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  1. #1
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    Default Warren gets a downtown

    Flaherty & Collins Properties Selected by Warren
    as Master Developer on Warren Town Center Project:

    Flaherty & Collins Properties (F&C) has been selected by the City of Warren as the exclusive master developer of Warren Town Center, a $170 million development project.

    “This is an important first step in achieving the city’s goal of creating a downtown that will draw visitors and new high-end businesses to our city,” said Mayor Jim Fouts. “The downtown concept has been a vision for city leaders since the 1960’s.”
    The location is the site of the old city hall in front of the new city hall and directly across from the Tech Center.

    F & C, with extensive experience in building high-end hotels, was selected by the city’s Downtown Development Authority. Warren Town Center is a proposed mixed-use development featuring 500 market rate apartments, a 200-key, high-end boutique hotel, over 20,000 square feet of retail and dining and space for a 30,000 square foot, full-service grocery. The project will be a public/private partnership that will include the City, Flaherty & Collins Properties and General Motors.
    “We are excited to partner with the City of Warren on this project, which will invigorate the downtown core of Warren,” says Brian Prince, vice president of development and lead project developer for F & C. “The site is a great location and will be a real draw and economic stimulator for the area. The goal of this development is to create a Town Center that offers a high-end housing option that currently does not exist in Warren.”

    General Motors currently has over 25,000 employees located at GM Global Tech Center across the street from the Warren Towne Center development site.
    “This will truly be a ‘Live, Work, Play’ mixed-use development that will be a catalyst for future development in Warren, and make it an even more desired place to live,” said Prince.

    Current plans call for a pedestrian bridge from the hotel that runs over Van Dyke and connects to the GM campus. Acquest Realty Advisors will serve as the hotel development partner. F&C is in discussion with several grocers, with the goal of reaching an agreement with a high-end grocery option for the site. In addition,
    Prince and F&C team members are in conversation with WeWork regarding a shared office concept as part of the development.

    F & C Properties and the City of Warren will now negotiate a development agreement over the coming months, and pending city council approval, plan to break ground before the end of 2019.

  2. #2

    Default

    "Warren Gets A Downtown"

    lol.

    You can't "get" a downtown. They're supposed to develop organically.

  3. #3

    Default

    Some more info here: https://www.freep.com/story/news/loc...wn/2420478002/

    Not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, this is an improvement over anything currently in Warren, and you can't fault them for trying something. On the other hand, it seems like a deluxe strip mall that will struggle to organically develop into what they want.

  4. #4

    Default

    "Needs more surface parking to succeed" - Chris Ilitch

  5. #5

    Default

    I agree with others that this won't really be a downtown. The big issue is that they're trying to force a downtown on side-roads. Downtown areas are on main roads and very rarely does creating one, especially not on a main road, work.

    Royal Oak, Ferndale, Rochester, Birmingham, Berkley, etc... They are all organically grown on main roads.

    The village of Rochester Hills is kind of a "fake" downtown, an outdoor mall with streets you can park on within the main thoroughfares.

    But let's get away with thinking of it as a "downtown" and instead think about making it the best use of land it can be at that location. They want retail and restaurants, supporting that with 500 units of apartments and a hotel is a pretty good start. Mixed-use is the best way to have activity that feeds into itself.

    Rochester Hills is also looking to revitalize an area. Auburn Road for a half-mile stretch just west of Dequindre is going to get a major face-lift. There are a few differences though, Auburn Road has historically been lined with businesses that have organically grown into what they are. The city isn't declaring it a "downtown", but they are looking to fix many issues, including lowering the speed limit, adding on-street parking, eliminating most left-hand turns, adding roundabouts, improving and completing sidewalks, giving pedestrians dedicated space, adding trees, improving parking and alleyways.

    Rochester Hills has taken over Auburn Road for a two-mile stretch from M-DOT so that they can make improvements that M-DOT otherwise would not allow. Rochester Hills has also purchased or have received via donation several parcels with houses on them that are immediately behind businesses so that they can add more parking to the area.

    I hope things work well for Warren. Their mayor is batshit crazy and needs to fade into history, but the city is filled with working-class folks. The city has an awesome inventory of city parks and quick access to most job centers in the region.
    Last edited by 48307; December-27-18 at 11:38 AM.

  6. #6

    Default

    That mayor does need to go. Weren't they talking about doing this around Chicago rd about a decade ago? I'm in construction and currently laid off so bring it on is all I can say.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Actual title of thread should be "Warren gets another strip mall".

    Apparently Van Dyke through Warren/SH doesn't have quite enough empty retail space yet.

  8. #8

    Default

    Ah yes, this is the moment when Detroit's suburbs begin to realize that massive sprawl, single-use zoning, and car-centric development were maybe NOT a great idea. Better reverse five decades of poor urban planning with a pop-up downtown built overnight. Good luck Warren, but I don't think that community will EVER be the kind of place where "downtown" and "walkability" are in peoples vocabulary. Let's improve the downtowns we already have, not try to build new ones from scratch that suburbanites will STILL continue to avoid in favor of their giant strip malls.

  9. #9
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    Default


  10. #10

    Default

    Yes, actual downtowns are supposed to develop organically, but Warren can't go back in time and not be Warren. There is no way for a "downtown" to organically develop there.

    The key takeaway in that once could have, at one time, been the country's posterchild for suburbanization is making an effort towards mixed-use and "urban" development.

    Anecdotal, but people seem to like these things. I think Macomb county - having grown up there - is a good target audience for a faux downtown for a variety of reasons.

    When they say high-end though, I feel a bit skeptical. The median income for a family is only $52,444 (!). Warren is a pretty working-class to shabby place and I can't see anyone with means choosing it over many other suburbs (one of the drawbacks of SE-MI sprawl hell - dozens of municipalities competing for the population pie that has been the same size for forty years). I guess maybe to shop and eat but not move to if you have the means to pick someplace else.

  11. #11

    Default

    I feel like Partridge Creek is about as "urban" as Macomb can stomach. Massive parking lots, chain restaurants and familiar stores with some nice, park-like features.

  12. #12

    Default

    I participated in the resident input and believe it will do ok. Many in the area have to drive elsewhere to have that "downtown" experience and conveniences. There are very few places in Warren/Sterling Heights that have that walk able urbanity. The important ingredient to success is being adaptive to the needs of those who will use it. Attend the restaurants and shops and more will be drawn there. (See Royal Oak and Ferndale).

    Detroit, after a long period of decline, is filling in the lost gaps in its downtown. Although they are filling in the gaps of what was once there, they are actively molding and shaping the urban spaces, not just letting it happen. The same can be said when areas are incentivized by tax breaks or zoning changes to foster or direct how and area looks or functions. Sure, Detroit is not creating a new downtown out of whole cloth and they have the bones to build on.

    As long as Warren follows through completely, not by Phase I, II,...
    All in or nothing. Not at all like that brandnew, walk able planned urbanity that radiates out from that beautiful stadium/savior of Cass Corridor with bustling shops and homes and condos and...er, nevermind.
    Last edited by Warrenite84; December-27-18 at 04:11 PM.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Wonder if the folks from Centerline will bother to cross the ""border""
    or stay in their protected, isolated, elite, super zone of invincibility ???
    Hint ( it's 75% white )

  14. #14

    Default

    I am in agreement with 313 WX.

    I am unaware of any books or studies of attempts to "build" new downtowns, although there are numerous urban planning failures in vain attempts to do so, from Jackson, MI to Tacoma, WA.

    I do wish them luck, and hope that before they turn the first shovel full of earth they have a pocket full of pre-lease commitments in hand. If they build without them, they risk failure.

  15. #15

    Default

    Personally I don't even care about the development. Just here to say how hilarious the title of the thread is haha. Warren gets a downtown...

  16. #16

    Default

    If they could only get a mayor now...

  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by O3H View Post
    Wonder if the folks from Centerline will bother to cross the ""border""
    or stay in their protected, isolated, elite, super zone of invincibility ???
    Hint ( it's 75% white )
    Centerline is "elite"? Alrighty then...

  18. #18

    Default

    They can model it after the Mosaic District in Fairfax, VA. That place is higher end, but gets an enormous amount of foot traffic, especially in the summer.

  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Centerline is "elite"? Alrighty then...
    It was clearly a sarcastic remark, but you just couldn’t resist taking a shot at a non-Birmingham community.

  20. #20
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    Default

    Why is everyone shitting on this so hard? Is this cathartic for you guys or something? I've seen the renders and the materials look good. it's great to see them strive for more walkable development and give people different options for housing.

  21. #21

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsgreatest View Post
    Why is everyone shitting on this so hard? Is this cathartic for you guys or something? I've seen the renders and the materials look good. it's great to see them strive for more walkable development and give people different options for housing.
    I am with you. Warren needs new development. This is new.
    Godspeed and hopefully success.

    New developments require assuming risks. That is how it gets perfected for a given region. Get on with it while the getting is good.

    Doing nothing never works. It is hard to understand why people in this State seem to think that is a viable alternative. We need all the new/renovated we can possibly build inside the outer ring.

  22. #22
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ABetterDetroit View Post
    Doing nothing never works. I
    Nonsense. If Detroit "did nothing" during the urban renewal era, it would be 10x the city. Instead, it got busy tearing out the urban core and replacing with freeways, parking lots, suburban garden apartments and empty space. The urban fabric is almost entirely gone.

    And Warren isn't "doing something". They're building a strip mall, the same thing they've been doing for 60 years.

  23. #23
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bham1982 View Post
    Nonsense. If Detroit "did nothing" during the urban renewal era, it would be 10x the city. Instead, it got busy tearing out the urban core and replacing with freeways, parking lots, suburban garden apartments and empty space. The urban fabric is almost entirely gone.

    And Warren isn't "doing something". They're building a strip mall, the same thing they've been doing for 60 years.
    That is what literally every US city did... but how is this relevant to Warren's town center in any way? Which is clearly not a strip mall, what strip mall you know builds street-fronting town homes and multi-family residential buildings? are you just trolling?
    Last edited by Worldsgreatest; December-28-18 at 12:46 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsgreatest View Post
    That is what literally every US city did...
    Wrong. Many cities didn't eviscerate their cores.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsgreatest View Post
    but how is this relevant to Warren's town center in any way?
    You didn't read the previous post. I responded to a claim that you have to build new crap or you'll decline.

    Quote Originally Posted by Worldsgreatest View Post
    Which is clearly not a strip mall, what strip mall you know builds street-fronting town homes and multi-family residential buildings?
    How about most major sprawl redevelopments these days? You want me to list some?

    Here's "downtown" Novi. Oh, wait, it's a strip mall:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.4783...7i16384!8i8192

    Here's "downtown" Shelby. Oops, another strip mall:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6840...7i13312!8i6656

    And don't forget "downtown" West Bloomfield. Strip-mall heaven:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5431...7i16384!8i8192

    To the West there's "downtown" Wixom. Revel in its sprawltastic glory:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@42.5244...7i16384!8i8192

    And don't forget Big Beaver Rd, aka "downtown Troy" strip mall nirvana, with stacked townhouses/condos everywhere. Southfield, New Hudson, Canton, Rochester Hills and many others are busy creating similar "downtowns", which are just strip malls closer to the street, and some stacked townhomes.
    Last edited by Bham1982; December-28-18 at 02:42 AM.

  25. #25
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    Default

    When a city of CARS has 34 square miles and 130,000 residents
    what exactly is it supposed to build : a complete neighborhood
    of mom/pop propriety shops on narrow cobblestone streets
    accessible only by pedestrians and bicycles ............

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