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Ann Arbor Summer Festival - June 14 - July 7, 2013

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Ann Arbor Summer Festival logo​This summer, there won't be anything remotely woebegone about Ann Arbor, even though the Ann Arbor Summer Festival commences with Mr. Prairie Home Companion himself, Garrison Keillor, who kicks off the preliminaries on June 1st at Hill Auditorium. Mr. Keillor, by the way, has hinted in advance that he might serve his own recipe of rhubarb pie to all attendees - enough said!

Spanning June 14 to July 7, this 30th year of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival (which will soon have its own downloadable app) will showcase the usual lineup of world class bands on its main stage (Top of the Park), niche jazz bands like Preservation Hall and New Orleans Bingo, fusion Latino-Asian dance music from the likes of Pink Martini, and Malian blues from Amadou and Miriam.

Renowned nationally for its eclectic mishmash of art, music, hippiedom, and cultural innovation, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival makes others seem like child's play.

At this festival, mega stars of art and music venture along the fringe territories staked out by up-and-coming indie rock bands. Everybody sips a little something to combat the heat. The rain doesn't dare drop by. Children are welcome, but occasionally best left at home.

It's not every day that a troupe of men in ballet drag go on pointe (literally) and re-interpret Balanchine's “Swan Lake”. Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, world famous for precisely this reason, considers such feats all in a day's work. They will bring their testosterone, unreal flexibility, impeccable technique, and perfectly timed camp to Ann Arbor this summer - a first, to be sure, for both the troupe and the audience.

There will be plenty of rival movement to keep the Trockadero ballerinas on their toes: Les 7 Doigts de la Main, a Montreal circus troupe, makes its Ann Arbor Summer Festival debut. Mixing acrobatics, dance, and visual tricks, Les 7 Doigts (7 Fingers) is on the vanguard of modern nouveau-cirque. Performances are kid-friendly and tickets begin at $10.

Rounding out the selection of more typical, family-safe alternatives is “Tangle”. Scheduled to inhabit South Ingalls Mall, “Tangle” is an interactive, riotous romp through a maze of elastic, created entirely by kids right there on the spot.

There will also be free outdoor movies (this year a showing of Tom Hanks' “Big”), free live music shows, and tons of community programs. The festival's proximity to Ann Arbor's diverse restaurant scene in the downtown area is another plus.

At the Festival website, search for more info by acts, subjects, or genre, and purchase tickets as well. Sampler packages are available, with steeper discounts for the more shows purchased. Children under three are not permitted.

3744 Vicksburg, Howell, MI

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team


Wonderful upgraded Ranch Style Condo with 2 Car Attached Garage.  This unit is a Bayport II plus model located in the Villas of Oceola and build by Pulte Homes.  It is located on one of the most expensive premium lots that provides an elevated view of the scenic Golf course Fairways in the distance.  

  • Finished Walk Out Basement Upgrade
  • Over 3000 sq ft of total finished living space including lower level
  • Custom Book cases and full bath in Basement
  • High Efficient Water Heater and Furnace
  • Custom Blinds
  • Corian Counters
  • Stainless Steel Appliances
  • Study with French Doors
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 3 Baths
  • Cedar Deck with steps
  • Commanding elevated View of Golf Course in the Distance
  • 2 Car Attached Garage
  • Cathedral Ceilings
  • Gas Fireplace with Wall Switch
  • Oversize Maple Cabinets

Call for a Showing Appointment Today!

Click this link to view Howell Condo for sale.  You will find additional photos, mapping directions and more.  


3744 Vicksburg Way, Howell, Mi  condo, howell, tom,Stachler,real estate, one, for sale, property, michigan, golf,course, chemung, hills, country, club, pulte, homes, property

Ypsilanti: Depot Town Destrict and Expansion

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

In Ypsilanti, Michigan, the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is attempting to ensure the Depot Town district's continuity by expanding its boundaries. Formerly comprised of two separate DDA's, the more recent singular DDA has existed since 2009, owing to an Ypsilanti City Council Vote.

Properties from Huron Street to Pearl Street and Cross Street (used as mixed commercial and residential) would become part of the expanded district. The assumption, or hope, is that in lieu of decreasing property values within the current district, a larger district will generate higher revenue from the Depot Town Tax Increment Finance and Development Plan. However, Tim Colbeck, DDA Director, has stated the TIF wouldn't necessarily see expansion in conjunction with the district, but that the restructured district would serve “operational purposes”.

Colbeck noted that some businesses not presently within the district already receive benefits from the DDA. He went on to say these same businesses are eligible for Building Rehabilitation and Facade Grants (and other programs), benefits that will possibly increase when these businesses are officially absorbed into the district.

The TIF will continue to allow taxable value within designated DDA boundaries to generate tax revenue for the DDA, not the city of Ypsilanti. Often this revenue is crucial to ongoing improvement projects that raise property values, invigorate commercial traffic, and ultimately create more revenue.

2015 will see the expiration of the current Depot Town TIF plan. The succeeding plan, around which planning has entailed all of the aforementioned, will last until 2030. Requests for proposals have illuminated certain goals deemed central to the update process:

  • Keeping the gentrified feel of the downtown district intact
  • Maintaining district's cleanliness, quality of public services, diversity
  • Property upkeep
  • Regional connectivity and promotion of a friendly pedestrian environment
  • Residential and Commercial facilities with tech accessibility
  • Diverse housing, retail space, and commercial area
  • Multiple public transportation options
  • Job opportunities

Colbeck has stated job opportunities and investment in local economy are priorities of the update, which the DDA's Operations and Finance Committee will lead. Also on the Committee's immediate agenda: Hiring a consultant (by July) to help compose a long-term strategy. Two public meetings and a survey of the public's reactions, concerns, or complaints are to take place in the near future.

Arbor Hills Shopping Center

by Tom Stachler,ABR,CDPE - Group One Realty Team

Arbor Hills Shopping Center boasts an inspirational rise-from-the-ashes tale to rival the best Hollywood tearjerker. And this happy ending involves lots of love: love of shopping, that is. Calling all mall addicts, shopaholics, and those in dire need of retail therapy - the ultimate mall to trump all others is coming to Ann Arbor.

Slated to open this August, Arbor Hills is currently taking shape on 7.45 acres of land, on Washtenaw between Platt Road and Huron Parkway. Strategically located a stone's throw from Country Farm Park and a Whole Foods store, future Arbor Hills shoppers will potentially catch whiffs of fresh cut grass and organic nuts while perusing Dutch ovens at Sur la Table - talk about a unique mall ambiance.

The story of Arbor Hills Shopping Center began when developers first wanted to erect another such mall back in 2006. At that time, Ann Arbor City Council approved a site plan for The Shops at Arlington. But the economy conspired against them, and bad luck killed those dreams at once. Comerica Bank, the lender, longed to withdraw its bet in lieu of foreclosure and the unfinished deal sat on the table.

Along came Tom Stegeman, who formed a team with co-founder Max Reiswerg. The duo purchased the property for a cool $3 million, and promptly proposed the Arbor Hills idea. As it was significantly less extravagant than the original concept, the idea squashed several others submitted by competing development groups. Arbor Hills was born anew.

The grown up Arbor Hills Shopping Center will comprise four buildings spread out over a pristine, choreographed landscape. The mall is unique in that three of its buildings will be accessible by both car and the sidewalk, the latter designed with pedestrian needs in mind. Parking is scattered behind and close to all buildings, reducing walk time to and from vehicles and increasing convenience.

Tenants have already begun renting spaces; 15 leases have reportedly been signed to date. Confirmed tenants include the likes of Brooks' Brothers, The North Face, and Anthropologie - to name a few. Restaurants with outdoor patios have also been proposed. To accommodate the hoped-for rise in activity, a traffic light is to be installed at Platt Road's intersection. There will also be new sidewalks, bicycle spaces, and viewing platforms spanning restored wetlands.

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4