Several Cities Showcase One Stop Ready Properties in Oakland County
(Crystal A. Proxmire, Oct. 21, 2016)
Waterford, MI – “Developers know what cities are good to work with. You make someone wait on a permit or an inspection, and the developer may not come back. You get a bad reputation and that spreads to others pretty quickly,” said Economic Development Specialist Glenn Lapin of the City of Troy. “We became part of One Stop Ready about two years ago. For us that was a continuation of the philosophy we have had all along about making Troy welcoming for development.”
Troy is one of 20 municipalities certified as One Stop Ready by Oakland County. The State of Michigan also has a similar program that several SE Michigan communities are part of. Oakland County One Stop Ready communities were invited to participate in a Community Showcase in Waterford on Friday to network with developers, bankers, investors, brokers, home builders and property owners. Each city could pick two available properties to pitch at their respective tables.
“We picked two on Livernois because Livernois is the gateway to the city. It’s a natural extension of Main Street from Royal Oak and Clawson. But Troy is a big place and we have many opportunities for developers,” Lapin said.
Mingling with other development professionals was a perk of the showcase, particularly for someone who loves their job. “I like working with businesses and trying to help connect them to the right resources. I get a lot of pride making the process easier and connecting people. I think my favorite thing is when a business is in a growth mode and I help them get to that next level.”
Troy is unique in that it’s the largest city in Michigan that has privatized building services such as permits and inspections, according to Lapin. “This saves the city money and helps expedite services for the businesses,” he said.
One city that has taken their capacity to welcome development to a new level is Oak Park. The addition of a full time Economic Development and Communications Director – Kim Marrone – has helped Oak Park grow.
“We were in the process of becoming One Stop Ready when we were working with Fed Ex,” Marrone said. “Knowing we were going through that process was important to Fed Ex. Time is money for developers and we were able to bring a quick planning process to the table for that project.”
Fed Ex broke ground on a 300,000 square foot distribution center just over a year ago at a long-vacant armory site on 8 Mile Road. The City has also worked with developers on Jefferson Oaks, an in-fill housing community that will be going at a former school site, and a restaurant project that is under way at the former WWJ broadcast station.
The property directly in front of the FedEx Distribution Center was one of Oak Park’s featured sites. Armory Park has 30 acres fronting 8 Mile Road and is currently zoned commercial but could also be rezoned for industrial users.
The other property was Lincoln Center, a 17.89 acre retail center that used to have Kmart as an anchor.
Communities are not just looking at industrial projects. Auburn Hills is a good example of a city focused on increasing residential spaces, particularly in their downtown. A prime location to build a high-density mixed use development with a retail or office component that is located in the DDA district and at the eastern edge of the existing bustling downtown center. 3505/3507 Auburn Road is owned by the city and a Brownfield Redevelopment Plan has already been developed.
“We’ve invested a lot in our downtown,” said Auburn Hills Director of Authorities Samantha Mariuz. “We’re trying to fulfill the Mater Plan for a more vibrant community, being a college town and a walkable community.”
In recent years over $90 billion has been invested or is in the works, and there has been an increased effort towards events and communications. The DDA was established in 2014 to help facilitate strategic growth. “We’re just getting started,” Mariuz said. “It’s exciting.”
Auburn Hills City Council has made the redevelopment of the Auburn Road Property a priority.
In nearby Pontiac a rare opportunity for waterfront residential is available. A 30 acre section of the city sits on Crystal Lake, with roads already built and ready for new homes. The site formerly had public housing that has been razed and left vacant for years. The area is located near Crystal Lake Golf Course and the newly developed M1 Concourse and is just minutes from the ever-growing downtown.
Ars Atisha of Advocate Realty Investments is the broker for the City of Pontiac on this parcel.
“Pontiac has come a long way and this is the beginning of something phenomenal. You can see where Pontiac is going in the next five to ten years. You won’t even recognize it,” he said. “This is the heart of Oakland County, and this property is in the heart of that.”
Atisha was excited about the Showcase, with his only regret being that it only happens once a year. “We all have our sources, but at something like this 90% of the people I’ve never met before. It’s great to be here for Pontiac and displaying our story, and seeing what other communities are displaying.”
The event featured 29 properties, which are only a tiny fraction of what is available county-wide.
Auburn Hills featured 3505/3507 Auburn Road (described above), as well as Dutton Corporate Center, a 64.8 acre site ideal for office and technology located near the Palace of Auburn Hills.
Clawson featured Clawson Plaza located at 14 Mile and Rochester, which is retail strip with 3,320 square feet of available space. They also featured 500-540 South Rochester Road which is a retail node anchored by Julian Brothers and adjacent to a newly-renovated antique store. The property would be suitable for retail or residential.
Highand brought “Acres of Potential” to the table, show casing two properties that are mainly occupied by nature. 893 North Hickory Ridge Road currently has a house, pole park and frame building surrounded by nearly 120 acres. And property just east of North Milford Road and just north of M-59 offers “unlimited possibilities for new construction.”
Lyon Township has space available in their Research Center at 30180 Research Drive, “one of only a few parcels still available in one of the region’s most desirable business parks.” They also spotlighted Quadrants Industrial Park at 28355 Lakeview drive, a light-industrial area overlooking a 25 acre lake. The facility can include up to 75% office or can be primarily industrial.
Oxford has a premium downtown location available at 21 North Washington. “Though built in 1900, this property is a fresh new face in Downtown Oxford thanks to a recent façade improvement.” This is marketed as “a great opportunity for a small business owner.” Their second property chose is 98 South Galspie Street, which has 3.5 acres that includes 3 buildings totally 21,815 sq. feet. The property housed a metal stamping facility, but the Village is hoping it will be developed into residential.
Pontiac showcased the Crystal Lake property highlighted above, but also has industrial space up for grabs. 501 North Glenwood is 41.9 acres zoned for heavy manufacturing. This property is part of the RACER Trust and is located near several thriving businesses such as General Motors Pontiac Metal Center and USPS Michigan Metroplex.
Royal Oak featured a 134,628 sq foot “big property” located at 14 Mile and Coolidge. 3000 W. 14 Mile is a single story property with three docks and ample parking. Their other featured property is Habeman Fabrics, which they say “offers fantastic Main Street visibility in the city’s thriving south end. It is within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops, entertainment n services and is just minutes from I-696, Woodward and I-75. The building boasts 19 foot ceilings with lots of natural light, and parking for 80+ cars. This property would be perfect for creative loft-style office or retail.”
Southfield has space in their City Center, which is a city-owned area expected to grow into a mixed use space with offices and homes and a civic park. They also featured the former Northland Mall property. The 125 acre property will hopefully attract hotel, senior housing, retail, entertainment and housing developments.
Waterford Township showcased two properties ripe for residential development. 5445 Hatchery Road backs up to the 21 acre Clem Lake and is located immediately east of the Canterbury-On-The-Lake retirement facility. A 79.46 acre property on Hospital Road offers “gently rolling acreage with 1,300+ feet of Hospital Road frontage.” The property has scattered pockets of wetlands and other vegetation that might make for a beautiful residential area.
Hazel Park is ready to redevelop the old CVS location at 1134 E. Nine Mile. Featured in a previous article, this site is one officials hope to see turned into pretty much anything but a vacant box. The site has 1,664 acres and features a 14,391 square foot building. “The city is also open to new concepts for the future of this site and may consider internal incentives for the right property,” according to the Showcase information.
Independence Township is looking to develop Sashabaw Road using a TIF area and Corridor Improvement Authority to “build a foundation for long-term redevelopment, as outlined in tis master plan.”
Keego Harbor has a unique space available for commercial and office use a the corner of Orchard Lake and Cass Lake. The 3,888 sq. foot space at 2980 Orchard Lake is “in the heart of the downtown area, easily reached by vehicle and on foot from several nearby residential neighborhoods.”
Orion Township is focusing on Brown Road between Joslyn and Balwin, in a stretch called the Brown Road Innovation Zone (BIZ). Orion “established a PA 280 Corridor Improvement Authority (CIA) to widen Brown Road to five lanes in this area. The planned road improvement has resulted in a commitment from Menards to locate within the site. Sites sized up to 30 acres can still be assembled in the BIZ, which offers a great location accessed by two I-75 exits.”
West Bloomfield is pitching five adjacent parcels starting at 2590 Haggerty Raod. With a total of 32 acres at the intersection of Haggerty and Pontiac Trail, the community is offering flexible zoning and a “huge potential for the development of a variety of gateway projects.”
White Lake is hoping to attract developers to Walt’s Point, an area of multiple properties at M-59 and Pontiac Lake Road. As the name suggests, this 8 acre area of land juts into Pontiac Lake and offers incredible views. The master plan calls for a planned community to utilize the space.
Wixom featured a 20 acre site that is “clean and ready to develop” with “great visibility on I-96. Their Gateway Planned Unit Development (GPUD) district is intended to allow a mixture of land uses.
For more on One Stop Ready visit https://www.oakgov.com/advantageoakland/programs/Pages/one-stop-ready.aspx.
To download the complete informational booklet, click here.
Several Cities Showcase One Stop Ready Properties in Oakland County