The city of Dexter held the first of three public workshops as part of its pre-development agreement with Birmingham-based Foremost Development this past weekend, which saw a robust gathering consisting of community leaders, members of the general public, and several Foremost employees.
These forums are an important part of the pre-development process, due to the fact that the Dexter Downtown Development Authority and the city own the parcel of land that Foremost will potentially be redeveloping — the former Dapco Industries site at 3045 Broad Street, which will include multiple nearby residential lots that the city purchased as they become available.
City of Dexter Mayor Shawn Keough led off the forum by praising Dapco as a good corporate citizen for moving to the industrial park on Dan Hoey when it was available, which made it possible for the community to have this opportunity to transform an old legacy industrial area of town into a potential mixed-use development that would be located just across the street from the town’s outdoor crown jewel the Mill Creek Park.
He said that Foremost’s proposal, as it stands, would “transform” Dexter. Currently the developer has a rough concept that it will mold based on feedback and any opportunities that may arise over the course of the pre-development period.
Foremost has a six-month window to develop a presentable concept plan that incorporates the public feedback for the properties at 3045 Broad, 8077-8087 Forest and 8090 Grant streets.
At the end of this process, Foremost would purchase the land from the city and begin going through the site plan approval process like any other proposed development.
Foremost co-found Terry Bailey said that he appreciated the feedback he received from participants in the forum, which he’s looking forward to getting more of at the next two public forums.
“I’ve been interviewed by several people,” Bailey said. “One lady was asking about the DTE building. She proposed the possibility that if it was to be removed we save a portion of it and make it part of the new building. We could take a panel off of the DTE building and implement into the new structure easily.”
Others brought up more basis concerns, such as the site layout and how its impact on the view-shed both to and from Mill Creek Park and Broad Street should be reduced in how the project site plan is laid out in concept.
“Others have talked about what the frontages should look like over the wetland area and how it should include a commercial storefront,” Bailey said. “We believe that we’re going to come to an end where everyones in agreement and we’ll know where we’re headed if we keep getting feedback like this.”
The next two public forums will be held on May 11 and June 8, both at the Creekside Intermediate School Cafeteria. Both are from 6 to 9 p.m.
The results submitted on suggestion cards from the first forum will be released to the public next week.
Bailey says that he expects to be at site plan approval for the project next February, if the process continues to move along on schedule.