A couple weeks or so ago I posted about 1 Billion, with a B, worth of real estate projects going on as reported by Crain's Detroit. Michigan may be in a tough spot right now, but if the future seems bleak, ask yourself "Why is there so much out-of-state monet coming in?"
Korie Wilkins of The Detroit Free Press Reported
Royal Oak Township is poised to get its first big residential development in more than 40 years when a $30-million, 150-condominium project breaks ground this fall.
But whether anyone will pony up about $160,000 for one of the new homes is anyone's guess.Last month, an incident in which a man and a woman were left shot and bleeding on a residential street for 20 minutes despite 911 calls renewed safety concerns over the township's lack of midnight police patrols. The patrols became victims of budget cuts two years ago.
Adding to that, like many communities in Michigan, the real estate market in the 0.5-square-mile township is already in the dumps. According to Realcomp, a Farmington Hills-based multi-list service, only 14 homes have been sold in the township since July 2006. And the median home sale price, $59,250, is well below half the cost of the new condos.
"One hundred and sixty thousand would be high for that area," said Tim Judd, an associate broker with ReMax Avenue in Ferndale, which sold 11 homes in the township in the last 12 months. "It's very small, and I know people don't look there because of safety concerns."
Still, some residents, officials and the developers say the unnamed project, which will be built along Wyoming between 8 Mile and Cloverdale, is just what the township needs to spur further redevelopment.
And despite the time it took for help to arrive for the shooting victims -- who survived the incident -- the community of about 2,800 residents is safe, friendly and on its way up, township Supervisor William Morgan said.
"I believe we're one of the safest communities in Michigan," he said. "We have lots of economic development opportunities. We just have to make the right moves."
Resident Mozella McIntyre said people who once lived in Royal Oak Township want to move back.
"With every community, there are ups and downs," said McIntyre, who has lived in the township for more than 30 years. "But we're looking forward to this new development. I think things will change."
Royal Oak Township, which has suffered in recent years, could use change.
In 2003 and 2004, the City of Oak Park annexed a chunk of land -- taking with it $700,000 in tax dollars, Morgan said. The township saw services slashed, including dedicated midnight police patrols.
Officials are hoping the new development, which will be built over four or five years, will replace the lost revenue. Morgan said that could mean the township eventually could get its own police department.
The township contracts with the Oakland County Sheriff's Office for day patrols and the Michigan State Police on an as-available basis on the midnight shift.
Anthony Simmons, one of the developers of the project, said the 1,100- to 1,200-square-foot townhouses and ranch-style condos would be upscale. Phase one, which will be 30 units built along Wyoming just north of 8 Mile, will begin later this fall.