Missouri-based NorthPoint Development’s plans to build a three-story self-storage facility and a three-story assisted living and memory care center at 32600 Northwestern Highway were approved by the City Council.

Missouri-based NorthPoint Development’s plans to build a three-story self-storage facility and a three-story assisted living and memory care center at 32600 Northwestern Highway were approved by the City Council.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Senior living center, self-storage facility developments approved

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published November 5, 2019

 Demolition of the current building on the site is expected to start at the beginning of 2020, with construction starting in late spring or early summer.

Demolition of the current building on the site is expected to start at the beginning of 2020, with construction starting in late spring or early summer.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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FARMINGTON HILLS — A final verdict has been reached in a planned unit development project that proposes to bring an assisted living and memory care center, and a self-storage facility to the city.

The City Council unanimously approved the PUD agreement proposed by the Missouri-based NorthPoint Development firm at its Oct. 28 meeting. Council members approved the site and landscaping plans for the developments in June, but their latest vote seals the deal and allows the firm to move forward and begin construction.

“We’ve been trying to get the site for about 18 months now,” said Jed Momot, the chief strategy officer for NorthPoint Development. “We’re approved now, and we’re ready to hit the ground running.”

The project will sit at 32600 Northwestern Highway on an approximately 5-acre parcel, where an abandoned AT&T building has sat vacant for several years. Both buildings proposed on the property will be three stories tall.

The self-storage facility, named Beyond Self Storage, will occupy 41,279 square feet, with 691 climate-controlled storage units ranging from 5-by-5 feet to 10-by-30 feet. The entrance to the facility will sit on Northwestern Highway.

The assisted living and memory care center will comprise 26,260 square feet with a total of 87 rooms — 68 assisted living units and 19 memory care units — and 99 beds. The parking lot will have space for 64 vehicles and will be accessible from 14 Mile Road.

The memory care center will feature a sitting area, a spa and activities room, a dining room, a kitchen, and on-site laundry facilities for its residents. Assisted living care residents will have access to two sitting areas, two outdoor patios, a kitchen and dining area, a bistro, a theater, a fitness center and spa, an activities room, and on-site laundry.

While the two developments were proposed under the same PUD, Momot said the project will be “two truly separate, stand-alone businesses.”

Momot said his firm was attracted to investing in Farmington Hills based on other projects his firm has developed in Troy, Rochester Hills and Northville. His company was familiar with the metro Detroit market, and Farmington Hills “rounded out the areas we wanted to invest in for seniors and self-storage.”

West Bloomfield resident Diane Hausner, who lives in the Kimberly North subdivision, near the project site, has opposed the project from the start. She doesn’t think there’s a need for more senior housing in the area. She referenced an independent study commissioned by West Bloomfield Township officials that found that the township was oversaturated with senior housing.

“There’s a lot of reasons I’m opposing it, but No. 1, the area is oversaturated with assisted living and memory care, like the West Bloomfield study proved,” she said. “Nobody needs another development. … They’re all over the place, (and) these places are not making it.”

Hausner said she’s called some of the senior housing options in the area or drove by them and saw several openings or vacancies. A Google search for “senior living centers in Farmington Hills” found 18 existing options within the city’s limits.

Hausner, among other community members opposing the development, the majority of whom are also West Bloomfield residents, was also concerned about potential increases in traffic at an already high-traffic intersection and the project’s proximity to residential areas.

“The land was zoned commercial, so it was zoned for a high-density use. A shopping center or something like that could have been built on the parcel,” Momot said in response to those concerns. “Both of these (projects) are actually significant reductions in traffic from what the underlying zoning would allow.

“While we can’t alleviate everything, we certainly try and compromise where we can. It’s a process that we work through with residents and staff,” he added. “Ultimately, we got to a point that the city was comfortable with recommending this to go forward. We’re happy where it landed.”

Farmington Hills Mayor Ken Massey was pleased with the development plan and the way the developers conducted themselves throughout. He said they are experienced and did their homework to determine that the need was there. He also said the developers listened well to the residents’ concerns and made concessions to help residents get past their objections.

Massey added that the site is “a unique, difficult parcel” because of where it sits on the corner of two major roads. It has been vacant for numerous years because other developers haven’t been attracted to it, he said.

Overall, he thinks the development will be a benefit to the city.

“It gives people an option who want to stay in the community and have needs that will be met by these places. It (also) adds to our tax base. It’s not all about the tax money, but let’s face it: An idle piece of property that has abandoned buildings on it versus something that’s vital to residents — the latter is a much better option,” he said. “We’re all hoping for a really solid development.”

Demolition of the current building on-site is expected to start at the beginning of 2020, said Momot, with construction beginning in late spring or early summer. Momot expects the self-storage facility to be open and operating a year after construction begins.

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