‘Dot’ on verge of opening after years of development

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published November 20, 2020

 The dot is close to completion, according to Ferndale officials, but it still needs an elevator inspection before it’s allowed to open. City Manager Joe Gacioch said that if it weren’t for the elevator inspection, The dot would be open now.

The dot is close to completion, according to Ferndale officials, but it still needs an elevator inspection before it’s allowed to open. City Manager Joe Gacioch said that if it weren’t for the elevator inspection, The dot would be open now.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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FERNDALE — The Development on Troy, called “The dot,” is closer than ever to officially opening, though it needs to pass one big hurdle to do so.

Construction on The dot has been finishing up this fall, and at the end of October, Troy Street, where the parking structure is located and which had been shut down for almost two years, finally reopened.

As of Nov. 16, the city was waiting on final approvals from the state of Michigan for the elevators in The dot. Once the city gets that, the garage can open. Until then, nobody can park in the structure.

“We’re working with the elevator company to make sure the elevators are operable,” City Manager Joe Gacioch said. “Once they’re operable, we can schedule an inspection. Really, that’s out of our hands right now. That’s what we’re waiting on.”

 Gacioch expects The dot to be open this month. Other than the elevator inspection, all major components of the project are complete.

“If not for elevators, we’d be open,” he said.

The dot first broke ground in February 2019. Construction continued for the next year with the aim of officially opening this past June. However, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down construction and the entire state in March, bringing the project to a halt.

It wasn’t until May that construction was able to slowly pick up again, and Ferndale set its sights on a fall completion date instead.

Mayor Melanie Piana said she’s excited for The dot’s completion and opening, though disappointed at the lack of progress on the elevator inspection. She stated that they’ve been in a cycle of getting the elevator approved for about four weeks.

“I’m a little frustrated that we haven’t been able to open because of this elevator inspection hang-up,” she said. “It’s kind of out of the city’s hands until this gets completed.”

Piana is hoping The dot can be open in time for the holiday shopping season in the downtown. She also was happy with Troy Street’s improved look.

“There is enclosed bike parking … and there’s charging stations. There’s just so many great elements that meet the needs of the community that they help define. I’m just really excited that we’re so close to the finish line,” she said.

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