Video: Jake Sigal Talks about 3-60 Project
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Aug. 15, 2014)
The 3-60 Project has been the subject of heated discussion lately in Ferndale, with a campaign brewing against the proposed mixed use buildings that could go in the City’s Withington and Troy Street parking lots. The project is in the early stages of planning. Initial ideas call for varying levels of 3-6 story structures for parking, office and retail, with one section going as high as 8-10 stories for apartments at the end of the Withington Lot, closest to the existing apartment structure.
Jake Sigal of Livio Radio approached the City about building offices and living spaces that would attract the kind of tech companies that have been moving into the Detroit area. The idea evolved into putting those office workers and residents into the Downtown Area to be near the shopping and nightlife, and to incorporate parking into the plan. Sigal, who lives in Ferndale with his wife and started his successful tech company there, spoke with oc115.com in the interview above.
“The City’s been really driving the parking, which is what put the project here in the first place,” Sigal said. “What I’m really focused on is creating more jobs in the area. We focus on STEM Jobs, software engineers, anyone in science, technology, math, and helping bring more STEM growth to SE Michigan.” STEM jobs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are emerging fields that are bringing jobs and opportunities to communities that have lost the tax base and jobs that existed when auto and other manufacturing companies were strong in the area.
“What I’m really looking for out of this project is the creation of jobs, and maintaining that Ferndale fit and culture,” Sigal said. “What Ferndale can offer is a really creative, culturally appropriate, fresh, very young at heart feeling city where everybody is passionate and cares about how things happen. And we’re clearly seeing that just going through this process.”
The City of Ferndale and Project 3-60 have been soliciting public feedback on the layout of the structures and the concepts. Criticism has ranged from placement of entry points to the parking decks, to the idea of building on the lots at all, to the way concept sketches looked. In his interview, Sigal talked about the sketches and how they were concepts and not final designs. Nothing has gone before the planning commission yet and nothing is set in stone, only that they need to create rough ideas before refining them to a specific plan.
Over 35 businesses signed a letter to City Council asking them to address concerns. The letter can be found in its entirety at http://oaklandcounty115.com/2014/07/12/38-businesses-share-3-60-project-concerns-public-mtg-july-16/. Their concern is that construction in the lots will cost them customers, that the buildings would overshadow theirs, and that too much development could hurt the small town character of the City. Residents near Downtown and businesses worry about how bringing more people into
Downtown Ferndale would affect the small town vibe and the availability of parking on residential streets.
When asked about the negative feedback, Sigal said “I think what it comes down to is what is the appropriate way to do a project like this. Clearly there are folks that are just never going to like this project, and that’s fine.” He said that there has been positive feedback from people who are not as vocal, including from those in the tech industry who want to make Ferndale their home.
“One of the biggest criticisms we’ve had is that our minds have already been made up… that’s one thing that need to be cleared up is that we’re going through that process. And I made that decision with the City and the DDA that we were going to run a transparent way for everybody to provide feedback,” he said “We’ve gotten a lot of noise clearly, but we’ve gotten some really good signals, some really good feedback on what are important features. What are some important ways about phasing? Whats the parking plan?
“…We’ve also gotten a lot of support. I think for anyone that cares about jobs and is looking at what’s Ferndale going to look like in 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 years from now, we want to make sure that the first step is the right step.”
The first round of public input and discussion of rough ideas has concluded, and now the parties involved are waiting on the results of an analysis that would determine the number of parking spaces needed. They are also taking public input with them back to the drawing board as they figure out how and if the project might fit.
To learn more about Jake Sigal and his perspective on the project, check out the video above or at
For previous stories, which include access to public documents about the project and descriptions of initial designs, see:
For more pictures, plan and video of the council meeting, visit http://www.ferndalemi.gov/Government/Departments/City_Clerk/City_Council_Video_Meeting_Minutes and look for the July 9, 2014 meeting.
EDITORS NOTE: The project is called the 3-60 Project, not 360 Project (gotta make the search engines happy though).
Video: Jake Sigal Talks about 3-60 Project