An agreement for a developer to build housing, office and retail space for The Development on Troy, or “The dot,” was approved at the Ferndale City Council’s July 8 meeting.

An agreement for a developer to build housing, office and retail space for The Development on Troy, or “The dot,” was approved at the Ferndale City Council’s July 8 meeting.

File rendering provided by the city of Ferndale


Ferndale council passes development agreement for ‘dot’

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published July 16, 2019

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FERNDALE — The Ferndale City Council approved an agreement between the city and a developer to build housing, office and retail space for The Development on Troy, known as “The dot.”

The development agreement that was approved at the July 8 meeting was between Ferndale and Versa Wanda LLC. The negotiations between the two date back to last year when they entered into an exclusive negotiation rights agreement.

City Manager Joe Gacioch said at the meeting that the next steps in the process, after obtaining the approval, would be for Versa Wanda to secure an architect and engineering firm within 10 days of the signature. He said they will pursue the city’s design team, Fusco, Shaffer & Pappas Inc.

“The first time we went out for a bid for development rights on this, every developer just wanted to build market rate condos … which were something we just knew that wasn’t a good fit for us,” he said. “We were really willing to be patient on this and stick out for the right partner who’s willing to help us realize our goals.”

Greg Erne, a principal with Versa Wanda, said this process has been a “fruitful negotiation.”

“Everyone’s still committed to the original goals, and I think we’re very close to seeing this through to fruition,” he said.

Gacioch said no site plan or schematic design has been developed as of now, and the focus will be on developing the office and retail before they get to the residential.

He further said, though, that they hope to have a residential site plan due by Dec. 1, 2020, and a schematic design for residential space before then, in the spring.

“A lot of this aligns with the financing, which is likely going to be HUD-related to help us deliver the affordable goal,” he said, referring to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The council unanimously passed the development agreement, with Mayor Dave Coulter saying he was “beyond supportive” of it.

“I appreciate (Versa Wanda’s) willingness to work within parameters that are probably not typical in every city, but, you know, we consider ourselves different than other cities,” he said. “There were some things that needed to be part of this project that were very important to us, so I really appreciate your willingness to look at the affordable housing, to work on the issue of affordability for the commercial spaces to try to attract the kinds of folks that we like here.”

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