City Hall (File photo)

CITYWIDE — Only one of the 14 completed developments reviewed by city officials is not honoring its contract with City Hall.

Agensys, which works to develop new cancer therapies, has too many commuters driving to its 1800 Stewart St. campus, according to a recent report from City Hall.

The project was finished a year ago with a requirement that there should be an average of 1.6 workers for every car coming to Agensys.

To improve vehicle ridership numbers, companies can provide incentives to employees who bike, carpool, or take public transit.

As of August, they were averaging 1.26 riders per vehicle, or 126 workers for every 100 vehicles.

For other developments, like Saint John’s Health Center or the Colorado Center, improved ridership is a goal, not a requirement. Those contracts demand developers implement measures to reduce traffic but they don’t demand results. Both of those developments are currently falling short of their goals, city officials said.

Agensys dropped $90,000 on bike and transit improvements to the area but they were not required to build a bike path through the property as bike advocates initially pushed for.

The company will propose modifications to its current plan for traffic reduction. Agensys’ ridership will be evaluated again next summer.

Agensys did not respond to requests for comment.




City officials consider the Edgemar Center for the Arts to be in compliance although they do mention several issues that came up last year.

Brick + Mortar, a restaurant within the complex, has gotten in trouble a few times for operating as a bar. The restaurant is a known gathering place during University of Michigan football games.

Nearby residents filed noise complaints and say the space operates as a nightclub.

Code Enforcement made four visits in December and found that Brick + Mortar was following all the rules.

Jeff Gilbert, who lives adjacent to Edgemar on Second Street, questions the finding.

“That could not be more ridiculous,” he wrote in an e-mail. “They are definitely NOT in compliance at all.”

Last Sunday, one of his neighbors took a video of a “disco” going on at the restaurant, he said. The fact that by his estimate 20 percent of the restaurant is taken up by a bar speaks to his belief that it is a nightclub.

“To hear (City Hall say) they are compliant is outrageous and the neighborhood will be very disappointed when they find out,” he said.

Last year, neighboring residents argued that numerous promises have been broken on the Edgemar property.

They pointed to Brick + Mortar and also to two studios meant to be live-work spaces for artists.

Currently one space is occupied by the owner of both a graphic design business and an online consignment store. The Planning Commission interprets the graphic design business as art, city officials said, and the resident is allowed to operate both businesses from the space. The other studio is also occupied by graphic designers and is therefore in compliance, city officials said.


The Dorchester


The 42-unit Dorchester House, which was built in 1982, was supposed to have 15 condominiums set aside for low and moderate income tenants. In 2010 it was discovered that the requirements weren’t being enforced and that some of the owners were living there.

As of last check, nine of the owners are in compliance, city officials said. Three have or are about to enter settlement agreements with City Hall. Another two units have been submitted to the City Attorney’s office.


Saint John’s Health Center


Saint John’s is currently in compliance but its parking situation is being reviewed by City Hall. In March, the hospital lost its agreement with the Colorado Center (formerly known as the Yahoo! Center), which had been supplying 450 parking spaces.

City Hall required the hospital to make up the loss, which they did by renting a bunch or surface lots in the area and adding 83 new spots to the hospital property.

Even with the additional spaces, the hospital is down 215 spaces from its previous set up. City officials required the hospital to perform a parking study, which they submitted on Jan. 8.

The study looks at various aspects of parking at the hospital including availability, accessibility and affordability.

City officials are reviewing the study and expect to make a determination by March.

In 1998, the hospital promised to build a $25-million parking garage but they did not. The Colorado Center parking agreement had allowed the hospital to avoid building the garage.

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