Huge new loft project set to begin in Ferndale in May

Ferndale Haus rendering
A rendering of the Ferndalehaus lofts via Designhaus Architecture.

Developers hope to start work in May on a $14.9 million redevelopment of a vacant downtown Ferndale supermarket into a four-story mixed-use residential loft building after the city approved a brownfield redevelopment proposal.

The Ferndale City Council approved the $2.24 million brownfield proposal on Monday for the Ferndalehaus Lofts at 430 W. Nine Mile Road, the site of the former Save-A-Lot grocery store and its adjacent surface parking lot. Developers Ferndale9 LLC plan a 105,000 square-foot building with 90 apartments — 44 of them studios, 24 one-bedrooms, 20 two-bedrooms and a pair of three-bedroom units, plus 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Rents are considered market rate and would start around $1,000 per month.

Ferndale9 LLC is the same group behind the Arbor Lofts in Southfield, Crain’s Detroit Business reports. Rochester-based Designhaus Architecture is designing the building.

The brownfield reimbursement credits will go toward demolishing the former supermarket — defined under the brownfield law as a “functionally obsolete building” — asbestos abatement and infrastructure improvements. The developers also plan to incorporate public art installations, landscaping and improvements to Schiffer Park, a public pocket park, possibly including a band shell.

Ferndale City Planner Justin Lyons told council the development fits with the city’s goals of adding more density, bringing more residents downtown and providing alternatives to the single-family homes that dominate the city.

A view of Ferndalehaus looking west down Nine Mile.
A view of Ferndalehaus looking west down Nine Mile.

Renderings show a building that will loom large over the city’s downtown, taking up 1.22 acres of property, with a rear surface parking structure. I imagine that nearby businesses such as Western Market and Ferndale Foods will be thrilled.

It’s interesting that this proposal hasn’t generated anywhere near the controversy that Ferndale 360 LLC did. That proposal called for two large, mixed-use loft buildings to rise on city-owned surface lots flanking the West Nine Mile commercial district. It died when the city opted to move on amid widespread opposition by residents and downtown merchants.



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