Over the course of 2009 to 2012, the City of Ann Arbor constructed an underground parking structure in the block between Fifth, Division, William, and Liberty Streets. The underground structure, called "Library Lane", replaced a surface lot generally called "the library lot", both names due to the site's adjacency to the downtown branch of the Ann Arbor District Library.

The parking structure extends 4 stories underground, contains 711 parking spaces, and cost approximately $50 million to construct. The area on top of the structure, at street level, currently has 52 parking spaces and some greenscaping. Its future is undetermined and a matter of some contention, with a group called the Library Green Conservancy pressing to convert all or most of the surface area into a park, objecting to the city council's and DDA's proposal to make the area available for tax-paying development. The Conservancy generally dismisses the idea that the Diag plays the role of "central park" for downtown Ann Arbor, saying that University ownership makes it a "less public" space.

The Central entrance to the Library Lane Parking Structure in June 2013. The EV charging stations at the Library Lane Parking Structure in June 2013.

More information

The City is seeking creative proposals for the development of an approximate 1.2 acre lot owned by the City. The site is located at 319 S. Fifth Avenue, within the Downtown Development Authority District.

RFPs: http://a2docs.org/doc/108/

In the news

Under terms of the settlement signed on Monday, the city has agreed to comply substantively with a request that one of the plaintiffs – The Great Lakes Environmental Law Center – had originally made over two months before the lawsuit was filed. That request was to conduct a study of environmental impacts associated with construction of the new underground parking structure, which is being built by the Downtown Development Authority.

News references

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