City Council Moves for Mixed Use
On Monday, June 26, the Ferndale City Council unanimously voted to pursue the drafting of final designs for a mixed-use concept for the future Development on Troy (the DOT). The concept will include the construction of 397 parking spaces; up to 15,000 sf of street level retail along W. Troy St.; sustainable rear alley beautification improvements for residents; and the creation of placemaking elements that may include pocket parks, community meeting space, or a temporary special event plaza along W. Troy. The concept includes the flexibility to accommodate a future two floors of office space and a small strip of land located along the Allen street side of the property for residential units.
A Steering Committee comprised of a mixture of nearby residents, downtown business owners, downtown property owners, and the Planning Commission met three times between March – June to work with the DOT project team to shape the current concept. The Committees work led to several impactful changes to the final concept, highlights include: (1) the height of the building was reduced from 89 feet to 65 feet, moving one level of parking below ground, (2) working with traffic engineers to discourage alley traffic and encourage traffic away from neighborhoods where possible, access to the garage will be contained to W. Troy Street, (3) any future office development will be set-back from residents in the south and located along the W. Troy commercial street only. The team also expressed that the City must pay close attention to pedestrian and cyclist needs; be mindful that the development is for all of us, not just vehicles.
“I truly want to thank our community for their high level of engagement on this project. Thanks to their suggestions, Council was able to receive an improved mixed use concept that speaks to several of the needs expressed by residents, businesses, and our downtown guests while also helping us take an important step toward finally getting those shovels in the ground”. Gacioch says that once construction begins, the project is expected to take between 12 and 15 months to complete, however, the City aims to restore some parking at the DOT before the project is completed
The vote from Council initiates the next step toward the drafting of final designs from the architects and engineering. The Planning Commission plans to convene a meeting with the City’s architecture team (Fusco, Schaffer, & Pappas – Ferndale, MI) in early August. The meeting is open to the public and engagement and input is highly desired. The meeting will be posted on www.ferndalemi.gov and www.parkferndale.com
“We’ve spent the past several months in a research and engagement phase framed around learning the community’s needs, priorities, and concerns regarding the DOT,” says Assistant City Manager and parking lead Joseph Gacioch.
The team expects to take the early mixed use concept (pictured below) to final design through the Planning Commission by the end of September. Gacioch added, “we aim to break ground on the project in early 2018 and allow our downtown businesses an uninterrupted holiday shopping season”. City Council also approved of a temporary downtown valet service during construction to be operated by Ferndale’s-own Star Trax. Gacioch said that the details behind the service will be finalized with input from the DDA in the coming months.