The 15.57 acre Sisters of Mercy Farmington Hills parcel, 29000 11 Mile Road, is being proposed to be redeveloped into an assisted senior living community.

The 15.57 acre Sisters of Mercy Farmington Hills parcel, 29000 11 Mile Road, is being proposed to be redeveloped into an assisted senior living community.

Photo by Jonathan Shead


Sisters of Mercy plan to sell Farmington Hills site after 60 years

Developers proposing new senior housing project

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published June 23, 2020

 The building currently known as the Mercy Center, along with five others on the 15.57 acre site, would be torn down and new assisted living housing would be erected in its place if Edward Rose & Sons purchases the parcel.

The building currently known as the Mercy Center, along with five others on the 15.57 acre site, would be torn down and new assisted living housing would be erected in its place if Edward Rose & Sons purchases the parcel.

Photo by Jonathan Shead

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FARMINGTON HILLS — Since 1960, Farmington Hills has been home to the Sisters of Mercy Catholic religious congregation after their relocation from Detroit.

Fast Forward 60 years, amid significant declines in the number of members joining the congregation and living at their current campus, 29000 W. 11 Mile Road, neighboring the Costick Activities Center, the sisters are planning to sell their property.

Edward Rose & Sons, of Bloomfield Hills, is the proposed development company planning to buy the 53.66 acre site and transform the 15.57 acres that currently house the Sisters of Mercy buildings into a senior living community — Rose Senior Living. The rest of the property includes a 34.18 acre conservation easement, which is protected from development. Edward Rose & Sons plans to allow the city to use 3.91 acres south of the Costick Activities Center for detached senior residential housing, if they wish.

“We had a big building with a large number of sisters in it, and now we have a big building with a few number of sisters, which is getting fewer and fewer. We were looking to the future,” said Sister Susan Sanders, of the Religious Sisters of Mercy, leader of the Sisters of Mercy West and Midwest congregations. “Our community is trying to figure out how to respect the Earth and the carbon footprint on that building and turn it over to someone who could put it to good use for others.”

Sanders said the Farmington Hills campus currently has as many as 80% fewer sisters living there, but at one point, 100 sisters or more lived there.

The congregation began thinking about what to do with the property as early as 2016. Conversations with Edward Rose & Sons began in 2018. Today, the two entities are working through the purchase agreement due diligence period, which they are about halfway through, Edward Rose & Sons Land Acquisition and Planning Director Mark Perkoski said. The purchase agreement is for roughly more than $5 million.

“We’re finalizing plans to submit to the city to start the site plan review process. Once we get through the site plan approval, if the city likes our development and it’s agreeable to what we want to do, then we would purchase the land, but that’s probably not going to happen until this time next year, more or less,” Perkoski said.

Before Edward Rose & Sons can purchase the property, however, the city of Farmington Hills had to sign and waive its right of first refusal, a deal that was struck between the Sisters of Mercy and the city when the city bought the land for the Costick Center. City Council members unanimously agreed to waive their right of first refusal at their June 8 meeting.

“It really comes down to their buildings and their property. We really don’t have a use for it,” Farmington Hills City Manager David Boyer said of the waiver. “The ultimate use is that it’s going to be developed as senior housing, (which) we think is going to be a great fit with the Costick Center being our senior facility.

It’s kind of creating a senior community there, so we think it enhances the Costick Center and for people to use that. We think it’s a good move.”

Finding a developer who shared in the sisters’ and the city’s vision was paramount, Sanders said.

“We would never consider selling the property just to get rid of it. We wanted to make sure it was a reputable person, and we think Edward Rose is a fantastic partner in this,” she said. “We’re not a partner in any legal sense, but certainly a partner in values and trying to provide good care and residential housing for senior citizens.”

“We wanted to be part of the city’s and the sisters’ vision of building a senior citizen-focused campus. We know there’s a need. We’re confident we can provide the accommodations that are needed in the area,” Perkoski added.

Edward Rose & Sons is working through the planned unit development process with the city currently. Of the seven buildings on the site, the company is proposing the removal of six to make space for 207 new apartments that would service senior and assisted living needs. The seventh building, a 500-seat chapel known as Catherine’s Place, would be preserved and repurposed for 27 new memory care rooms.

Perkoski hopes to have all site plan approvals by the end of the year in order to break ground at the site in summer 2021. He said it takes about 18 months to construct their senior housing developments.

“We’d hope our building would be open in early 2023.”

For many of the sisters still living at Sisters of Mercy Farmington Hills, while it’s certainly a loss for the congregation, Sanders sees it as a transitional moment where they can begin to focus on the sisters’ needs more one-on-one.

“The mission is to do the work of the gospel and be followers of Jesus. We don’t really need big, huge pieces of property to do that,” she said. “It’s certainly a loss, though. For the sisters who were trained there, it’s a big loss, but we’re trying to keep our eye on the people and not necessarily the stuff.”

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