MLive.com, Walker, Mich.
ANN ARBOR, MI — A two-alarm fire caused “significant” damage to a Lower Town mixed-use development expected to welcome tenants as soon as mid-August.
A fire was reported on the third floor of the development at 12:35 p.m., Ann Arbor Fire Department Fire Chief Mike Kennedy said. Firefighters arrived to smoke showing.
“Buildings under construction are incredibly dangerous because all the normal systems that are supposed to be in place aren’t,” Kennedy said. “So this fire grew unchecked for a long time because we had to get all the way up to the third floor and then find it.”
The fire was found in an interior room on the third floor of the new development, Beekman on Broadway, 1200 Broadway St. in Ann Arbor. Fire suppression measures were not yet set up, like fire doors, a sprinkler system and a standpipe for crews to get water from within a building,
Kennedy said it took time to find the fire and then stretch “several hundred” feet of hose up to the room from outside. It took fire crews 40 minutes to set up and control the fire.
There were no injuries to construction crew members nor firefighters, Kennedy said.
He said there was “pretty significant” damage to the building, though he could not estimate the cost. The fire grew unchecked while the crews were setting up, causing water, fire and smoke damage on the third floor that could trickle down to the floors below.
“This is a huge building and the normal fire doors to compartmentalize weren’t there,” Kennedy said. “So, truly this is a worst case fire for us.”
The cause of the fire remains under investigation as of 2:45 p.m.
The 254-unit apartment building, nearing the end of its construction and development, was slated to welcome new tenants Aug. 15, according to its website. Beekman on Broadway apartment homes was set to have 32 unique floor plans offered in a variety of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments.
Rent for market-rate apartments begins was set to begin at $1,770 per month for studio apartments, while one-bedroom apartments range between $1,790 and $1,830 per month. Two-bedroom apartments, which range between 920 and 1,1149 square feet were expected to be leased for between $2,730 and $2,870 per month, with both one and two bathroom floor plans. Three-bedroom apartments were to be rented for $3,170 a month and include two bathrooms.
Another 15 apartments designated “workforce housing” start around $1,000 per month for renters who earn up to 60% of the Area Median Income.
The two-alarm fire brought in support from fire departments in Ann Arbor, Scio and Pittsfield townships and Saline. Ypsilanti Township responded to other calls in the city while Ann Arbor crews responded to this fire.
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