Lathrup Village selected for PlacePlans project, new City Hall in works

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published February 11, 2015

 Snow blankets the ground of Lathrup Village City Hall, 27400 Southfield Road. As part of the PlacePlans project, the grounds are slated to get a facelift to improve the quality of events held at the complex.

Snow blankets the ground of Lathrup Village City Hall, 27400 Southfield Road. As part of the PlacePlans project, the grounds are slated to get a facelift to improve the quality of events held at the complex.

Photo by Donna Agusti

LATHRUP VILLAGE — City Hall is said to be at the center of Lathrup Village, home to community staples like Summer in the Village and the Farmers Market, but the heart of the city might soon be getting a makeover due to its selection in the PlacePlans project.

The project, spearheaded by  the Michigan Municipal League, aims to aid cities by lending technical assistance with key economic development projects.

“It’s the idea that unique, distinctive places are  important to our community,” said Richard Murphy, project manager for the Michigan Municipal League’s work in Lathrup Village.

Lathrup Village was chosen through a statewide application process along with Benton Harbor, Boyne City, Monroe, Niles, Saginaw and Traverse City.

“We had a competitive call for projects this past November and December, and Lathrup Village’s project really appealed to us through the amount of work they’ve already done through their master plan,” Murphy said.

Lathrup Village’s inclusion in the project will be covered by a grant from the MML and Michigan State University, Murphy said. The projects are also completed through support from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Gov. Rick Synder’s MIplace partnership.

Assistant City Administrator Martha Potere said the city wrote a letter of intent after thinking about which project would create a better sense of place in the community, citing the heavy use of the parks and grounds of City Hall.

“We often don’t have enough room for parking and for multiple groups to host activities here,” Potere said. “The parks get a lot of wear and tear — people are having weddings, funerals, parties. This building is creating a sense of community, but we think it could function a little bit better for residents and those who come to Lathrup for the events.”

Potere said the city was chosen on a general idea from their letter of intent, but residents will have a chance to weigh in on the specifics through a series of meetings.

“What the Michigan Municpal League is helping us do is host a series of meetings,” Potere said. “Anybody can come out and help us think about the building and give us input on how they want it to look.”

The first meeting will be held from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 26 at City Hall.

The budget for the project will be determined after residents decide what they want to see, Murphy said.

The project should wrap up by October, Potere said.