In the battle of adorably named parking structures, Detroit has the Z Garage, and Ferndale will have the “dot.”
After years of often contentious discussions and at least one failed plan for a major new parking garage, the Ferndale City Council has approved the site plan and planned unit development for a 397-space, four-story mixed-use parking deck called the “dot.” It’ll be located just south of the downtown district on Troy Street on the site of a city-owned 138-space surface parking lot.
Along with the Ferndalehaus lofts currently under construction on West Nine Mile, the structure will dramatically transform the look and feel of what is today a mostly low-rise downtown Ferndale. It’ll include one underground level of parking and nearly 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail spaces, with room for about 40,000 square feet of office space atop the structure and 14 to 25 residential units to be left to a private developer in the future.
The project will also involve redeveloping that section of West Troy Street by removing curbs for barrier-free pedestrian access, adding trees, shrubs and climbing vines; improving crosswalks leading to the stairwells and replacing the street’s asphalt surface with decorative concrete pavers. An alley between the structure and houses to the south will also be improved with new lighting and sustainable, permeable pavers.
Ferndale officials have talked for at least a decade about the need for more parking to support downtown businesses, and about bringing in more office spaces to encourage more economic activity during days. Two years ago the city dropped plans for a pair of mixed-use parking decks, including one on the Troy Street site, after outcry from business owners and residents. The city hosted several community meetings on the current proposal, including a June meeting at the Rust Belt Market to gather feedback.
Expected costs for the parking deck and retail spaces are between $15 million and $20 million, which the city will pay for using bond funding. The city will solicit bids from private developers within the upcoming months for the residential and office spaces. Ferndale-based architects Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas will design the structure, with groundbreaking expected by next April.