U-M to buy properties for housing project’s second phase


The university will move forward with a plan to acquire up to 49 properties near Central Campus as part of phase two of an effort to develop affordable, on-campus housing options for students in the coming years.

The Ann Arbor properties — located along South Division Street between East Madison and Hill streets, and along E. Madison and John streets between South Division and South Fifth Avenue — will be purchased from Regent Ronald Weiser, who also is a local real estate investor, at a total cost not to exceed $75 million. Funding for the purchases of the private properties will be provided from university reserves.

Map of properties being purchased for Central Campus housing

The cost of the properties will cover acquisition, closing costs, broker fees, and other costs related to the transaction of rental properties. Weiser will have no financial gain from the sale of the properties.

The Board of Regents authorized purchasing the properties needed for phase two at its May 18 meeting.

Regents adopted a resolution Feb. 16 as a step toward potentially exercising its eminent domain powers, so university representatives may negotiate to acquire any properties necessary to complete phase two, as much of that property is privately owned.

Of the 49 properties, five are not currently owned or under contract by Weiser. U-M has not initiated eminent domain proceedings on any of those properties at this time.

U-M intends to keep the approximately 300 beds currently provided by the properties active in the Ann Arbor housing market by honoring existing tenant contracts and continuing to lease to tenants until phase two is underway.

After the property ownership has transferred to the university, each property will be managed by a local property manager on behalf of the university.

Site work for phase one

In addition to the second phase of adding more student housing, phase one of building a new residential and dining facility will add 2,300 undergraduate beds and a 900-seat dining hall on Central Campus.

Regents approved the new housing and dining facility between East Hoover Avenue and Hill Street at their February board meeting.

The project, which originally planned to seek final budget approval in May, will now seek final approval in September to allow more time to finalize the design and complete the bidding process.

In order to keep the project on schedule, regents voted May 18 to continue site work that will begin this summer and not exceed $30 million. It will include drilling geothermal borings and ordering materials. All expenses will be rolled into the final project budget.

The university also will enter into a development agreement with American Campus Communities to manage the project and meet the proposed project schedule. The development agreement with ACC will be contingent on final board approval of the project budget in September.



  1. Nicholas Holterman
    on May 19, 2023 at 9:34 am

    How does Regent Weiser not benefit from the sale? Who receives the $75 mil. from the University? Will Weiser not reap any profit after his regency has ended?

  2. Benjamin Portelli
    on May 19, 2023 at 11:10 am

    I believe the university should focus on more important issues like staffing shortages or crazy tuition costs. Instead you are paying millions of dollars to your own regent in order to demolish normal off-campus housing and build more dorms as a way to scalp more money from students by eliminating competition. The current dorms are a terrible living situation, you even have to pay for the washing and drying machines despite paying thousands already which really shows the priorities.

  3. Lorraine Gutierrez
    on May 19, 2023 at 5:09 pm

    What are the plans for the land cleared on North Campus that was to be for new student housing? Northwood 1 – 3 were demolished and this took those beds off line for students. Are there still plans to put any student housing there?

  4. Susan Wineberg
    on May 20, 2023 at 9:03 am

    This purchase sweeps up the last house lived in by Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews before being captured and killed by the Soviets. He lived in Ann Arbor from 1931-1935 while getting his degree in Architecture from UM. He is recognized by the University with an annual Wallenberg Medal and Wallenberg Lecture.

  5. Austin Lan
    on May 22, 2023 at 1:35 pm

    Although I knew it was coming, it is quite saddening to hear. Many of these houses have been passed down year after year for band members to live in given the close proximity to Elbel Field. As a recent MMB member, I lived in one of these houses and it has been a band house for over 10 years and still is today. Pretty crazy huh? In fact, we even have a chat with most of the alumni of the house, and sort of have a homecoming event every year to meet up (and get drunk). It is pretty sad to see all these traditions and history at the different houses have to come to an end due to this new student housing development.

Leave a comment

Commenting is closed for this article. Please read our comment guidelines for more information.