Ferndale City Council approved a letter on Monday night asking the Michigan Land Bank Authority to consider the city, other stakeholders and ongoing transit efforts when moving forward with plans to sell the Michigan State Fairgrounds.
The letter was drafted in response to concerns expressed by City Council and the community regarding the proposed sale of the property, located at Eight Mile and Woodward Avenue.
The Michigan Land Bank Authority is currently in the process of finalizing who they will negotiate with for the sale of the property, and much discussion and concern has ensued over the ultimate development of the site, according to the city.
"This is obviously a very important piece of property for the city of Ferndale because it abuts us," said Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter, adding that the city has a "keen interest" in its future development.
Here is the text of the letter:
Michigan Land Bank Fast track Authority
3022 W. Grand Boulevard, Suite 4-600
Detroit, Michigan 48202
Re: Transfer of Michigan State Fairgrounds.
On behalf of the City Council of Ferndale, we are writing this letter regarding the proposed negotiation and sale of the Michigan State Fairgrounds. We believe the sale and redevelopment of this property will have a significant impact on the City of Ferndale and the region as a whole. The City supports the sale and redevelopment of the property and is only interested in assuring that the sale and development of the property is done in a manner consistent with the current development situation of the area.
The City is a member of both the Woodward Avenue Action Association and the 8 Mile Boulevard Association, and would like to support the suggestions made by both organizations, including:
1. That there is a meeting with the consulting team working on both the Woodward Transit Alternative Analysis and Complete Streets Master Plan to discuss the recommendations currently underway and to ensure that these efforts are consistent with any future proposed site plan.
2. That any sale of the property takes into consideration the recently passed Regional Transit Authority, and more specifically the ongoing efforts to develop a viable Transit Oriented Development Plan for the entire Woodward Corridor and Southeast Michigan Region. We believe this site can play a vital role in the Governor’s efforts.
3. That design charrettes be incorporated into a final sale agreement ensuring that Detroit, Ferndale, the 8 Mile Boulevard Association, the Woodward Avenue Action Association, and all stakeholders have an opportunity for input.
The City of Ferndale does not object to the sale of the State Fairgrounds, in fact, the City looks forward to the positive impact the appropriate redevelopment will have on the City and the area as a whole. However, we do think it is important that whoever purchases the site and is ultimately responsible for its redevelopment understands Michigan’s commitment to ensuring quality development that contributes to the state’s vision of a regional transit system and the associated positive economic impact.
Ferndale is excited about the positive impact the redevelopment of this property can have on our City and to the surrounding area, if done in the appropriate manner. We encourage the Land Bank to ensure these considerations are taken into account throughout the negotiation process regardless of the preferred developer selected.
We look forward to participating in the process as it moves forward.