City seeks more information on developers for old Dapco site

The city of Dexter is working on determining if the developers still in the running to construct a residential complex at the old Dapco site is worth pursuing.

A special Review Committee consisting of members of the Downtown Development Authority and the City Council met with three developers Sept. 25 to get to know them better. The city issued a Request for Qualifications in connection with transforming the vacant lot at 3045 Broad St. into a residential and mixed use building. Three firms replied. An RFQ seeks information about a company and how it is qualified to do a project.

One has dropped out since it only deals with low-income housing and the city is looking for a more upscale project. The remaining firms are Home Renewal Systems and Foremost Development Company.

The Review Committee met briefly following the interviews and while they were impressed with the presentations, they determined the following information was needed, before making a recommendation to the Dexter DDA and City Council, Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol said.

— Contact information for at least two communities in which the developer has entered into a public/private partnership

— The developers terms for entering into a pre-development agreement.

The two firms differed on some of their responses to questions ranging from dealing with sewer systems and storm-water. Both listed several communities they have partnered with and both have experience in organizing Charrettes, a community-wide meeting where the public can share thoughts on the project.

One striking difference is when the respective firms would like to start. HRS’s response dealt in generalities and did not answer anything specifically. Foremost, on the other, hand said it could commence construction in April 2016 and complete it by May 2017.

Foremost has been an active pursuer of the project with officers attending City Council and DDA meetings talking about what it could do. Company founder Terry Bailey has been aggressive in selling the city on selecting Foremost for the project.

Both companies said the presence of the DTE substation would be an issue, but the city has worked out a deal with the utility to have the building removed and the substation relocated to the industrial park.

Foremost told the committee that its research did not find any support for a townhouse or brownstone development even though the opposite was found through the Target Market Analysis completed recently. The TMA suggests the city could support 100 new units in a townhouse 5-9 units over the next five years.

If the committee makes a determination (it could reject both firms and start over) the next step would be to make a recommendation to the DDA. The DDA would negotiate a pre-development agreement and then make a recommendation to the City Council.

The Council will decide whether to accept the recommendation and then executes the pre-development agreement.
The developer and city would then get together to determine a schedule for investigations and preparation to determine the feasibility of the project. This will include a property study, developing a conceptual development plan and reviewing the TMA.

If the project is considered worthwhile, the project will continue, but other issues such as utilities, stormwater, sewers and other architectural issues remain.

The DDA received an update Oct. 15, while the City Council will be updated Oct. 26.

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