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Plans Finalized for UM-Dearborn Student Housing

A groundbreaking ceremony for The Union at Dearborn will be held at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24.

Dearborn, prepare to welcome 500 new residents to the city in 2013.

Plans to add a student housing option for the University of Michigan-Dearborn students have been finalized, the university confirmed Tuesday.

The Union at Dearborn—located in the former Ford Land buildings at 760 and 780 Town Center Drive across from the campus—is set to open next fall. The $30 million Urban Campus Communities development will include apartments for more than 500 students.

And 500 new residents for the city who will eat, drink and shop in nearby businesses.

“This is such an exciting development for the City of Dearborn,” said Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly in a statement. “We are thrilled that UM-Dearborn students soon will be able to call Dearborn home throughout the year and we look forward to welcoming them to our community.”

The 231,791 square-foot buildings that will be built on the property will be marketed to UM-Dearborn students and will feature space leased by the university for student life activities—including meeting rooms, student gathering spaces, group study rooms, offices for student organizations and a cabaret-style theater.

A public groundbreaking and community celebration will be held on site on Monday, Sept. 24, at 3 p.m.  

UM-Dearborn Chancellor Daniel Little lauded the development as a win-win for students and the university, which is partnering with UCC, the sole funder of the development.

“Our students have expressed an interest in housing for many years, so we are pleased that this development allows students the opportunity of adjacent housing to enhance their university experience,” Little said. “With the reduction of state funding and our commitment to minimizing tuition increases, this public-private collaboration will allow the university to continue to invest in its academic mission, while transforming the campus experience for all students.”

Purchase of the property by UCC from Ford Land was finalized Sept. 13. Formerly, the buildings had been used as office space for Ford business, but have been vacant for some time.

“We are proud to be a part of this effort and to see these buildings being reused to serve both the community and student body,” said Donna Inch, Ford Land chairman and CEO. “The level of teamwork and dedication from everyone involved in this project has been impressive.”

“We are excited to be redeveloping this property in Dearborn, in collaboration with UM-Dearborn,” added Larry Winokur, managing member of UCC. “The Union at Dearborn is a great example of how successful public-private collaborations can work to enhance a community and bring new residents into the city."

National student housing group Asset Campus Housing will manage the property. Room styles will include fully furnished studios, two, three, and four-bedroom options. Final lease arrangements and rental rates will be available in the coming weeks. The facility will feature public laundry on each floor, as well as fitness and collaboration areas.

Additional information will be released as it becomes available at www.unionatdearborn.com.

More: A history of UM-Dearborn campus housing, as well as photos of The Union at Dearborn plans, can be found on student publication The Michigan Journal's website.

DG September 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM
How about another parking structure near the CASL building? :( Before this comment gets torn to shreds, I understand the ridiculous difficulties, logistics, and cost that would have to go in to another structure. I'm pleased that future incoming students will have a close place to campus to call home, but the rest of the students who don't live across the street still need somewhere to park.
Kamal Makki September 18, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Parking at CASL is a joke, the university admitted an additional 3000-5000 students this year but did nothing to ease parking. Before anyone says use the parking garage, i want to point out that it is on the other side of campus and not feasable, it seems as if the university is more concerened about money than student neeeds,
City of Dearborn (Editor) September 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM
What does everyone think this is going to mean for the city of Dearborn? Do you think it will help local businesses?
Kent Gartner September 18, 2012 at 10:54 PM
I think this is good for the school and the mall area. For the city only time will tell, there are many bars and other places that could be revived based on new clients for sure.
Dearborn Taxpayer September 19, 2012 at 11:22 AM
Will this development have tax-exempt status? It seems like this property is moving from a private owner (i.e. Ford Land) who currently pays property taxes to a public, tax-exempt institution (UM-D) that will be tax-exempt andwon't have to pay property taxes on the development. Who pays the public investment (e.g. increased water, sewer lines, road improvements primarily for increased vehicle and pedistrian traffic) and on-going police and fire protection that will be required for this site? Will UM-D make payments to the city in lieu of property taxes for these services? We need answers to these questions before we can say whether this is good or bad for Dearborn taxpayers. I like the idea but UM-D, not city taxpayers should be paying their "fair share" to support this development.
City of Dearborn (Editor) September 19, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Actually, Urban Campus Communities purchased and owns the properties. UM-Dearborn is only involved as a partner as an effort to inform students and get them interested in student housing. Sorry if that wasn't made clear enough in the original article! However, I can't comment on UCC's tax status. I would assume they are not tax exempt, but that's a good question.

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