In June, the Sterling Heights City Council approved the rezoning of a plot of vacant land on Schoenherr Road, north of 14 Mile Road, between O’Reilly Auto Parts and a DMC Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine clinic.

In June, the Sterling Heights City Council approved the rezoning of a plot of vacant land on Schoenherr Road, north of 14 Mile Road, between O’Reilly Auto Parts and a DMC Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine clinic.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Sterling Heights City Council approves new apartments along Schoenherr

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published June 29, 2022


STERLING HEIGHTS — Sterling Heights recently gave a well-known local developer a chance to put rental units on Park Place.

During a June 7 meeting, the Sterling Heights City Council voted 6-1 to introduce a proposal to rezone a parcel of land along Schoenherr Road so it can become a Sterling Park Place apartment complex. Then on June 21, the council adopted the proposal 6-1. Both times, Councilman Michael Radtke voted no.

The proposal will rezone 2.89 acres of undeveloped land  at 33416 Schoenherr Road, on the road’s east side, between 14 Mile and 15 Mile roads. The land is located between an O’Reilly Auto Parts and a Detroit Medical Center clinic, and it is not far from the Roger’s Roost restaurant.

Up until now, the land was zoned O-1 business and professional office, and now it’ll be RM-3, for multiple family residential, as well as mid- and high-rises.

Philip Ruggeri — representing the developer, Tony Gallo — said the Planning Commission voted 3-5 “not in our favor” for the proposal.

City Planner Chris McLeod said the Planning Commission thought “there was too much on this particular piece of property.” However, the Planning Commission’s decision prompted Gallo to change parts of the Park Place proposal. One change was reducing units from 92 to 88; another was reducing parking to add more green space. The proposal added recreational space, and more landscaping, trees and shrubs, among other things.

According to the developer, Park Place apartments’ monthly rent would range between $1,300 and $1,600.

Ruggeri called the Park Place proposal a “very good transitional use between the commercial that does exist,” and he said Gallo keeps his properties clean. The attorney added that the land is currently “very, very dormant.”

“Tony has an eye for properties that can have an alternative use,” Ruggeri said. “He has a knack for finding parcels such as this, to make useful properties out of them.”

According to Ruggeri, Gallo already owns other properties in Sterling Heights, such as Sterling Landings, near Van Dyke Avenue and 15 Mile, as well as a property under construction near Schoenherr and Hall roads.

When the council opined on the proposal June 7, Councilman Henry Yanez supported it, adding that the city needs to do something to unused properties in O-1 zones.

“We need affordable housing. We need more housing,” Yanez added.

Councilman Michael Radtke said he had “severe concerns” about the proposal.

“It’s a large building sandwiched onto a small lot with a large parking lot almost on top of the building,” he said.

At one point, Radtke and Councilwoman Barbara Ziarko suggested sending the proposal back to the Planning Commission. But Mayor Michael Taylor asked the council, “Who are we protecting?”

Taylor said that the area has a housing crisis, and that the only losers from the proposal failing are the families who could have rented there.

“I think we have a moral obligation as elected officials in the roles that we have voluntarily taken on to do what we can to help people get into housing that don’t have the opportunity to right now,” he said.

Some council members asked Gallo if he’d be willing to further reduce the number of units. Councilwoman Maria Schmidt said 82 units would be “a little easier for me to swallow.”

Gallo agreed and said the space saved by removing six more units could go toward open space on the premises. Taylor praised Gallo for being willing to compromise.

Just before the second vote June 21, Radtke praised Gallo for improving the project by adding more green space in the back.

“I’m still going to vote no, but it’s a very close no for me,” he said. “My single issue on this piece is that there’s a lack of green space between the cars parking at the building edge and the door.”

Additionally, on June 21, the Sterling Heights City Council voted 6-1 to reject introducing a proposal for a different apartment complex that Gallo wanted to build along Irving Road, near Van Dyke Avenue and 15 Mile Road, called Sterling Landings III. Taylor supported the project and was the lone dissenter during the vote. Additional coverage will be featured in an upcoming issue of the Sentry.

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting or by calling (586) 446-2489. Find out more about Gallo Cos. by visiting