Pinball Pete’s in Ann Arbor is Set for Demolition To Build New High Rise
For 40 years, Pinball Pete's has been a staple in Ann Arbor. It's now brought fun and entertainment to multiple generations of students and families that come through the city, and serves as a fun callback to simpler times, when a bucket of quarters was all you needed for a great time with your friends.
But now, that legacy is in danger, as it was announced this past week that Pinball Pete's is likely doomed to close, and be demolished for more development in downtown Ann Arbor.
The arcade has called South U home for more than 40 years, and has been in its current location since the 1990s. Since moving, the area has been developed around it, adding a Starbucks, Pancheros Mexican Grill, post office, U of M's Program on Intergroup Relations, and an Amazon Hub to the block.
It also happens to be right between two popular bars with students at U of M - the Brown Jug, and the Blue Leprechaun. So as you can imagine, not only is it a fun place to go after having a few drinks with your friends, but could also be a sober alternative to students who maybe didn't want to have alcohol, or drove their friends to the bar.
Sadly, it seems, the entire block is now doomed, as is the surrounding area.
What's happening to Pinball Pete's
High-rise development has been booming in Ann Arbor, and housing has become an issue, so Ann Arbor is doing everything they can to develop and find new places. But obviously, developers don't want to build long distances from where the action is.
So, unfortunately, places like Pinball Pete's fall victim to urban development.
South University Avenue has already seen a number of small commercial buildings razed, and replaced with larger buildings. What's proposed for this particular block of the street is no different.
It would be a 17-story, "mixed use" building to replace the Galleria building that houses Pinball Pete's.
Co-owner of Pinball Pete's, Mike Reynolds, told MLive on Friday he was still learning about the plans for the block, and wasn't sure what was in store for him, or Pinball Pete's.
"I've been around for a while now, and it's interesting to watch all the changes here, and I live in East Lansing, so I see all the changes there, and I understand all of it. And it's progress that that's just part of the deal."
The proposed building would be 17 stories, with floors 2-17 being used for apartments and residential living. The first floor would have limited retail space, as well as ground floor amenities for the apartment complex.
At this time, there aren't any direct plans for where Pinball Pete's might end up, or if it even will continue in Ann Arbor, but plans for the new building haven't even been finalized.
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Gallery Credit: Lauren Gordon