housing. 69 units.
  • [01:04:44.62] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Wow. And they probably don't have Saarinen tables.
  • [01:04:48.83] PETER ALLEN: Excuse me? Say again.
  • [01:04:51.20] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: I made like an insider architect or designer joke, sorry. The table-- the furniture is like really expensive.
  • [01:05:00.06] PETER ALLEN: Yeah, this is not affordable furniture. Good point. Maybe they rented it for a day or something when they throw a party. So there is a very specific action plan. All these ideas we're working on again this term to go down deeper into the analysis, including what we're going to get to here in a minute.
  • [01:05:18.97] This is an idea for putting three stories of work force housing out next to Huron High School on Huron High School property. Right next to it is U of M property, the old dump for the medical center. We've met with a couple of the Ann Arbor Public School Board members who seemed, hrm, interesting. Tell us more. So we're going to do this in a little more detail and get back to them.
  • [01:05:39.84] If we get all the public agencies to cooperate with our excess land-- the city, the county, the schools, U of M-- all of a sudden we can really address affordable housing in a very significant way. OK, so now we're into the highlight of the evening, the town center. You're looking top down. Eli, I'm going to borrow that mic again. Thank you.
  • [01:06:02.20] So let me orient you. This is the current library site, the library. This is 5th Avenue. Here's William. Here's Division Street. Right there is Liberty Park. This is the Continued Education for Women building, and SPARK. This is the rough layout for the proposal on top of the library deck. This is a rough idea for the former Y site across the street.
  • [01:06:31.26] So what this slide shows is there are a number of sites that the library could go to. And all of them have to be evaluated architecturally, economically, mix of uses, location, ease of getting to, parking, and so on. Rebuilding on your current site is hard because you have to move out, move back. That was the idea before. Building on the parking lot behind, together with getting some of the land from the credit union. The credit union parking lot is not a long term player, probably.
  • [01:07:03.84] So to build a new library here, staying here is a possibility. Being part of the Y site across the street is a possibility. Being part of the site that's under legal contention, that's going on top of the Library Deck is a possibility. Bulldozing the current Continued Education for Women and SPARK building, and extending it and raising it. I'll show you some renderings for that that Doug Kelbaugh did in this class.
  • [01:07:32.70] Tie that together with Liberty Plaza. The obvious advantage of being out by Liberty is now you're really smack dab between town and gown. You're two blocks from campus. You're two blocks to Main Street. That's got all kinds of operational pluses, mostly, maybe some minuses. I hadn't thought of any.
  • [01:07:55.80] Going across the street where the little hot dog place is closed, the front part of that block, it's a site assembly problem, but it could be researched more thoroughly. Keeping the historic building here that's there, moving the carriage house that now is here over to the site, incorporating the Liberty Plaza by rebuilding it, incorporating in the new library here and incorporating the Kempf House is an interesting possibility. So now let's take a closer look at each one of them. Any questions?
  • [01:08:35.66] LINH SONG: We should have Lego. The Lego contest.
  • [01:08:38.60] PETER ALLEN: Turn that over to the kids. That'd be a great idea.
  • [01:08:42.13] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: I also like that slide [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:08:44.26] PETER ALLEN: So this is one of the ways you start, are who needs to be at the table? I'm sure I've left out some stakeholders. But this is a start. So it's you all, it's city council, it's the DDA and all the people it represents, property owners around here, the ATA. They've got a problem. They'd like to get some of the buses off the street.
  • [01:09:09.51] UM Credit Union. I got an email from Tiffany Ford today saying, we're interested in hearing more, we can't come tonight, keep us posted. I've talked to the ATA folks. They're beginning to work out a master plan. They're very heartened by the fact that they got 80% vote in the vote in August. So they're now coming up with a new strategic plan. Staying on 4th Avenue with the ATA, using Blake, maybe expanding Blake a little bit might tide them over for the next 10, 20 years.
  • [01:09:43.96] It's really hard to predict where transit's headed. I mean, who would have thought the Bird would be here so fast? Who would have thought autonomous vehicles could be having such an impact. So for them to be in major capital development mode is probably not as much of an agenda as being in a major operational expansion.
  • [01:10:06.54] The ballot signers for the open space next door. I'm going to come back to them in a minute. Affordable Housing Coalition, the people that operate the Kempf House. Glacier Hills is very interested and they've got a long waiting list of active seniors. Not the typical residents of Glacier, but active seniors who don't want to move into that campus. They want to be together in a place in downtown, and there's probably 100 apartments worth of them that are looking for a place to put 100,000 square feet.
  • [01:10:35.65] I'm going to show you one idea for them in a few minutes. Conference center. I got to believe that having a conference space, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, gathering space, should be part of this whole mix. How much should be in the library needs to be determined. The students, faculty, and staff of U of M. The merchant associations and the children.
  • [01:10:59.11] How do we get them all to think big, think long term, think creatively, look at best practices around the world? I was concerned about the open space. That's a big part of the legal disagreement over the library lot. If you develop all these sites, they could all have open space. You could end up with 100,000 square feet of open space downtown.
  • [01:11:25.24] I am intrigued with the notion, as I look at the library's agenda, that a place for Ann Arbor to come together to grieve, to celebrate, that should be part of the library's agenda. I mean, that's what you do. So to have a separate place that's off the tax rolls and the city doesn't want to maintain it or program it, you can see where I'm headed. OK? So Najib, do you want to come up and help me a little bit? These are works that were done by Najib. So please.
  • [01:11:58.37] NAJIB: Hi, everyone, I'm Najib. So all right. We actually drew up a number of proposals for what would happen on the current library site on considering different scenarios. So this one currently shows if the library were actually to move to another site.
  • [01:12:21.60] We are proposing something of a mixed use development that would have retail on the ground and commercial spaces on the top. So the current site, which is over 78,000 square feet, would have a total of over 500,000 square feet of development as well as 25,000 square feet of open space.
  • [01:12:42.51] So it would work something like a retail come civic center that's also aligned to the open space across the street on the core spaces proposal. Moving on, same site but a different possibility. So this is, again, a mixed use. But then this time it has the library moving back to the site.
  • [01:13:03.32] So the podium of the building has the current library, which is over 100,000 square feet of space. On top of that, there is a civic space that the library patrons or the public in general can climb up from the street. And if you look at the top right picture, there's a projection wall as well. And also there will be spaces for--
  • [01:13:30.05] COLLEEN SHERMAN: Would you use the hand mic and go up and point out to us?
  • [01:13:32.66] NAJIB: Oh, sure.
  • [01:13:34.02] COLLEEN SHERMAN: Because I think I see where you-- the library is the orange block in that little square down there.
  • [01:13:40.50] NAJIB: So this will be the library. The library will be starting from here and going all the way up here. The weight of this space was left for retail shops that kind of relate to the library one way or the other. For example, bookstores or stationery stores or something like that. The civic space would be on the top.
  • [01:13:58.95] This would not only cater to the residents who are living above here, but to the general public as well. Just to kind of like be some sort of a people magnet for downtown. And what's common between this design and the one I showed previously is, we kind of punched a huge open space right through the center here, and that's a feature that repeats in the next design, as kind of like a gateway into downtown, to announce a viewer's entry point coming into the heart of downtown.
  • [01:14:40.81] So moving on. Again, the same site, but this is the last proposal. So considering if half of the site were to become a park and the other half a mixed use development between residential and commercial space, this is an alternative to that. The park, again, would feature activities for kids, for people who like walk their dogs out or just have a good evening. And it could also feature food stalls across a much more pedestrianized library lane. Peter, do you want to take over it?
  • [01:15:23.89] PETER ALLEN: This is the Y site. We're looking-- I think I'll take the mic out while [INAUDIBLE]. This was done by Jin Li who is now back in China. This is 5th Avenue. This is William. On the lower level is a grocery store. On the side level there's room for expansion and more buses for ATA.
  • [01:15:48.84] And an upper level is a plaza, and then the U-shaped building is a combination of up to-- if we use the current zoning, we can get up to that many square feet, 500,000 plus. And it could be a combination of affordable, workforce, as well as perhaps the active seniors. A comment about what Najib just said of the library.
  • [01:16:13.13] The redevelopment of the library-- if you should move to another site and then sell the current library, to see all the options that could happen on there, raise the value of the library lot. That could then come back to benefit the library to pay for the new library that they're building somewhere else. So there's a huge relationship of making everything right, everything work, and help use that to help fund the new library.
  • [01:16:39.30] NAJIB: Moving on from here. So this is another possibility of the former Y. Kind of like a similar arrangement, but then this time it has the library on the podium at the upper level.
  • [01:16:56.58] PETER ALLEN: This is the former Y site, yes.
  • [01:16:57.54] NAJIB: That's right, which people would like have to walk up. And this absorbs the current Blake Transport Center. So the ground floor, the blue area, would be the transit center as well as retail. And the plaza on the upper level. And the yellow blocks that you're seeing would be the spaces for the library. On top of that would be the residences. So it has almost 400,000 square feet of residential space.
  • [01:17:25.32] PETER ALLEN: I really believe that a downtown grocery store would work very well on this site. For them to have their coffee bar cafe on the grade level, on the sidewalk, but then have the rest of their produce and goods and hard goods, canned goods and so on down on the lower level keeps the rent lower. Imagine a plum market or a bushes market or even a produce station downtown right next to Blake, right next to all this activity, where there's prepared foods. Please.
  • [01:17:56.76] VICTORIA GREEN: Peter, can I ask a question? So one common theme seems to be this idea of inner connections, sort of park land or open space on a variety of sites that are connected across streets. And I'm wondering what the grade level changes are. Most of them, the drawings have a portion of the open space up a couple levels. And what impact does that have on use?
  • [01:18:19.23] PETER ALLEN: Great question. This is the only building, the former Y, that has the plaza up one level. The rest of all the open spaces are all at grade. The idea is to excite the sidewalk around all the buildings. So all the streetscapes of 5th Avenue and William are all sidewalk retail, local, they're really attractive. That's an important principle.
  • [01:18:44.53] Having every building with its all open space, some people might say it's not a good idea. Let's put it together in one place. It might be an expansion, correction of Liberty Plaza, and then have more smaller open space at the other buildings. That's why all these buildings need to be master planned together.
  • [01:19:03.33] And having a firm like JGR or Project for Public Spaces or somebody with this kind of strong landscape architecture background to help with the open space portion, how much, where, together, separate? I don't have all those answers. Great way to learn, though. OK, Najib?
  • [01:19:23.56] NAJIB: The last one that I'm going to explain in detail.
  • [01:19:26.28] PETER ALLEN: All right, Doug. Doug, would you be willing to help out with this a little bit?
  • [01:19:29.35] DOUG KELBAUGH: You're always demanding. Here. So this is Liberty Plaza here, Kempf House. That's the carriage house moved over, and this is that existing housing. Sort of a Victorian mansion. So much of the plaza is raised up, almost all of it except for one pit that was a particularly nice tree.
  • [01:19:54.95] And this becomes a sort of campus, in a way. These outrigger buildings could be connected to the library. That could be the children's library, for instance. Or this. Or the Kempf House could be literally an outrigger of the library. This is the library. This happens to show housing above it. That's an option.
  • [01:20:15.98] Now why will this not-- why will this dilute the current population? Not remove them, but dilute them. Because there's a restaurant here. There's a galleria, sort of nickels arcade, through the middle of the library that comes out into Library Lane and eventually cuts through here. So there are going to be a lot more people moving through.
  • [01:20:35.31] I think it will be too public for one group to dominate the space. Then across the street, here's Monty. There's that unfortunate surface parking lot right there which-- this is already a pretty deadly block of the connection that Peter described between Ann Arbor's campus and Main Street. Fortunately, it's not two blocks either way. It's seven blocks total.
  • [01:21:02.02] It's a long walk. If we can push the university Main Street and campus together, that'd be great, but we can't do that. So we got to make this a really lively connection. . So this would be obviously a low building, if you're a pedestrian with housing above retail. And then a taller building.
  • [01:21:20.88] The reason we proposed early on, and allowed when we designed this parking garage, to have a tall building here, is that it's in the middle of a big block. It was the biggest block in Ann Arbor, which is why at a retreat I proposed Library Lane. And it got built. I couldn't believe it.
  • [01:21:41.41] So anyway, that's another big block that you could bury a taller in. And there's some more affordable housing on Washington. So plaza. This could be all grass, a sort of campus. This is more paved. Library has a rooftop for all of you workers here. Housing is totally optional, and it could fit. And there's a big conference center, or at least a big meeting room much bigger than this, in the basement of the library where it makes sense. I think that covers it. Thank you, Peter.
  • [01:22:16.72] PETER ALLEN: Great. The thing about parking is that all of these sites expand the existing underground parking deck. They all can be plugged in to going down several floors underneath all these buildings. You might even go under 5th more to get to the former YMCA and put parking underneath that. What's the next slide, Reggie? OK, let's forget that for now.
  • [01:22:43.88] I think this is the proposal for the core spaces on the top of the underground library deck. And I think at this point I'd like to stop and get reactions and questions and engage everybody. So would that be a good idea?
  • [01:23:12.63] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Yeah, let's do it.
  • [01:23:13.77] PETER ALLEN: Great. What do you all-- where are we touching? Where are we resonating? Where are we missing?
  • [01:23:19.38] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Great. I just want to remind you too that, if you speak into your mic, it will be in the recording. I know it's like-- I wonder if-- Eli, do we have? OK, great.
  • [01:23:34.02] LINH SONG: So my big worry is timing. So for folks who weren't hear in Ann Arbor before, I guess, beyond a couple of years, the library lot for the garage was approved in 2008. The construction for that garage was completed in 2012. Here we are in 2018 and it's still contested.
  • [01:24:01.65] 2012 was also the year that the library had proposed a library fund to redevelop this building. So I love these dreams. I am sure it took a lot of work to figure out things like, I don't know, railroad right of ways, who's who in development and who owns these properties along the way, who's committed to what. But can you speak to maybe the need for leadership and just, culturally, how do we get behind big ideas, big dreams?
  • [01:24:38.84] Because I think the one thing is, despite being, what, the most educated city in America? We can be self-defeating. And I'm so glad that young students are here to kind of remind us that-- I think one of your points was that this is for the children, right? My husband's most favorite group is Wu Tang Clan. Wu Tang. And Wu Tang is for the children.
  • [01:25:06.69] So I would-- and I feel like what you presented today is for the children, right? So Ann Arbor is for the children. And that just really speaks to hope and the potential for more. So can you maybe speak to some of the ideas and how we can organize the community and just rally support, or listen to our Wu Tang?
  • [01:25:27.95] PETER ALLEN: I think a very safe way to get a lot of bang for very little cost is, I want to engage these student teams in November and December to take your best ideas and give you a written report that takes into account the other property owners, the other stakeholders. There have been discussions with [INAUDIBLE], and there are discussions with the city, and they need to be quantified.
  • [01:25:54.32] They need to be tied in with your overall master plan on how many square feet and do you want any other uses on top. But I think the leadership is on your board. I think you're going to move faster than Jennifer Hall and the city hall over what happens across the street with the Y.
  • [01:26:12.62] I think everybody-- and I think your timing-- you've got great political capital, I think, in the public with what you've done with your branches. I think to show the public that you might, let's say, go to Liberty and take over the operation and programming of that park, thats going to be a home run in a lot of people's minds.
  • [01:26:37.97] And for you to do it and then show them how you're going to pay for it, and how you can minimize that bond appeal, that millage request. And the key elements of that are what you sell this site for-- and you're going to sell it for a lot more if it's-- it's zoned D1. So you can go up to 15 stores. The question is, is it an appropriate use?
  • [01:26:59.57] How do you get the maximum value with the least public resistance and good will. Because how you treat this is going to maybe have an impact on your village request. So for you to be the prime mover of this whole block but take the other elements into account and give everybody a feasible plan, that's something that I know my students could begin to flesh out for you by December 18. And it won't cost you a nickel.
  • [01:27:28.72] LINH SONG: Is that right?
  • [01:27:30.09] PETER ALLEN: And you can show that to your team, counselors, and get their input. OK? It won't be the final design by me. It will give you a framework that you can get-- and you could always blame it on Peter Allen and his students and his class if you don't like it. All right? Does that answer your question?
  • [01:27:47.85] COLLEEN SHERMAN: I want to build on something that Linh said. And Doug, if you need to speak first or build on, answer Jamie's question?
  • [01:27:57.41] DOUG KELBAUGH: OK. Well, I wanted to say, in Peter's praise, that he paid for all this out of his own pocket. That's why I'm about to kill him. And he doesn't own any property that would benefit from any of this. So this is not just a real estate [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:28:15.99] The other thing is, I do hope to go with Liberty because, I mean psychologically, that will shorten the distance between the two big nodes downtown. And I think you'll get more activity there--
  • [01:28:27.24] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Close to your-- closer. Speak closer.
  • [01:28:29.72] DOUG KELBAUGH: I mean, I really would love to see you go to Liberty. It's not very loud.
  • [01:28:34.88] COLLEEN SHERMAN: It's working.
  • [01:28:35.48] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: It's OK.
  • [01:28:37.27] DOUG KELBAUGH: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [01:28:38.60] PETER ALLEN: Come to the mic here, Doug. Test this mic.
  • [01:28:42.16] DOUG KELBAUGH: OK. I hope you seriously consider moving to Liberty. I think that will activate a particularly weak link in the connection between campus and Main Street. I think you'll get more business there. You'll totally change Liberty Plaza and activate Library Lane. It's just a win-win-win in my opinion. So that's--
  • [01:29:11.24] COLLEEN SHERMAN: Why does moving to Liberty activate Library Lane?
  • [01:29:14.45] DOUG KELBAUGH: Because people will come through and Nickel's sort of arcade through the building into Library Lane. And aligning that arcade, or stores and a restaurant, stuff like that.
  • [01:29:27.06] PETER ALLEN: I love this idea that came from Doug three years ago, that Library Lane is extended in an interesting way through this block and then through the parking deck and dead ends right into the Diag. It goes through Nickels Arcade.
  • [01:29:39.32] DOUG KELBAUGH: Through the arcade.
  • [01:29:40.10] PETER ALLEN: Nickels Arcade is right here.
  • [01:29:41.36] DOUG KELBAUGH: But that's after we activate Liberty and get that really thriving. There could be a pedestrian connection through Nickels Arcade, through that block, through the Library Lane, through the transit center, through the parking garage all the way down to the treeline.
  • [01:29:56.06] LINH SONG: There's-- maybe a good example is the Montreal. Our family went out to Montreal a couple weeks ago, and the lane that's right next to the town library has little shops with a garage.
  • [01:30:10.48] JOSIE PARKER: Alley? The alley?
  • [01:30:11.93] LINH SONG: Yes, the alley sorry.
  • [01:30:13.57] JOSIE PARKER: It's lovely.
  • [01:30:14.42] LINH SONG: It's fantastic, and it goes right into really active spaces with restaurants. Even in the evenings it's walkable. There's still traffic going through.
  • [01:30:26.23] COLLEEN SHERMAN: So what Peter has presented a lot of your presentation was about what's good for the city and the city as a whole. And I want to tie back to what Linh said about inertia, because I think Linh and I have both been here 25 years.
  • [01:30:38.86] LINH SONG: We're old. Well, no.
  • [01:30:40.24] COLLEEN SHERMAN: I first served on a committee with Peter in 1995, and you probably don't remember that vote. We were on a committee together.
  • [01:30:47.83] PETER ALLEN: January 2000?
  • [01:30:49.30] COLLEEN SHERMAN: The Breakfast Meeting Planning Committee, that one. And so some things change, some things don't. There has been a lot of inertia. There have been a lot of projects where everyone gets excited and things are going to change and there's a deal and something's going to happen and then it never does. And River Front looks very much like it did.
  • [01:31:09.10] And I bike in this city, and we keep talking about a bike-able city, and some things change. But there are areas in this city that are very dangerous to bike in. How many bikers did we lose last year? Five. We lost several. So I want change to happen, and I want-- I think you're getting to what is true and what we have all found in working on this for well over a year now, which is, we have to be very pragmatic.
  • [01:31:39.21] And I say this to all the students. We have to look at what we have and what we can do. And so things like millage, that's outside of our control, right? What's within our control? Right now we have this building, we receive an income in tax money every year, and we have a problem we have to solve.
  • [01:31:58.08] So those are the chess pieces we're playing with. We want to start with those chess pieces. And anyone on the library board can disagree with me. This is what I fear as-- this is where I think we are right now. We're playing with the chess pieces we have.
  • [01:32:13.35] LINH SONG: At the same time, our city comes up with kind of funny successes, right? So it took, what, about 10 years to get our first dog park? It took us eight years to get a skate park, and it really came out of a skater who skipped work and dressed up and went into city council and gave public comments. Dressed up just on top, because the podium ends up here.
  • [01:32:43.01] And then also I guess maybe outreach, right? Just sharing that dream and telling folks who don't skate, I do not skate, that a skate park is a reflection of how we care for our community, for kids who can't afford expensive sports. So that is successful because it's off of a bus line. So for Tony Hawk to come and open a 30,000 square foot skate park in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where it kind of snows, is kind of a funny dream to make happen in a really grassroots way.
  • [01:33:16.62] And I think that's something that, when we think about Ann Arbor and our progressive history of activism and progressive values, maybe there's a way to tie all that together, you know? Where things come from the ground up. Because sometimes I think we're just too distracted by marketing from big buildings or big developers when, really, things can come out of our community in really organic ways.
  • [01:33:43.28] COLLEEN SHERMAN: Some of your ideas seemed in that realm of, this is about developers and this is about big business and this is about selling our lot and making the most of our revenue. And what Linh is talking about, even though we're still working with public dollars, and maybe even more so because we are working with public dollars, I think the grassroots effort-- I like that vision.
  • [01:34:03.63] I think that's-- you were trying to give the students some ideas about what we're thinking. So what I'm thinking is exactly what she's saying-- that the library is about this community. So things like a grocery store, I'd love to have a grocery store be part of the library space and what that looks like. That sounds great.
  • [01:34:20.84] But that's not a problem to solve. Our problem to solve is, what's the service we deliver and how do we take what we have and do it in a community way? Because our partners, when we think about our partners in the library, is this rich network of partners. It's a lot of nonprofit organizations.
  • [01:34:37.48] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Yes, but when we're trying to sell our expansion and the needs that we have as a library, we'll do much better if we think of it in the context of a larger community development. We can't just-- what I encounter when I talk about it, people say, I don't want to see a 17 story building. They're assuming we're going to have a wasteland and one 17 story building.
  • [01:35:02.51] And if they see it all in the development that supports all kinds of things and a neighborhood and community connection, that's where we have to-- just what you're doing tonight, Peter, and do it to more and more people so begin to think about that in a larger way.
  • [01:35:24.70] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: I do really like the idea-- oh, I'm sorry, you were going to respond-- of orienting towards Liberty Plaza. It makes me feel like we-- and I know that, you know, this idea, I've heard it bubble up before tonight. But tonight it really makes me think that we're oriented backwards. Like, it makes me feel like, oh, we should be facing the other way.
  • [01:35:47.05] It's like, if you look at Ann Arbor as if you were a bird, if it was a painting, the composition feels better when the library is pointed out towards this other end of town. Especially with what's behind us, like with the bus station and the parking structure and other sort of immutable things, and the federal building, which you didn't really bring up much.
  • [01:36:09.34] LINH SONG: Can you convince the feds to do something? No?
  • [01:36:12.71] PETER ALLEN: TSA is on the list. They'll eventually be [INAUDIBLE] on it.
  • [01:36:17.63] DOUG KELBAUGH: [INAUDIBLE] It could be, I don't know, a catalyst. But it does mean that [AUDIO OUT] And if I was on the board, [INAUDIBLE] I would start [AUDIO OUT] which may or may not include laundering [AUDIO OUT] You have more [INAUDIBLE], but they'd get better luck here. [INAUDIBLE] But this is not possible without their operation.
  • [01:36:54.51] PETER ALLEN: I have some ideas on how to do that, but I don't want to share them right now. But [INAUDIBLE]
  • [01:37:03.24] JIM LEIJA: I would say, too, I'm just-- I guess the thing that is so affirming and I think maybe is one of the messages that we don't really hear enough is that, this city is changing. And it is growing. And generally that's thought to be a good thing, as far as it pertains to the way the economy operates and what the value of, you know, real estate and housing and the quality of life here can be like.
  • [01:37:36.74] And we have a choice to sort of develop proactively and accepting that reality of growth and change and development, that we are not a sleepy college town that we once were centuries ago. Or to resist it and just sort of do it and things happen in a way that is uncoordinated and happenstance, and ultimately bad for creating the sort of infrastructure that would support that growth.
  • [01:38:10.84] So I just-- that's just a comment, really. And interesting to think about, how do you craft that idea of growth into something that is growth and development that's linked to a set of positive outcomes for people who live here, or even some who have lived here for a long time like Colleen and I and Linh.
  • [01:38:39.53] LINH SONG: I've been here forever.
  • [01:38:40.47] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: Oh, so you've lived here [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:38:42.34] JIM LEIJA: And Jan and--
  • [01:38:44.03] LINH SONG: We walked right into that.
  • [01:38:45.79] JIM LEIJA: I know, I know.
  • [01:38:47.77] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: It's nice to be among old people.
  • [01:38:52.71] JIM LEIJA: I mean, I think at 20 years now I can call myself a townie officially. But it's interesting to-- because I think what we deal with, and this is in terms of learning for students who might be looking at this project with fresh eyes is that, there are several different cultures that are operating within Ann Arbor, some of which are represented on this board.
  • [01:39:19.86] And people who believe that-- you know, I'm just like, build something already. I say that all the time. And other people who imagine this thing that sort of still existed when I moved here 20 years ago, which was like, there were no chain anything in downtown Ann Arbor, right? So things that sort of--
  • [01:39:44.67] LINH SONG: There's no Potbelly's.
  • [01:39:45.48] JIM LEIJA: Right. I mean, none of that existed. And people hold onto that idea. And I don't think that that's just a problem of Ann Arbor. Obviously, that's like a problem of America in general, right.
  • [01:39:57.27] LINH SONG: Or a problem of U of M being in Ann Arbor.
  • [01:39:59.69] JIM LEIJA: In Ann Arbor, right. So it was just an interesting message. I also like, with Jamie, I think like the sort of aha moment for me, should core be able to do their project next door. Our orientation to that project in this way that's sort of being imagined in some of these renderings is a really different way, at least for me, of imagining and thinking about how these sites kind of work together.
  • [01:40:29.24] And just the notion of sort of the flow. And I think that idea of a Library Lane cut through is just so absolutely brilliant. I mean, it's just really a sort of stunning idea. And it's like, yeah, of course, right?
  • [01:40:43.97] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Right. Well, if you've lived here and walked from campus to [INAUDIBLE], you try to do that.
  • [01:40:48.84] JIM LEIJA: Do it every day.
  • [01:40:49.67] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: You can kind of go for the parking structure, and there used to be like a lot that you could walk through. So it's very nice that you're thinking about formalizing the informal habits of people in a way that makes them better.
  • [01:41:02.30] JIM LEIJA: I have to spend a lot of time in Midtown Manhattan for work in certain points of the year, and I always think about that. There's like a, I think it's like 6 and 1/2 avenue, which is essentially a coordination of all these office buildings that just allow you to pass through the block between like, [INAUDIBLE] or Broadway. And just the idea that you can avoid having to walk on one of these major thoroughfares--
  • [01:41:25.43] ANNOUNCER: your attention please. The library will close in 15 minutes. The internet station will be shut off at 8:55. Please make any final copies at this time and take all materials to be checked out to a self-check station. or to the circulation desk by 8:55.
  • [01:41:47.75] JIM LEIJA: And pass all your service items to the center.
  • [01:41:49.76] JOSIE PARKER: And you cannot say it nicer than Dennis says it.
  • [01:41:52.41] JAMIE VANDER BROEK That was lovely.
  • [01:41:54.41] JIM LEIJA: Anyhow, I think of that when I think of this, because it's the idea that, of course, as pedestrians we have a little more protection from the street is like always an exciting idea to me.
  • [01:42:06.73] LINH SONG: So have the students spoken to Ann Arbor residents? Or has there been-- has there--
  • [01:42:14.10] PETER ALLEN: Well, this current-- a little bit last term. But now we're ready for that stage. Particularly with things like 721 North meeting with Water Hill, I would like to ask the students to engage the property owners between Liberty Lane, People Street, all the way over to the Diag and see if they can't begin to make that work. That would be an interesting small-term project.
  • [01:42:39.48] I'm hoping that this begins to go viral and it generates a lot more talk. I'm eager to find more groups that want to love it, hate it? What are the thoughts? How do we begin to engage according to 12 QIMBY principles?
  • [01:42:54.85] LINH SONG: So I'd hope, if I can just recommend, that you speak to, I guess, more marginalized residents? If only because there's a sense of Ann Arbor's growing, and we already have issues with segregation in our city. You can see that in our public schools. I mean, well you can see it in our neighborhoods, quite frankly, right?
  • [01:43:18.70] So if we could speak to-- I mean there was a recent M Life article about Water Hill being a historic African-American neighborhood and how, with little housing stock in the market, things are getting really unaffordable for families to stay where they've stayed for generations. So I mean, if I could suggest that.
  • [01:43:43.64] And also maybe get different perspectives. So I speak a lot with my neighbors. And there's, I think, an immediate worry when they see large buildings go up. Say even on South U, right, where that's supposed to be student housing which that's pretty close to where students are supposed to be, right? But it's still kind of alarming for folks who either walk in or even work in nearby areas.
  • [01:44:08.88] And often only because they don't experience it in the way that students are experiencing it. But if they talk to say local Asian-American families, I take my family there for rolled ice cream, for Pinball Pete's, for bahn mi sandwiches. So different people, different communities, have different experiences around town. So it's not just, I guess, the buildings, but the experiences that the buildings offer.
  • [01:44:33.58] I guess another thing is to talk to older homeowners. So the original homeowners in my neighborhood talk about how the northeast side, or where the North Campus Research Center used to be dairy farms, right? And they were the boomers. They were ones who built that area up. They were the first residents to commute to Ford.
  • [01:44:55.53] But there's some cognitive dissonance when you talk about the 70,000 commuters coming here and that this is another boom that's coming or that's already here, that's been here. So it'd be interesting if you could get those different narratives to kind of come together and see these dreams and just kind of bring them to the present, maybe push us all along together to the future. It would be helpful.
  • [01:45:25.52] JOSIE PARKER: Ed, go ahead.
  • [01:45:30.46] ED SUROVELL: I don't know where to begin. Some background. I have at one time been on the Ann Arbor City Planning Commission and have chaired it on two different occasions. I've been a member of the DDA. I do not currently live in the city. I live in the township.
  • [01:45:51.98] I have to remind all of us that this is not the Ann Arbor City Library. This is the Ann Arbor District Library, and that 40% to 50% of our population and taxes come from people outside of the immediate area, outside of the city altogether. And the library is elected by, the board is elected by those people, and those people also have to be taken into account one way or another.
  • [01:46:21.77] And frankly, Peter, all the people you mentioned, all the stakeholders and all of the stakeholders we've discussed here, nobody has talked about-- Josie, how many townships are we? Six?
  • [01:46:34.20] JOSIE PARKER: Seven.
  • [01:46:34.73] ED SUROVELL: Seven. Township.
  • [01:46:35.87] JOSIE PARKER: Parts or whole of seven.
  • [01:46:39.36] ED SUROVELL: But we don't talk about everybody else. We just talk about people who are articulate and have articulated very specific needs. I have been here for 50 years. For 40 years, there was at one time or another, discussion group, sometimes very active. And finally, having made a presentation to the board of what to do with the library lot, and that was 30 years ago.
  • [01:47:12.81] So far, the answer is nothing. The hole in the ground was built with no plan for the top. Why it was taken down with no plan for what to do with the site. It was sold five, six years ago now with no plans as to what would be required of it, and have a fight over buying it back. Cost another million dollars of taxpayers' money.
  • [01:47:43.59] Ann Arbor is characterized, like many communities, and I'm only saying it under my breath, academic communities, in sharply divided interests. When I was chairman of the Planning Commission, the astonishing fights shown by members of a place called Upper Burns Park over the development on South View and the development of infill was as nasty public comment as I've ever seen in my life, with the exception of the planning that was attempted to be done on North Main 20 years ago.
  • [01:48:25.48] And with the vicious fights along Nixon Road when the site that is now a very healthy, vigorous and absolutely necessary Traverwood Shopping Center was still unused land and was rezoned. That "not in my backyard" is a reality of the way all of us feel. Nobody's tried to build in my backyard. I'm certain I would raise holy hell if they tried to.
  • [01:49:00.84] I am a realtor. I make a living out of selling people houses, and how many times have people said, when the new building is going up in a piece of vacant ground, the realtor told me nothing would ever be built there. How many of you here are guilty of saying that yourself?
  • [01:49:23.82] We go nowhere. The discussion about how to replace the obsolete rail station. Doug, Peter, how long has that been going on?
  • [01:49:36.65] DOUG KELBAUGH: 10 years [INAUDIBLE].
  • [01:49:39.91] ED SUROVELL: And how long have we needed a new rail station? 10 years, maybe 20, and we have nothing. And Peter thinks it is going to be built at the hospital. Doug, what do you think?
  • [01:49:53.25] DOUG KELBAUGH: [INAUDIBLE]
  • [01:50:01.96] ED SUROVELL: I think every person in this room would like to see some kind of human activity go up in the Riverfront. I would love someday before I die to be able to have a beer or a lemonade sitting on the edge of the river like other civilized places. The best I can do is get a cup of cider if I go out to Dexter.
  • [01:50:33.78] I participated with Peter in this, and I think Peter is headed in the right direction. He's posing, what happens if you do this here, what happens if this goes there, and I am fully in support of it. City council just took a 180 degree turn. Lord knows what's going to happen with it. Leadership is essential.
  • [01:51:03.85] Between the direct statements here and the veiled statements, both sides of any issue have been expressed right here tonight, all because we are polite and not wanting to confront one another. This is my last four months on the board. I wish I weren't leaving. I took the last four years here because I hope we were going to build a new building.
  • [01:51:28.58] ANNOUNCER: Your attention, please. The library will close in five minutes. If you have materials to check out, please go to a self-check station, over to the circulation desk at this time.
  • [01:51:38.13] AUDIENCE: Ed, tell us what you think about being on Liberty.
  • [01:51:40.97] ED SUROVELL: I think that we ought to be on Liberty. I'd be very open about it. I think that the site Peter described on Liberty Plaza with the combination of part of the space occupied by Martin's building and encompassing an active use for both the grounds and the building itself, of Kemp House, are absolutely the best thing that could ever happen to downtown. By the way, I have to say that, in the year 1960, I used to make that very announcement in Union Theological Seminary in New York.
  • [01:52:14.17] JOSIE PARKER: And it does not pertain to anyone in this room, so I'll say that.
  • [01:52:17.36] JAMIE VANDER BROEK I'm sorry, students. We can say past nine.
  • [01:52:24.29] JIM LEIJA As long as we want, actually.
  • [01:52:25.97] JOSIE PARKER I think we should call for citizen's comments.
  • [01:52:27.68] LINH SONG: Yes.
  • [01:52:28.14] JAMIE VANDER BROEK I agree.
  • [01:52:30.89] ED SUROVELL: One of the real benefits of putting it on the corner of Liberty and Division is that it becomes much more visible. This building is built to an earlier standard. It is receding from the public view. It is in a place without an active pedestrian activity of any sort.
  • [01:52:58.73] It is hard to see and it is architecturally, having been done by a great American art tech, it has been damaged irrevocably by two editions that made it more usable for the time and also for a different use. This was the headquarters of the Ann Arbor public schools, but it no longer serves its purpose. And visually, it does not make a centerpiece.
  • [01:53:25.58] When you go to see any of the great modern American libraries, whether they're big or small, they are beautiful. Or certainly striking, whether you like them or not. This is no longer striking. And if it were, it is not visible from the street except from the bus station, empty lot across the street, and the parking deck next door. It really ought to be a centerpiece for the city, and I hope someday soon that it can be.
  • [01:53:57.45] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: That's well said, Ed. So I think we should probably turn the conversation back towards the citizen's comments soon, and I wanted to make sure to catch any last thoughts that the board had.
  • [01:54:08.80] JAN BARNEY NEWMAN: My last thought is I'm going to have to leave early. So excuse me.
  • [01:54:12.44] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: OK. See you next time, Jan. Anything else?
  • [01:54:17.33] COLLEEN SHERMAN: I would like to-- if someone could take a walking tour with me before the next board meeting, that would be really helpful. I have some context but there are some things that are lost on me.
  • [01:54:26.61] JAMIE VANDER BROEK All right.
  • [01:54:28.94] JOSIE PARKER: So citizens, we-- if you're done.
  • [01:54:32.06] PETER ALLEN: I want to just lay very quickly pictures of the best libraries. This is really short, but I want the public to see this. I want you to see this. Najib put these together with great libraries. Najib, you want to go through this real quickly?
  • [01:54:55.34] NAJIB: Yeah, so what we're showing here are three examples of libraries that have been built here in the United States. The Stapleton Library is just over 12,000 square feet. It is an extension of an existing library that you see on the right, so it's kind of repurposing as well as building a new library as well. So within that small space they put out all this lofty space.
  • [01:55:19.81] PETER ALLEN: I criticize this, because it doesn't have any people in it. The next one does.
  • [01:55:24.17] NAJIB: And this would be the older spaces. The Lawrence Library of Kansas is adjacent to, again, a park and other programs such as swimming pools and so on, which again acts like a community magnet. Inside, it's much bigger. And it's pretty active, as you can see.
  • [01:55:48.41] The last one is huge. It's more than four times the suggested program for the new Ann Arbor library, the one at Seattle. Mainly designed from the living room concept. So yeah.
  • [01:56:05.78] PETER ALLEN: Great. Thank you, Najib.
  • [01:56:07.68] VICTORIA GREEN: Najib, wait. I have one question, Najib. Is it happenstance that all the examples were freestanding libraries and not mixed use?
  • [01:56:15.23] NAJIB: They're all freestanding, yeah.
  • [01:56:17.48] JOSIE PARKER: It's happenstance.
  • [01:56:20.33] PETER ALLEN: Thank you very much. Enjoyed this very much.
  • [01:56:22.82] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Yeah, thank you so much. This was really fun. So in closing this portion of the evening moving to--
  • [01:56:34.97] ANNOUNCER: Your attention please. The library is now closed.
  • [01:56:39.45] LINH SONG: We're trapped.
  • [01:56:42.95] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: I think it's like my hope that some people have thoughts that have been brewing this whole time and you'll share them with us. And so we can kind of not stop the conversation, but just carry it on in that way. But yeah, we're reachable. So if there are thoughts that occurred to you that you don't want to share publicly, all of our contact information is available on the website. And thank you so much for this presentation.
  • [01:57:08.76] JOSIE PARKER So if there are public comments, that's where we are. Citizen's comments. We'd ask you to come to the microphone. Just step to the podium to make citizen's comments.
  • [01:57:19.06] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: And Karen has some lined up there?
  • [01:57:22.30] ED SUROVELL: Could we also know who you are when you make a comment, please.
  • [01:57:26.05] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: So, I'm sorry. I thought that you had received some forms. So usually what we do is if you can introduce yourself, and then you have three minutes.
  • [01:57:35.02] FRANK WILHELM: Frank Wilhelm. Matching gray hair with Peter and with Ed. Thank you, Peter. I've known about your classes and been aware of the kinds of things you've done over the years, but being in the trenches in some of these controversial issues downtown, we never get ourselves lifted up to think conceptually and in terms of the entire downtown or a good section of the downtown and some of the other projects.
  • [01:58:08.47] And we don't have the insight of the students when we're battling a particular piece of property. The point I'd like to make is that downtown, I don't know if there's an acronym for this, but it's everybody's backyard. And that's why there's such stress and strain about some of the projects downtown. And I think because-- you know, I've been here 50 years, I still don't know if I'm a townie. My kids are townies. They're born here.
  • [01:58:38.86] But it's just kind of overwhelming in some ways. But part of what was very refreshing is this comment period by the members of the board, and just reacting to something that's sort of a 10,000 foot level and not battling one particular issue to and fro. And I think that the reason we got into this situation with the library lot is, as Ed pointed out, this has been going on for 30 years.
  • [01:59:14.03] And there's been a number of public surveys that have come out strongly for open space. The mayor has recently said, we've gone probably from 2,000 to 7,000 residents in the downtown. But no one wants to seem to want to produce any more open space. You know, go to West Park, go hang out on the Diag. It just doesn't work.
  • [01:59:38.35] So I don't know where we'll end up with the library lot. But I think it's very encouraging that the library board is thinking in a coordinated way, a connected way, with the downtown. And we can get some fresh ideas and coalesce opinions around things.
  • [02:00:00.00] I think one thing that won't work and what troubled me about a lot of the slides, I don't think any of the old folks are ready to take on a downtown full of 17 and 18 story buildings. That, I don't think, is going to be acceptable to the voters or the taxpayers that have been here a long time. Thank you.
  • [02:00:25.93] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: So since we didn't have like a sign up, you're welcome to just approach the podium if you'd like to make a comment. You don't all have to come at once. Oh, very good.
  • [02:00:40.90] RAY: Actually, I wasn't going to do this.
  • [02:00:42.28] JOSIE PARKER: Ray, use the microphone.
  • [02:00:44.28] RAY: Can't I just? OK.
  • [02:00:46.45] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Sorry, it's for the people at home.
  • [02:00:47.78] JOSIE PARKER: It's recorded.
  • [02:00:49.19] LINH SONG: It's for the internet.
  • [02:00:52.15] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: For my daughter, basically.
  • [02:00:54.81] COLLEEN SHERMAN: Does your daughter watch?
  • [02:00:56.22] RAY: I'm not going to speak very long, and I was hesitant to even speak at this particular question, especially since Frank Wilhelm spoke before me. Let's get it straight with the guarded nature where we're at. This is not an issue of just simply whether or not we're going to have a park or a building.
  • [02:01:09.53] What there is here is an issue with regard to what are we going to do with the remaining areas of the downtown in terms of creating a cohesive approach to the nature of our concept of a future? And Peter tonight in his group with others and the students have come up with some very clear sorts of statements with regard to what we need to look at. The information that we need to look at.
  • [02:01:32.54] I've chaired the Downtown Area Citizens Advisory Council, and it's not the first time I've appeared to speak with regard to what goes on that site. And one of the things that we always insist upon is, the major issue must be connectivity. Connectivity with regard to what we're having in terms of the concept. It isn't just the library lot. It's also down by the border-to-border trail.
  • [02:01:53.26] How does all of this fit together in a cohesive sort of program that actually recognizes the nature of how all sorts of things have to be supplied? This suggests the possibility of some green space. It doesn't necessarily have to be a park that dominates one of the most important areas of the area of the downtown.
  • [02:02:12.88] The Citizens Advisory Council took positions with regard to the nature of what it was that we wanted on this particular site. And the thing that we came up with, and this was put in the newspapers and all that sort of thing, the major concept is connectivity. And what we also put there, with regard to connectivity, the most important thing that we want to make sure that we don't do is we do not interrupt with the whole nature of the success of the library on this site.
  • [02:02:37.09] That's the most important thing for us is that, whatever it is that we do in our connectivity, the library is most important. And even though many of you may not be involved in that, some of us were, the concept with regard to nature of that connectivity most recently was just a little over two weeks ago, I think, in a situation where what we had was a vote taken by the city council of Ann Arbor to take a concept that was basically Howard Lazarus' concept as city administrator and have a double bicycle path from State Street straight down William Street to 3rd.
  • [02:03:16.06] And then over there at that particular location, what we do at that particular point, is we turn First and also Ashley Street into two-way streets. And those in turn connect to the Treeline, and they in turn connect to Huron Street, and in Huron Street we also recognize the nature of the short walk to the downtown to the river. And how do we think about that all together?
  • [02:03:40.35] But it always in our mind is going to be the most important unit of the area the downtown, the most successful one, and that is the library. But what Peter's done tonight is he said very definitely with regard to what he's submitting, this is not a plan. This is not an issue with regard to whether or not you have a park or don't have a park. What this is making it possible for us to all have information with regard to the nature of what the possibilities are and talk about it in that way. Thanks for your time.
  • [02:04:09.74] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Thank you.
  • [02:04:10.22] LINH SONG: Thank you.
  • [02:04:10.71] JIM LEIJA: Great job.
  • [02:04:11.19] JOSIE PARKER: Thank you, Ray.
  • [02:04:20.42] JESSICA LEE TOM: Hi, my name is Jessica Lee Tom. I'm a renter on the west side of Ann Arbor, and I moved here about nine years ago for school. And I recently heard someone say, unironically, that they've only lived in Ann Arbor for 50 years. So I've only lived in Ann Arbor for almost a decade.
  • [02:04:37.56] Thank you to Mr. Allen and to everyone who put all of this work together. It is stunning to see so many different concepts synthesized into one place, and especially in the service of the library, an institution that I think most of us get really excited about. I'm also the moderator of Ann Arbor YIMBY, which is Yes In My Backyard, a conversation on local development and growth and change.
  • [02:05:00.05] And with every respect to Mr. Wilhelm, who's been here much longer than I have, I as a renter, and many other people in Ann Arbor, are excited about larger buildings. But that's not even really I think what this conversation is about. I think the comments pertaining to change on this site not having happened, not measured in terms of months or years but in terms of decades, maybe you could use that as a productive constraint in your designs and in your thinking.
  • [02:05:28.39] So what does it mean to move not just well but also quickly? And it's not for lack of information. There are master plan documents that pertain not just to this site but also to the public lands along William. There has been a lot of really good thinking, and you guys are probably privy to most of that material.
  • [02:05:49.07] But leveraging that and saying, well, to get it right we need to slow down, we need to-- well we've been talking to people for decades. I love Trustee Song's comment about how can we get great at talking to marginalized communities. How can we get great at folding in the comments and thoughts and feelings and fears of people who have lived here for a long time, and also their fears and excitement about where they're going? So again, thank you for all these ideas and let's get going. Thank you.
  • [02:06:29.14] ALEXANDRA DEMUS: My name is Alexandra Demus, and I'm a student of Professor Allens. I love this presentation, but I'm more curious to find out from the board, sort of all of these things took into the fact feasibility for the land, obviously. Paying for it, paying for the new construction.
  • [02:06:46.11] But a lot of things that we didn't hear about is necessarily how you as the library want to use the space. You know, do you need space on the ground level to hold activities for children, or are you able to host something like that on an upper floor? I live in actually Toledo, Ohio, and I've said our downtown library is one of my favorite places.
  • [02:07:06.54] It's an art deco library that they did a brand new last addition too and they have a rooftop terrace and they have businesses host meetings. So I think what I would like to hear from you, in order for our class do our projects correctly, is for you to give a list to Peter saying, these are the things we're concerned about as far as programming. These are the things we're concerned about as space. These are even like our monetary concerns.
  • [02:07:32.13] And without knowing that, how we can design these beautiful buildings for you in these beautiful spaces? But I think you'll have something better to take to the community if we actually consider what you want to use the library for versus me assuming what you want to use it for. So that's what I'd like from your-- OK, thank you.
  • [02:07:59.07] BRIAN CHAMBERS: I'm Brian Chambers. I've been here since the early '80s, when I came to get a master's in urban planning. Then I went on and got a doctorate in urban technological and environmental planning, the previous [INAUDIBLE] program. But I did a joint with a business school, so I got a PhD in corporate strategy as well.
  • [02:08:18.50] I'm trying to figure out now what I want to do that my kids are all grown up. I raised them in Ann Arbor. They're townies. I guess I'm still on the fence post. So I'm interested in getting involved, and I've done work in the past in Ann Arbor. You know the Washtenaw nonprofits in the art fair, they have that space on Liberty? I helped set them up.
  • [02:08:39.47] And it was a negotiation. We had strong wills, because the art fairs wanted their space there. And it's like, no, no, that's a main corridor. That's where the nonprofits should be. And we stuck to our case and we organized all of the nonprofits in a very short period of time, had them negotiate with the art fair directors. That's not easy to do, if you know them.
  • [02:08:58.94] And then had to go negotiate with council. So it is a process. I'm a positivist by nature, so I don't know if I can turn magic. I'm not recommending committing anything like that. But I'd like to get involved and see what's possible here. There are models around the country, around the world, that are facilitated engagements.
  • [02:09:21.98] I've been meeting with Doug and talking to him about that, so he's heard some of that. And I mean that we still have to talk this through, but I thought I'd try it here. It's around the framework of global cities. There's a conference going in Detroit next week. They call it public by design, and it's an engagement methodology that has been initially funded for what's called the Gehl Institute.
  • [02:09:43.68] It's a professor out of Copenhagen that innovated around this framework for Copenhagen to pull out all of the cars that were just parked in all of the city plazas. Like, oh my gosh, what happened to our city? We've got car parking lots all over the place. It's now a highly livable, highly walkable city, and one of the premiere livable cities in the world, it's known for.
  • [02:10:05.49] He's gotten funding in the US here now to start rolling out that methodology. He's done it in New York City, around Times Square. He's engaged in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, North Carolina, and so on. It's almost a commodity now in terms of how to do these engagement models that's extended. It's a multi-year process. It's not going to happen overnight.
  • [02:10:27.69] But it makes sure that marginalized communities are engaged in the process that hadn't been before, that may have been overly developer-centric or council-centric or something else of that nature. But it didn't necessarily serve the needs for public spaces around public design processes. So that's kind of my torch to bear for a little while here. I'm not sure where I'll go.
  • [02:10:49.76] I'd like to engage with students on campus around this, because I'm still campus motivated. I want to be around a professional discipline and these matters. Politics scares me, because I never know who's going to throw what barb at me and try to knock me out. You know, you have a disciplinary focus that I believe is a solid foundation that you can build from. And there is a legacy around it to work from as well.
  • [02:11:12.75] My parting comment is to remember where libraries came from in the beginning. They were about making literacy accessible to the masses, to a large population. That was for the US library system. It was an innovation at the time. Benjamin Franklin has a wealth of history around that.
  • [02:11:36.94] Well, Ann Arbor is a key basis of the knowledge economy. You probably about it more on campus than you need to hear about, because it's what you're working on all the time. And if you approach the library from an issue of equity and design for equity, you're going to maintain the cultural tradition of library systems.
  • [02:11:56.75] And so I would encourage that to be in your programming statement up front, and to make sure it has an engagement model for your library pretty much as you already described it. But it needs that articulation so that people can hold onto it and then manage all of their initiatives and programming against it.
  • [02:12:14.00] But if it just becomes about the knowledge economy for the people who already have the wealth and the knowledge and the access to resources, you've missed it, right? So that's my parting comment.
  • [02:12:24.79] LINH SONG: Thank you.
  • [02:12:25.28] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Thank you. I have to say, I always love that part of art fair, because that's where the nudist is. And this year, the nudist wasn't there. So thanks for that.
  • [02:12:42.12] ROBERT PIEPENBERG: My name is Robert Piepenberg. And I'm pretty excited tonight because I've learned a few things, like Library Lane I think is a fabulous concept and idea. I'd like to see that come through. But I'm really happy to see all this design talk, because I think design is what's going to make all the difference here.
  • [02:13:02.16] It's going to get the votes, it's going to arouse the people, and it's going to make for interesting aesthetic and personal experiences for us as community members to be part of this city. And I came up with a new saying tonight. My father always said to me that, if I had integrity, I would have happiness. He always said that to me.
  • [02:13:25.84] And tonight I think I have a new quote. I think if you have design, you're always going to have happiness. So if we get some great designs and center it around the library and bring in the community, I think we're going to have this thing working.
  • [02:13:43.26] JAMIE VANDER BROEK Thank you. Anyone else?
  • [02:13:55.77] PETER ALLEN: Let me just wrap up by saying--
  • [02:13:57.27] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: Encore, encore.
  • [02:13:58.83] PETER ALLEN: --we will be getting-- the students are now getting all the rules of the road and the nuts and bolts of the class and real estate and the complexities down. And they're working on their preliminary term project through early November. Two months from now we'll get very heavily into this whole block.
  • [02:14:18.30] We'll have 10 teams, about. Each team will be taking on a site. We'll be doing similar work to what you saw before. The more you could pull together by that early November, the more you can educate and get out of the class desirable outcomes that bracket your key issues. So we look forward to working with you closely.
  • [02:14:40.14] I look forward to you coming to class to hear the presentations in December, around the 13th. And I look forward to-- Josie, it's been a delight working with you. I look forward to working with more of the board members. And this could be very illuminating for the students and a illuminating for the community and all the stakeholders. Thanks again.
  • [02:15:07.80] JAMIE VANDER BROEK: OK. Well, this was fun. Thank you all so much for sticking it out all the way past those three announcements. Thanks for being with us tonight. And we're adjourned.
  • [02:15:16.51] JOSIE PARKER: Adjourned.
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September 17, 2018 at the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room

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AADL Board Meeting