City Walk plans include apartments

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published December 25, 2013

ROCHESTER HILLS — The City Walk shopping center, located on the southeast corner of Tienken and Rochester roads, may include high-end apartments in the near future.

“We feel (that), for better balance on a long-term basis, a residential element on this property would be beneficial,” said City Walk developer Paul Aragona. “We have amenities on site that would help the residential occupants in terms of services and goods and child care. There are benefits for living on site. In addition, this area has a high walkability factor.”

Aragona aims to build a mixed-use building with high-end residential apartments over first-story retail and parking on a site originally planned to be a one-story retail building on the east side of the center. 

The Rochester City Council unanimously approved a revised planned unit development for City Walk Dec. 9. The proposal for the apartment development is subject to site approval from the city’s Planning Commission, as well as final approval from City Council.

“I think this would be a tremendous catalyst for that Rochester-Tienken corner, if you can get some mixed-use and high-end rentals in there,” said Rochester Hills City Council member Mark Tisdale. “There are 83 million millenials and 78 million baby boomers that are looking for exactly that kind of high-density, high-walkability location.”

Tisdale said the development could also serve as a catalyst for development of the former Twist Drill site, on the northeast corner of Rochester and Tienken roads.

The developers also want additional restaurants in City Walk, moving from 25 percent permitted for restaurants to 35 percent.

“It is the trend in the industry. There is more food uses going on in these mixed-use developments,” Aragona said. “To match it up well, we are asking for 10 percent additional for restaurant uses. Coffee shops fall in that usage.”

“I am excited about it,” said Rochester Hills City Council member Michael Webber. “Some of the devils will be in the details, as far as the site plan. I think it is a great concept for our community, and (I) look forward to the site plan.”

“I think it is an excellent idea,” Council President Greg Hooper said. “The façade has got to be good. There will be a lot of scrutiny in the Planning Commission, I am sure. I think it will be a hit, no doubt about it, for that area.”