City and DDA Look to Next Phase of Downtown Parking Development

On Monday, March 10, Ferndale City Council will consider a request by City staff to initiate the next phase of the downtown’s proposed West Troy mixed-use parking development. Should Council approve the request, the project will enter the Design Development Phase, marked by citizen-guided design and the development of a site plan.

“We’ve spent the past five months in a research and engagement phase,” says Assistant City Manager and parking lead Joseph Gacioch. “We’ve talked to people, held focus groups, hosted a public forum, and conducted surveys. It was all about learning our community’s needs, wishes, and concerns regarding this project.”

Now, says Gacioch, it’s time to put that research to paper with the development of an official site plan. If approved on Monday, the City will proceed with Ferndale-based architects Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas, Inc.

“If Council approves the request, they’ll be approving the start of planning and design, plus another phase of public engagement,” Gacioch says. “No shovels in the ground yet.”

Gacioch says that once construction begins, the project is expected to take between 12 and 15 months to complete—not the two or more years that has been rumored. During this time, the City will remain focused on a key goal: assisting businesses and residents through the process, all while working to complete the project under budget and as quickly as possible.

“Fifteen months of construction does not always equal fifteen months without parking,” Gacioch says. “The City aims to restore some parking in the West Troy development before the project is completed, hopefully around the 11-month mark. We’re also working closely with the Downtown Development Authority on support programs to ensure that people are able to access businesses and get where they need to be downtown safely and quickly.”

With an initial shared investment of $200,000 to support alternative parking programs, the City and DDA have looked at several options, including a downtown Nine Mile Rd. valet service, downtown shuttle, and ride-sharing partnerships with Uber or Lyft.

“At the end of the day, it’s about using some creativity to alleviate parking strains and making it easier for businesses, residents, and visitors,” said downtown business owner and DDA Board Chair Dean Bach. “If you have ideas or input, send them to the City at parkferndale@ferndalemi.gov.”