Developer Shares Concept for 8 North Project in Ferndale

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(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 14, 2015)

A new apartment complex is in the works for Ferndale, to go in just north of 8 Mile on Livernois. A development group called Nexus presented initial concepts to Ferndale City Council on Monday to get a general sense of if they should move forward in the planning process and negotiations on purchase of two-city-owned parcels.

The property is on the west side of Livernois

Sketches show three five-story mixed use buildings with retail on the first floor and residential above.chazzano game ad

The 50,000 square foot complex will house 30 individually metered apartments with three uniform floor plans with sizes ranging from 900-1,300 square feet and five commercial business units on the ground floor, and parking in the back.

Each building will contain 10 residential units with ground floor common area housing mailboxes and internal bike storage for the residents atop the commercial space and 6 covered parking spaces.

It also requires the negotiation of sale of two city-owned properties. The properties sit with a privately-owned lot in the middle, which Nexus has secured the option to buy.royal_services

The process will require additional public comment periods since it exceeds the current height allowance for the zoning. The proposed building is 50ft while the zoning currently allows for 35. The initial concepts call for a buffer of landscaping between the back of the property and the backyards of the neighbors. Light studies showed that the structures would not create unsavory shadows for the neighboring homes.

Green principles are guiding the design, including use of modular panel construction. “Not only are these types of structures more eco-friendly than their respective counterparts, they are also substantiSahara ad with wineally more durable, faster to erect and more cost efficient” according to documents submitted to council on Monday.

8 North will be an owner-operated property with rentals at approximately $1.57/square foot.

Councilperson Melanie Piana encouraged moving forward with the 8 North Project. “There’s a pent-up demand for rentals and this project helps that,” she said. Piana also encouraged the developer to consider setting aside some of the project for affordable housing, since Detroit has begun making an effort to have 20% of new projects be dedicated to being accessible to low-income residents.sideADpink

Economic Development Director Derek Delacourt said there is a “noticeable gap” in housing for 18-30 year-olds who are starting careers or students, and older adults who do not want the troubles of keeping up a house as they age, but still want to live in the Ferndale community.

Council voted to have staff move forward in the development process, with the understanding that there will be meetings with neighbors, the planning commission meetings and two public hearings before construction is approved.

“This project is full of ‘win’ and will look great in the neighborhood,” Piana said.

Learn more by viewing the April 13, 2015 Council Meeting at http://www.ferndalemi.gov/Government/Departments/City_Clerk/City_Council_Video_Meeting_Minutes.

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