If you have ever wondered if Ann Arbor was more than a small, pretty town anchored by the University of Michigan, a recent article by Tom Walsh in the Detroit Free Press set the record straight. Far more than being the temporary academic home for 41,000 students, the town’s permanent residents include big names in business, industry, and politics as well as education. In addition, the economy of Ann Arbor is becoming ever more diverse, so it can attract the type of young talent that passes through the University.
For those “in the know,” the place to call home in southeast Michigan is Ann Arbor . We’ve recently pointed out a number of reasons why people of all walks of life enjoy living here, but the number of affluential (and influential!) people and companies choosing our city may come as a surprise.
Proximity to the University of Michigan plays a role in this influx. According to Lou Glazer, president of the Michigan Future think tank, 80% of all jobs being created in the US economy are knowledge jobs – those that require higher education and skill levels. “If place matters, and it does, in attracting talented young professionals, Ann Arbor is the leading edge of such places in the state,” Glazer said. Of course, Ann Arbor offers a lot more than just the UM connection, but it’s an important one.
A new academic year is upon us, and with it, thousands of University of Michigan students are returning to Ann Arbor. And returning students means an increased need for housing. In this two-part blog, we’ll look at two different scenarios which could conceivably affect you, as a homeowner.
First, consider this statement: I’m a homeowner, who’s thinking of renting a room in my home.
Does this describe you? If so, you probably have at least one extra bedroom (or more), and are willing to share other areas of your home (like the kitchen and living room) in order to bring in some extra money. It’s a common practice, especially in cities like ours with major universities, and can provide a host of benefits in addition to the income boost. You should be aware, however, of the fact that there are laws pertaining to the ways in which you advertise and interview for possible boarders in your home.
Allen Creek is the site of the first settlement in Ann Arbor, and it still runs through the city’s west side. The creek was named for Ann Arbor’s co-founder, John Allen, in 1824. The main branch of Allen Creek runs northward roughly parallel to the Ann Arbor Railroad tracks, starting at Pioneer High and flowing into the Huron River just below Argo Dam. Near the creek lies Allen Creek Condominiums. Built in 1988, the cozy complex features two decks, walk-out lower levels, fireplaces, and garage parking.
In 1846, William Maynard laid out the first section of the Old West Side, from First to Fourth Streets. When Ann Arbor began developing in the 1850s, many businesses were located along Allen Creek. Four tanneries on the creek used its water to soak cowhides, and pelts of wild animals trapped in the surrounding forests. A foundry (located at the current site of the Y on Huron Street) used the creek for its sand casting. And two breweries used the creek water to cool their beer.
Also near the Allen Creek Condominiums is Eberwhite Woods, a 29-acre forest situated between Liberty, Dartmoor, Soule, and Arbordale streets. The woods is owned by the Ann Arbor Public Schools, and is open to the public. The woods are a unique environment, a remnant of a native oak-hickory forest which has never been clear-cut. A wide variety of wildflowers, including some state-threatened species such as goldenseal, can be found in the woods.
The city of Ann Arbor is becoming a magnet for awards and recognition from various sources. The American Institute for Economic Research (AIER) recently named Ann Arbor to its list of country’s 75 Best College Towns and Cities for college students. Ann Arbor ranks #2 (of 20) among small cities (those with populations of 250,000 to one million residents) on the AIER’s College Destination Index. That ranking is up from #3 last year.
The Institute looks past the most frequently used factors in choosing a college, including the schools themselves, costs, academics, and athletic programs. Their criteria analyze other less used but equally important variables. Rather than focusing on the schools themselves, the AIER looked at the types of opportunities – social and economic – which are available to students and graduates in the cities themselves.