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Monday October 19, 2020
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City Guide

Burns Park


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Burns Park

Blocks of tree-canopied streets and well-tended classic old homes set around a historic park and school-as well as its location near both U-M's campus and downtown-make Burns Park one of the city's most desirable neighborhoods.

Northeast of the namesake park, the shady streets climb the gentle slopes of the area known as Ives Woods, which has one of the highest median household incomes in Ann Arbor. Even higher in income is the area north of Washtenaw, where eclectic homes on large, wooded lots, including some recent construction, dot the streets stretching east toward Huron Pkwy.

Burns Park includes the South University business district, home to the 18-story, 240-unit University Towers apartments-ugly to some, but home to Madonna back in the day. After it was built in the 1960s the city slapped a height limit on the area that lasted forty years. When it was finally lifted in the mid-2000s, developers quickly responded with new luxury student high-rises, including the 10-story Zaragon Place on East University, the 14-story Landmark, catercorner from U Towers, and the 13-story Arbor Blu, which rises above the Pizza House restaurant. The wave continues: the new 14-story Six11 midblock between East University and Church have joined Vic Village North and the now-approved Vic Village South.

Near Packard and Hill, older houses occupied by longtime residents mingle with large fraternity, sorority, and cooperative houses and student apartment buildings. More student rentals are sprinkled around Lower Burns Park (affectionately "LoBuPa") south and west of Packard, though zoning changes seek to halt any further advance. Adults predominate in the 262-unit Ann Arbor Woods apartments on E. Stadium.

Students from the immediate Burns Park area all go to Tappan Middle School, but then they split, with those north of Washtenaw going to Huron High and the rest to Pioneer. Students also are bused in to Burns Park from Arbor Pointe, with 280 apartments across from Washtenaw Community College, and the huge Glencoe Hills complex, whose 584 units extend from Washtenaw to Clark east of US-23. Students from these areas go on to Scarlett Middle School (except for a few living north of Clark who are in the Clague area) and to Huron High.

Bike lanes: Packard and Stadium (from Packard to Washtenaw) have marked bike lanes; Huron River Dr. has a sidewalk path.

Walking: Burns Park School has a walk score of 63 (walkscore.com). Part of the appeal of historic Burns Park lies in its proximity to the U-M-it's a hike in winter, but walkable from most places. The eastern part of the district is within walking distance of retail on Washtenaw or Stadium.



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