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Michigan Municipal League

Press Release


Contact:

Matt Bach
Director of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317; C: (810) 874-1073
mbach@mml.org; www.mml.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2019

Roseville Moves to Make Site More Attractive to Private Investors

 

Ann Arbor, Michigan – The City of Roseville’s vision to transform a vacant lot in the Utica Junction area into a dining, shopping, residential, and public gathering space has taken a step toward reality, thanks to predevelopment assistance from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Redevelopment Ready Communities® (RRC) program and the Michigan Municipal League.

Roseville identified Utica Junction—at the intersection of Gratiot Avenue and Utica Road—as a key revitalization area after working with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to become the state’s first Redevelopment Ready Communities® city in 2014. To advance the Utica Junction initiative, the city created a downtown development authority.

“For 30 years, the city had bounced back and forth about creating a downtown development authority and finding ways to reenergize Utica Junction,” said Scott Adkins, Roseville city manager. “We really appreciate the League’s assistance in helping us share our vision for this lot in the heart of our commercial district. We hope that finding the right developer for this site will jump start more commercial projects down the road.”

Utica Junction is the historic center of Roseville, featuring a commercial district fronting Gratiot Avenue. In a September 2018 workshop, Roseville stakeholders expressed a strong desire to encourage new development in that area with the potential to create an anchor for a traditional walkable downtown.

The city’s vision for a 0.73-acre site in Utica Junction, on the northwest corner of Gratiot Avenue and Utica Road, includes one or two mixed-use buildings with retail and restaurant uses at the ground level and up to seven stories of loft apartments. This potential development would also offer engaging spaces to display public art and make it easier for pedestrians to connect with the existing Gratiot Avenue commercial district. The League has been helping the city build on their work with MEDC and the DDA by providing marketing and design assistance for the subject site.

An essential element of the project was giving potential developers a good grasp of Roseville’s vision for the Utica Junction site. To establish a firm base for developer interest, the League was instrumental in overseeing MEDC funding from the RRC predevelopment assistance program for a market study conducted by LandUse USA to determine the most appropriate type of housing for the site. Armed with that information, a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) was created by Seamless Collaborative to solicit developer interest. The RFQ outlines the city’s goals for up to an eight-story building, and includes projected use configurations, estimated construction costs, and developer attraction materials such as schematic drawings created by East Arbor Architecture. Having this information at the ready should enhance the property’s appeal to private investors.

The work products from this effort are featured on the League’s Developing Great Places program page, which showcases strategies to help communities attract investment interest in underutilized public properties. The program tackles individual sites, primes them for the spotlight, and connects them to private developers to move the community’s public-sector efforts forward.

In partnership with MEDC, MSHDA, and the MML Foundation, the League has already worked with over a dozen cities on advancing the redevelopment potential of prime sites in their community. Each project is intended to help communities activate some of their underperforming properties and help them clearly communicate their goals and expectations to potential developers. 


“We’re pleased to provide Roseville with some valuable development tools,” said Dan Gilmartin, CEO and Executive Director of the Michigan Municipal League. “These resources will help transform their historic commercial corridor into a walkable area full of the amenities that appeal to residents, businesses, and developers.”

To learn more about the Roseville project—as well as projects in communities across the state—visit placemaking.mml.org/great-places.

For additional information, contact the League’s Matt Bach, director of communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell); (734) 669-6317 (office) and mbach@mml.org.

About the League: Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at mml.org.

 

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