Public Hearing to be Held for Village of Okemos Project
MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP - On Thursday, January 7th at 6:00 pm, a public hearing will be held about the Village of Okemos project. Village of Okemos, LLC has requested to amend the Mixed Use Planned Unit Development and Special Use Permit approval for the Village of Okemos project.
The developer, True North Development, is proposing to:
-Reduce the project by 19,790 square feet
-Add 81 residential units
-And substitute surface parking for parking garages
Overall, 286 residential units and about 32,860 square feet of commercial space is being proposed. The project site is approximately 3.99 acres and is zoned C-2 (Commercial).
The public hearing will allow residents of Meridian Township to voice their comments about the proposed change. Multiple residents have voiced their concerns about this amendment. The general comments posted on Meridian Township’s Facebook post about the public hearing are concerns about having more luxury apartments and not enough retail and restaurant space.
According to a public hearing information and FAQ document provided by True North Development, this proposed amendment will still provide the same amount of retail and restaurant space as before. The commercial space they wish to convert to residential was originally designed to be commercial office space. However, True North Development stated in the document that commercial office space demand is expected to decline due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The document also claims that the proposed retail and restaurant space along Hamilton Road will remain the same.
Another concern residents have is the change in parking. True North Development said that due to the level of contamination in the soil, underground parking is much more difficult and expensive to create. The original plan was for underground parking and a surface lot, but the amendment would change that plan to a one-level above grade parking ramp on each block.
The last concern that True North Development addressed in their document is the fear that this project would switch its intent once developed. Specifically, that the development would be marketed towards students for student housing instead of housing for long-term residents. True North Development states that this amendment request will not impact the project’s target residential market. However, they believe in fair housing and cannot say no to a student if they choose to live there. Though that is the case, the proposed additional housing includes multi-story townhomes. The document states that these homes will be ideal for retirees or anyone looking to downsize their home.
Again, the meeting is Thursday, January 7th at 6:00 pm. The meeting information is as follows:
Meeting ID: 834 7557 6729
More information about this project can be found at www.meridian.mi.us. Stay tuned to HOMTV as we continue to follow this story.