Downtown Ann Arbor is really the convergence of several historic commercial streets that create a small rectangle just west of the University of Michigan (i.e. Main Street, Huron, State, and Liberty Streets). Each one of these streets has a slight different character but all have great urban form and mixed-use development. One can easily argue that Downtown spills out a block beyond these streets as dense mixed-use development continues into adjacent urban neighborhoods and newer, more dense development has sprung up. Ashley, William, and Ann streets all have segments that feel increasingly as part of Downtown.
Downtown Ann Arbor captures the inputs of a large college town, burgeoning economy and growing MSA into a vibrant and compact urban environment. It shows that you can create a wonderful urban environment with a mix of low-rise and medium rise buildings as long as you have consistant mix-use buildings. Downtown also stiches together so well to the University of Michigan and other attractive urban districts (Old 4th Ward, Old West Side, Kerrytown, Germantown, and Burns Park) creating a pretty seamless urban environment.
* Great mixed use environment.
* Vibrant, lots of people on the streets.
* Great cultural amenities including many restaurants, bars, cafes, a couple movie theaters, and several museums.
* Great architecture including many historic properties and quality urban infill.
* Very bike friendly and walkable environment.
* Very dense environment- about 20K per square mile.
* Not a huge jobs center.
* Only a couple walkable schools.
* Park space is limited.
* Housing is expensive