(Crystal A. Proxmire, June 26, 2017)
Ferndale, MI – Ferndale City Council voted Monday to allocate funds to move forward with creating planning documents for the mixed use parking structure to be built on W. Troy Street.
With tonight’s approval, plans will become revised and presented to the public and Planning Commission likely in August and possibly again in September. If things stay on schedule, Council could approve final plans in September and October would be for the bidding process. Groundbreaking could be in January and construction could last a year to 15 months.
Assistant City Manager Joe Gacioch said that businesses had asked for the groundbreaking to happen after the December holiday season.
The mixed use project has an initial four stories with a transfer pad that could hold up to two more levels which could possibly be used for office and residential spaces. One level of parking is to go below ground, leaving the height for Phase One at 40 ft and Phase Two would bring it to 65 feet.
Phase One has 397 parking spaces, ground level retail space, the capability to turn W. Troy into an event plaza, and pocket parks to add greenspace. Cars would enter and exit off W. Troy. The estimated cost is $17.45 million for Phase One, with an estimated annual payback of $1.3 million out of the parking fund.
Financial considerations were a factor in Council’s decision. “Having retail, housing and office puts us in a strong position to pay that bond,” said Mayor Pro Tem Melanie Piana.
She also talked about how the project not only solves the parking problem, but how it helps to diversity the daytime traffic in the Downtown by bringing in office workers and more retail. “I’m thrilled we’re tackling multiple problems,” Piana said.
The decision comes after years of discussing parking needs and exploring solutions. “This project addresses a very real need,” said Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter. “I want to thank the countless residents who’ve been involved,” he said. “I feel comfortable that we’ve studied that unlike any project before.”
Council also approved a contract with Star Trax Valet service to help offset parking needs during construction.
The City Council Packet explained the details:
“The City Manager’s Office has explored several temporary parking solutions to implement during the future construction of the Development on Troy project. Temporary parking solutions (TPS) are intended to provide alternative parking options for guests that use our downtown parking system to access our businesses. City issued surveys and reports from the
“The City issued Invitations to Bid for temporary downtown parking valet service during the spring. The project team recommends approving of the bid award to Star Trax, a Ferndale based valet and special events company. Star Trax has operated valet services for multiple businesses in our downtown over the past year; their selection will enable the City to leverage the existing shared parking agreements between Star Trax and private downtown businesses.
“The City and DDA have pledged up to $200,000 to support downtown businesses through programming and communications to minimize business disruption during the construction project. All temporary programs will be funded through the Auto-Parking fund. The Auto
“Parking fund receives all parking related revenues related to metered parking, downtown parking permits, and parking enforcement. *Tax payer dollars will NOT be used to fund this temporary parking solution.
“Level of Service:
~The valet service sponsored by the City will be provided at no cost to users of the system.
~Hours of operation and levels of staffing may be adjusted in response to demand once the service is implemented.”
For more OC Times coverage of Ferndale parking issues, CLICK HERE.
To visit the City of Ferrndale’s official site for parking information go to http://parkferndale.com/.