Smaller ranch homes abound on the flat, quiet streets of Ann Arbor’s relatively affordable and family-friendly Abbot neighborhood on the northwest side. North and west of M–14, newer rural residential development mixes with farmland between Wagner and Zeeb; these Scio Township lots are typically big enough to require a riding lawn mower.

Around the school itself, the Hollywood Park subdivision is conveniently close to highway access ramps and the commercial strip along Maple and Stadium, which includes two groceries: upscale Plum Market and discount ALDI. A major apartment complex, 328-unit Arbor Landings, is discreetly tucked away off Dexter Rd. west of Maple. At its westernmost point, Abbot’s district dips south of Jackson Ave. to take in most of the Scio Farms manufactured home community (a few blocks in this community are assigned to Haisley School).

Abbot students graduate to Forsythe Middle School and Skyline High.

Bike lanes: Maple, Dexter Rd., and Miller are all major arterial streets with bike lanes. Portions of Jackson Ave. have bike lanes.

Walking: Abbot School has a Walk Score of 50. Walking on Maple to shopping is possible, but Dexter Rd. has no sidewalks and is dangerous for pedestrians.

Park & Ride: 2901 Miller (just west of M–14)


Allen Elementary serves varied neighborhoods of sturdy brick ranches, colonials, and tri-levels on the east and southeast sides of the city. Allen School itself lies behind historic Cobblestone Farm and year-round city recreation favorite Buhr Park, which features a swimming pool, outdoor ice rink, barn with farm animals, and sports fields. Many small ranches here were built in the 1950s as the area was hooked up to Ann Arbor water and sewer services.

The single-family neighborhoods north of Washtenaw have a split personality: Unpaved streets and large, wooded lots give the homes on Chalmers and Woodland a country feel, in contrast to the bigger, newer houses of the Woodcreek subdivision. The same contrast is visible north along the river, where tract mansions tower over the smaller, architect-designed homes of the Thornoaks sub, which Pittsfield Twp. designated as a Local Historic District in 2018 to preserve its unique mid-century modern charm. South of Michigan Ave. is the Hickory Pointe subdivision with 65 homes, 5 parks, and a swim club. Just north, at Platt and Textile, sit the 60 attached multifamily condominiums and 104 detached single-family homes of the Pittsfield Glen Estates subdivision.

The Allen district includes the ranch-style 103-unit Carleton Court apartments at Packard and Platt. Students also are bused in from 3 huge rental complexes south of I–94: the 582-unit Pines of Cloverlane and 440-unit Hamptons of Cloverlane, both off Michigan Ave., and the 609-unit University Townhouses co-op off Ellsworth. Another source of affordable housing is Creekside Court on the east side of Platt south of Packard. A new mixed-income community, the Veridian at County Farm, is currently taking reservations for homes; powered by solar, it will be one of the nation’s first mixed-income net-zero energy communities, and a third of the landscape will be dedicated to food production, along with a local farm store.

Depending on their neighborhood, Allen grads go on to Scarlett or Tappan, and from there to Huron or Pioneer.

Bike lanes: Platt, Packard, and Stone School Rd. have bike lanes. Washtenaw Ave. has an off-street path.

Walking: Allen School has a Walk Score of 32. The Woodcreek subdivision area is close to Arborland area shopping, with groceries and more, but many areas are not within walking distance of retail.

Park & Ride: 4125 Washtenaw Ave.


Homes served by Angell School range from fraternities and student apartments near the U-M campus to exclusive homes to the north and east, including residences of prominent university and medical school faculty. Bordering on the 123-acre Nichols Arboretum, a wooded natural area sloping down to the Huron River, Angell in its northern reaches is parklike itself. The riverside areas are among the city’s most expensive neighborhoods, with stately mansions and large, secluded homes.

East of the Arb, the streets north of Geddes are lined with one-of-a-kind homes from the decades on either side of World War II. Perched on the slopes overlooking the river are newer custom-built houses, many in mid-century modern styles. Many are architectural showpieces—including the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Palmer House on Orchard Hills Dr., where you can stay overnight. South of Geddes are the winding, wooded streets of another top-dollar neighborhood, Ann Arbor Hills, also with many custom designed homes.

The Angell district reaches north of the river to include the modernist 360-unit Huron Towers, built in 1960 and constructed using the then-new lift-slab system devised by U-M architecture prof Philip Youtz, and U-M family housing on North Campus, except for Northwood V. Bordering North Campus is University Commons, consisting of 92 condos independently owned by residents, who are at least 55 years old and many of whom are retired university faculty or staff. Children also are bused in from the huge 598-unit Golfside Lake apartment complex east of US–23.

Angell grads go on to Tappan and Scarlett middle schools and meet up again at Huron High.

Bike lanes: Geddes and Hill have bike paths. Campus areas are well supplied with bike infrastructure.

Walking: Angell School has a Walk Score of 75, and many parts of the neighborhood are within walking distance of shopping on South University.


With their porch swings and bountiful front-yard gardens, the homes of the city’s Old West Side—just a short walk from downtown—welcome passersby to the heart of the Bach Elementary area, which boasts 13 historic districts within its borders. Most homes are small Victorians originally built by 19th-century German workmen. Many have been painstakingly restored. In exchange for some of the highest prices per square foot in the city, buyers get shady streets, houses with character, and a fabulous location.

Also served by Bach School (Ann Arborites say “Bah”) are the neighborhoods around downtown and the U-M campus, including the Old Fourth Ward Historic District. Increasingly gentrified, with rehabbed single-family homes as well as new homes and a rapidly growing collection of luxury condominiums, the area is also home to well-worn student rentals.

North of Miller, homes are set close to the sidewalk on narrow lots, with porch sitters, bike riders, and kids playing on the sidewalk. Long economically and racially mixed, this neighborhood has become less diverse as prices rise, but rentals remain available. Nestled in a valley between Huron and Miller, West Park has a softball diamond, basketball court, and tennis courts, and its paths provide a bucolic alternative to busy Huron St. for west-side walkers. 

Farther south, single-family bungalows, small ranches, and a few story-and-a-halfs (most built after World War II) thread outward from Allmendinger Park, with its softball diamonds, playground, tennis and basketball courts, and picnic facilities. Lilacs line its perimeter.

To the east, Bach extends through the downtown all the way to the U-M Diag. The red-brick buildings of 207-unit Nob Hill, the old-timer among the area’s apartment complexes, fit comfortably into the neighborhood’s southern edge. Bordering the Old West Side and downtown sit the 68-unit Liberty Lofts condos, a tasteful conversion of a former auto parts plant. 

Downtown student apartments are well represented here and are steadily creeping west, with the 99-unit Z West on William and Sterling, the 96-unit Varsity on E. Washington, the 210-unit Foundry Lofts and the 124-unit Hub north of Huron, and the Standard at S. Main and Packard. The 155-unit Ann Arbor City Club Apartments at Washington and First and the 164 units at 618 S. Main across from the Yard are unusual in marketing their luxury units to a broader demographic. At 111 N. Ashley, the 99-unit Ashley Terrace includes luxury penthouse condos. On S. Main is Ashley Mews, which has condos modeled after traditional brownstones, a central courtyard, and underground parking. 41-unit Montgomery Houze’s luxury apartments opened in 2021, and the 19-unit Gallery, with a mix of 2- and 3-bedroom residences and a penthouse, was completed in 2022. Many apartments and condos in this area are also still in the works, including a 7-unit boutique condo building at 212 Miller, expected to break ground in late 2023; 330 Detroit Street, which will sit on a triangular block formed by Detroit St., Fifth Ave., and Catherine, and is currently taking reservations for its 15 luxury condos; and 120 luxury apartments promised for the high-rise on S. Main vacated by DTE Energy.

At 26 stories, the Tower Plaza condominium on William and Maynard is Ann Arbor’s tallest building—and seems certain to remain so, since the city has height limits for new construction. But smaller buildings abound. To the north, a cluster of infill condos includes 121 Kingsley West and units at 218 W. Kingsley, 410 N. First, and 309 N. Ashley. Some larger units in the area have topped $1 million. Bach School also serves the triangle bounded by S. Main, Eisenhower, and Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. Residents of the 306-unit Woodland Mews flats and townhouses (which include both owner-occupied condos and rental units) can walk to Busch’s supermarket and Whole Foods—or to a game at U-M’s soccer stadium.

Most Bach kids go on to Slauson, but some on the northern edge of the district can choose Forsythe. Bach kids who live north of Huron attend Skyline High, while all the rest go to Pioneer.

Bike lanes: The city’s protected bike lane on William connects the west side with the university. On the west side, Liberty has a bike lane, Seventh has one northbound (the Bach side), and wide Washington is a suggested route.

Walking: Bach School’s Walk Score is 86, and that’s probably one of the lower scores in the neighborhood. Downtown residents are just a few minutes’ walk from the Farmers Market, the People’s Food Co-op, Zingerman’s Deli, and Kerrytown Market & Shops, and almost every corner of this neighborhood has retail nearby.

Park & Ride: 601 W. Stadium (Pioneer High School)


Bryant and Pattengill are paired elementary schools in two south-side neighborhoods. The area around Bryant, serving kindergarten through grade 2, offers some of the city’s least expensive housing with small ranch homes and multifamily complexes; homes are bigger and more expensive near Pattengill, where kids in both districts go for grades 3–5.

The neighborhoods off Packard include streets of modest and some larger homes, plus apartment and condo complexes, including the affordable Pattengill Condos and the 249 luxury apartments in The George. The area surrounding Pattengill, once prime farmland, was built up after World War II. Kimberly Hills, south of Independence, has newer and bigger homes, some on dirt roads left over from a previous township “island.” Southwest of Packard, moderately priced houses built in the 1940s and 1950s are mixed with apartments.

The subdivisions near and south of Eisenhower are slightly more affluent. Tri-levels, ranches, colonials, and Cape Cods sit along winding streets. Georgetown, west of Stone School Rd., has a semi-private golf course, private pool, and tennis courts.

South of the interchange of Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. and I–94 in Pittsfield Township, newer single-family housing predominates in a maze of twisting streets behind the Oak Valley and Waters Place shopping centers. Subs here include Briar Hill, Lake Forest, Lake Forest Highlands, the Pines at Lake Forest, and the Villas at Bella Vista, and there are condos within the Estates at Bella Vista.

South of Ellsworth are the winding roads of the huge Stonebridge golf course subdivision and nearby smaller subs, with stately executive homes and detached condominiums in a large area that’s divided between the Ann Arbor and Saline school districts.

Multifamily housing is also abundant. Small apartment buildings line Packard and E. Stadium. Midsize complexes along Packard include Mulberry Row (120 units), Pine Valley (164 units), Homestead Commons (112 units), and the upscale 134-unit Ponds at Georgetown. Spruce Knob, just to the south off Stone School Rd., adds 168 units. Woodbury Gardens, off Stadium at South Industrial, is one of the city’s biggest rental complexes, with 538 units; Arbor Village, behind St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, has 237. Yet more apartments are available at the five complexes in the Briarwood mall area—The Emerson and Briar Cove south of Eisenhower, ReNew, Hidden Valley Club, and the Villas at Main Street to the north.

Condos and co-ops include the 306 affordable townhouses of Forest Hills Cooperative on Ellsworth, the 76-unit Cloverly Village at Ellsworth and Stone School Rd., the 116-unit Georgetown Commons, and a trio of complexes off Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. south of I–94: Heatherwood with 188 2- and 3-bedroom ranches; and Oak Meadows and Weatherstone, each with more than 300 mid-priced units.

All the kids in Bryant-Pattengill go on to Tappan and Pioneer.

Bike lanes: Packard, E. Stadium, South Industrial, S. State, and Stone School Rd. have bike lanes; cyclists use sidewalks on Eisenhower.

Walking: Bryant School has a Walk Score of 21 and Pattengill School has a Walk Score of 37. Homes in the southwestern part of the district are close to shopping on Ann Arbor–Saline Rd. and Eisenhower, but for the most part, this area features residential subdivisions far from retail.

Park & Rides: 2250 S. State (U-M Varsity Tennis Center), 2694 S. State (State Street Commuter Lot)

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 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. Starting in the mid-2000s, developers began creating new luxury student high-rises, including the 10-story Z Place on East University, the 14-story Landmark catercorner from U Towers, and the 13-story Sterling Arbor Blu, which rises above the Pizza House restaurant. The 12-story Vic Village North and the 14-story Six11 were built most recently, and construction on 13-story Vic Village South began in early 2022.

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; 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 Ave. 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 Ave. 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. 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 Ave. or Stadium.


Carpenter Elementary serves two areas of northeast Pittsfield Township, an area long popular for its affordable homes and semi-rural setting. Carpenter grads go on to Scarlett Middle School and Huron High.

The small frame and ranch houses in the original Carpenter School neighborhood were built around World War II. Several generations live on these quiet, flat streets, laid out in a grid between Packard and Washtenaw Ave. Stretches of condos, townhouses, and single-family homes spread along the south side of Packard and in the Arbor Woods subdivision. An older neighborhood of connected shady streets lies west of Golfside.

Children along Christina and adjoining streets north of Morgan are bused to Carpenter. So are those in an area between Crane and Golfside along and south of Textile, in the far southeast corner of the school district. South of Ellsworth and west of US–23, where the Carpenter area stretches south of Michigan Ave., subdivisions alternate with individual homes among acres of surviving farmland. The Estates at Pittsfield Glen, with entrances on Platt and Textile, offer newer, single-family homes within a subdivision. Wellesley Gardens, on Michigan Ave. just west of US–23, has 426 condos, lofts, and townhouses; the Arbor Knoll apartments are next door. To the west, on Stone School Rd. south of Ellsworth, are the 200 “upper and lower ranches” of the Woodside Meadows condominium.

Bike lanes: Packard has an east-west bike lane running from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti. E. Huron River Dr. and a portion of Hogback also have bike lanes.

Walking: Carpenter Elementary’s Walk Score is 60. The southwestern parts of the neighborhood are within walking distance of shopping at Carpenter and Packard.

Park & Rides: 3825 Carpenter, Ypsilanti (Meijer), 220 Pearl, Ypsilanti (Ypsilanti Transit Center)


Dicken is a west-side family neighborhood with shady streets and classic suburban-style 1- and 2-story homes. It includes Dicken Woods, a nature area behind the elementary school that was saved from development by neighbors and is now the site of school and community nature programs.

Small parks are sprinkled throughout the area. Mushroom Park is known for its comical ceramic fungi; Las Vegas Park has a soccer field and playground; and Greenview Park, on the west side of Seventh St., provides a natural retreat for dog walkers and picnickers.

On former croplands southwest of I–94 and north of Scio Church Rd., the Ravines and Meadowinds subdivisions went up at the turn of the century; they have amenities like tennis courts and playgrounds. Also north off Scio Church Rd. near Maple, the 76-unit luxury Kensington Woods condominium community forms one sweeping circle. West of Upland Dr., the 1990s-era Uplands offer slightly larger brick and wood residences, often with decks.

Kids are bused to Dicken from the Arbor Club Apartments off Scio Ridge. Closer to the school are Surrey Park, with 176 ranch-style prefab units, and the older, 312-unit Park Place.

Dicken students go on to attend Slauson Middle School and Pioneer High School.

Bike lanes: Neighborhood arteries including W. Stadium, Scio Church Rd., and W. Liberty all have marked bike lanes. Pauline and S. Seventh have buffered bike lanes.

Walking: Dicken School’s Walk Score is 34. Homes north of there, as well as the Surrey Park, Park Place, Summit View, Walden Hills, and Walden Village complexes are close to shopping centers, restaurants, gas stations, and the many stores along Maple and Stadium.

Park & Ride: 601 W. Stadium (Pioneer High School)