This 11-acre site on Tower Drive is zoned office mixed use in accordance with the city’s master plan, a zoning that aims to promote infill of sites like this.

This 11-acre site on Tower Drive is zoned office mixed use in accordance with the city’s master plan, a zoning that aims to promote infill of sites like this.

File photo by Donna Agusti


Planning Commission OKs plan for retail center on Tower Drive in Troy

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published January 29, 2019

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TROY — After pausing plans for a retail development and drive-thru in a parking lot on 11 parking-lot-heavy acres on Tower Drive, at Crooks Road, in December, the Troy Planning Commission approved the preliminary site plan Jan. 22.

The Planning Commission voted 7-1 to approve the plan for a 9,844-square-foot, four-unit, one-story building. Planning Commissioner Karen Crusse opposed it.

“I’m not a huge fan of drive-thru facilities in areas with high traffic,” she said.

The Troy City Council unanimously approved a rezoning for the parcel from a research center district to an office mixed-use zoning in 2017. The Planning Commission had unanimously recommended approval of that rezoning.

Crusse talked about the vision for the Big Beaver corridor, which she said “presents an opportunity for density and height,” and she noted that the retail center is one story. “You could have gone five stories,” she said.

Larry Goss, a spokesman for the developer, Core Partners, told the Planning Commission at the Dec. 11 meeting that they are targeting a Panera Bread restaurant and other retail businesses for the site.

He told the Planning Commission Jan. 22 that a market study supports more restaurants and retail uses, but not office space, which would have occupied the floors of a taller building.

“It’s a huge improvement to what was submitted initially,” said Planning Commissioner Ollie Apahidean.

Ben Carlisle, of Carlisle/Wortman Associates, the city’s planning consultant, told the Planning Commission that the applicant reconfigured the building so parking will be adjacent to the rear of the building, and shifted the building 17 more feet back from Crooks Road. This allows for two rows of parking in the front of the building and provides easier pedestrian connections from the lot.

“It’s a more attractive and better pedestrian connection,” Carlisle said.

“We went back to the drawing board and found some better solutions,” Goss said.

“I think it’s a much better project than what was (previously) before us,” said Planning Commissioner John Tagle.

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