Living at University Commons

A Place to Call Home

Composed of a total of 92 apartments, townhomes and villas, University Commons is located on a hill on the west side of Huron Parkway and surrounded by a maturing woodland. It is about a mile from the well-maintained Gallup Park on the Huron River, and about a block from a University of Michigan commuter lot with bus service. City bus service is available at the entrance to the Commons.

University Commons was created as a condominium community under a provision of the Michigan law, enabling such communities for persons 55 years of age and higher. Although we are adjacent to the University of Michigan and planned with the cooperation of the University, University Commons is a separate entity. The vital land parcel was purchased from the University.

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In keeping with the goal of promoting an active life style, the designers included details such as a recital hall, library, seminar and class rooms, an exercise room, craft room and a woodworking shop.

The Brass Rail on the 2nd level is a recreational space that serves, among other things, as a meeting place for the weekly “Common Time” held on Friday afternoon. An adjacent outdoor terrace adds to the space during the warm months. All of these common areas are accessible via wide corridors with railings, wide doorways and elevators.

The central services and common areas are accessible and tastefully decorated. During power outages, a backup electrical generator provides partial power in the main building.

Educational and cultural opportunities were stressed from the early planning and are striking components of the programs at the Commons. University faculty and staff, and residents themselves provide a pool of speakers for late afternoon events. Many recitals and musical programs are available as a part of the relationship between University Commons and the School of Music, Theater and Dance and other parts of the University. A large elegant room contains the lecture/recital area at one end and the dining area at the other. 

The individual condominium units vary in size and are completely equipped for private living, including kitchen and laundry facilities. Assisted living is not offered at the Commons, but most units can accommodate live-in help if it is desired and privately arranged.

Many of the residents are retired, while some are fully employed at the University or in businesses and some are employed part-time or are volunteers. This diversity is a positive contribution to the character of the Commons. Many residents travel and some of the residents maintain other residences in the United States or foreign countries.

A professional management company employs the Community Director, an Administrative Manager and the maintenance staff. An elected Board of Directors and numerous committees plan and oversee the many programs and activities.

A New York Times article cited University Commons as a “model” for active adults. The community has also been featured on national and local television in news features and documentaries.


From vision to reality, University Commons is an Uncommon Community.

We invite you to visit us. For further information browse this website or follow Contact at the top of this page. Our Photo Gallery offers images of all aspects of our community. The website provides links to area resources, a community site plan and unit floor plans as well as an introduction to condominium life and what that means.

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