The City of Dexter has some empty space that is going to get filled. The big question is “With what?”
If you walk down the alley between The Dexter Bakery and The Red Brick from Main Street, you’re ambling down what was once a one-lane extension of Broad Street from the light. Once through the alley, behind the Bakery, Broad Street for cars picks up again. Going past The Encore Theatre you’ll see a cleared lot off to your right with a cluster of electrical transformer-looking things. This is the DTE substation, and the surrounding area has been dubbed the “3045 Broad Street Development Project.”
The Dexter Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and City of Dexter own four parcels in the Downtown. The four parcels measure approximately 3 acres with frontage directly onto the City’s Mill Creek Park. These parcels include 3045 Broad Street, and three vacant lots (8077-8087 Forest Street and 8090 Grant Street).
The 3045 Broad Street property surrounds a DTE substation on 3 sides. The DDA/City and DTE are in the final stages to decommission the sub-station and transfer the ownership of the property from DTE to the City to be included in the development project.
A blend of residential, retail and office development is being considered due to the proximity to Mill Creek Park and downtown Dexter. In November 2017, the City entered into a pre-development agreement with Norfolk Development for redevelopment of the empty lots.
The City has certain requirements for the project:
- The theme and character promote an area of high-density, mixed use, compact pedestrian and economic hub creating pedestrian activity that is harmonious with a walkable, downtown experience.
- Attractive street facades with storefronts scaled and oriented for pedestrians with parking lot visibility strategically minimized.
- Design features will include architectural elements that enhance the pedestrian environment, including balconies, colonnades, porches, canopies, creative entryways, and patios which are encouraged on facades adjacent to a street and/ or overlooking Mill Creek Park.
- Minimize surface parking; promote the use of shared parking, public parking (on-street) and/or attached garages and/or covered parking.
- Design-enhanced streetscape, infrastructure, lighting, pedestrian and bicycle amenities and landscaping.
- Concepts shall provide pedestrian linkages to the Mill Creek Park pathway and future trailhead parking area. Create an integrated, pedestrian oriented public-private space between the redevelopment and the existing Mill Creek Park Pathway.
- Traffic flow shall be clearly organized to facilitate movement into, and throughout, parking areas. Parking drive lanes and intersections shall align wherever practical.
Opportunities for feedback from the public have been ongoing with three public meeting in 2016 and more recently public workshops conducted by Norfolk Homes on December 6, 2017 and more recently on February 28, 2018.
The 3rd Community Engagement Workshop is scheduled for April 18, 2018, from 6-8 pm and will take place in the cafeteria at Mill Creek Middle School (7305 Dexter-Ann Arbor Road). At this meeting the project will begin taking shape, as the Norfolk Team addresses massing and density. All are invited.
You can find more information on the 3045 Broad Street Development Project on the City’s website.