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178-Unit Housing Layout To Cover 65-Acre Tract

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178-Unit Housing Layout To Cover 65-Acre Tract

Park Will Surround Home Development, Detroit Builder Says

By Jack Lewis (News Building Editor)

Ann Arbor's east side is slatted to get a 178-house, $4,000,000 subdivision which will surround a three-acre-plus park.  A swimming pool, spray pool, bath house and other facilities, which will be jointly owned by buyers of subdivision homes, will be adjacent to the park.

The 65-acre subdivision site is just east of Pittsfield Village and is roughly north of Packard, south of Washtenaw Rds and just east of Whitewood Ave.

Announcement that subdivision development is underway was made today by Bert L. Smokler, a Detroit builder and owner of a firm by that name which developed Hickory Hills Subdivision in Ypsilanti township and has done other area home building work.

Plans Outlined

Smokler said his firm is developing a $50,000 private recreational center within the subdivision, with a 1,800-square foot swimming pool, which is to be given to subdivision owners.  They will presumably operate the recreational center, under a committee setup, after the subdivision is mostly or fully developed.  In the interim the recreation center will be operated by the Smokler firm with lifeguards in attendance it was announced.

Smokler has deeded to the city a three-acre-plus park which is to be completed and maintained by the Parks Department.  A creek, called Swift Run, courses through the park and will be kept in its natural state, a Parks Department spokesman said.  Swift Run will be an open waterway for about 1,000 feet before it reaches the park.  The creek banks are to be developed by the Smokler firm.

It will erect bi-level, tri-level and ranch houses in the subdivision, which is yet to be named.  The houses will contain three and four bedrooms, some with 1 1/2 baths and garages, and each will sell for between $15,7000 and $20,000.

The houses will be on one-third and one-quarter acre lots, and will front on winding streets, according to Smokler.  The lots overlook rolling, wooded areas and creek.

Model Houses Built

Six model houses of the type to be offered in the subdivision are being or will be built for showing to the public in March or early April, Smokler said.  He plans to complete the swimming pool and recreational center for spring and operate it for families inspecting the building progress of their new subdivision homes on weekends.

The Smokler firm bought the subdivision property from the Noble-Haab Corp. of Ann Arbor following a survey of 200 Ann Arbor residents.  The survey, which was conducted under the direction of Aaron Blumberg of Detroit, sought answers to questions on housing space requirements, kitchen features, exterior features, as examples.

"Designs, traffic patterns, floor plans of houses and the general layout of the (subdivision) are all based on the findings of the survey," Smokler said.

The subdivision is adjacent to a shopping center and near two elementary schools.

The Smokler firm is one of 20 of the country's largest home builders.