This development was announced back in 2014 but I’m happy to report we should start seeing visible signs of progress any day now. Located at 210-216 S. 4th Ave in what has most recently been known as the Town Center Plaza, owners David Ebner and Joe Barbat of Barbat Holdings, LLC are planning 33 condominiums in a completely renovated and expanded building coined Montgomery Houze.
This is one of those developments that it’s hard to find too much fault in. The building was long ago the victim of a bad corrugated metal facade and the new renderings show a masonry exterior much more reminiscent of the original building, once home to Montgomery Ward’s.
The original Montgomery Ward & Co circa 1925. The building was later expanded with another bay to the south where Bandito’s is now.
The Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase leases the basement space in the building and Bandito’s Mexican Restaurant will remain. There will be 2-3 new retail spaces. The condos range in size from Studios to 3 Bedrooms and there is no on-site parking.
I’m told interior work is currently ongoing and exterior work should begin soon. The building was originally planned to be apartments or a mix of condos and apartments but the hot sales of condos in projects like The Mark, 121 Kingsley West and 414 N Main convinced the developers to pursue an all condominium strategy.
Barbat has been busy opening a couple other “Houze” developments in Detroit, the Regis Houze and the new Briggs Houze. From what I can tell these projects appears to be excellent adaptive reuses of historic buildings, I wish them the best of luck both in Detroit and here in Ann Arbor. As a bonus, local architect Brad Moore is behind the design at Montgomery.
I personally think 4th Avenue has a ton of potential and this project is an excellent step in the right direction. Formerly a red light district of sorts, 4th offers less expensive retail rents as compared to Main Street or even Liberty but has great character and some unique local businesses. If Habitat builds on the old Y lot and the city goes through with a plan to put a retail business incubator in the ground floor the 4th and William Garage, we’ll only see greater things coming to this street.