Redevelopment of Downtown Okemos is Closer to Reality
OKEMOS - The Village of Okemos Concept Plan was presented to the Meridian Township Board on Tuesday, February 19 by True North Development showcasing a walkable compact mixed-use development based on the existing Downtown Okemos grid to create how it may have turned out if it had continued through to completion when it began.
According to representatives, they stated this type of development with one or two person households attracts empty nesters, single parents, major employers and communities seeking these types of developments. When Treasurer Phil Deschaine asked about retailers, Developer Will Randle stated they have a large retailer interested in a 20,000 square foot collaborative work space. He also stated that according to research, collaborative retail space is a required amenity for this type of targeted demographic profile.
The proposal is to recreate two blocks; around 5 acres on the west side of Okemos Road to the north and south of Hamilton Road. True North Development's market demand research indicates that new retail demand is around 45,000 square feet drawing people who live within walking distance or a short drive. Representatives of True North presented what supportable retail in Downtown Okemos would look like including eateries, brewpubs, general merchandise and small stores.
Representatives stated that Downtown Okemos is a well located area near Grand River Avenue and I-96 South, is part of a historic grid, next to a large natural park on the river and a busy area. People living here will have an opportunity to be close to employment centers, highway, shopping and a large park; stating it is almost the picture perfect place to design this type of development and that it is one of the best sites that they have seen in a long time.
The Village of Okemos Concept Plan planning team has already hosted multiple community and neighborhood meetings to gather resident and visitor feedback. The next opportunity to engage will be for members of the 4 Corners Alliance Group on February 28, 2019 at 6 pm at Henry's Place in Okemos. Those interested in attending should RSVP through their group page: www.facebook.com/groups/4CornersAllianceOkemos.