Woodward Avenue, designated a state highway in 1913, is a bustling thoroughfare and is well-known by the residents of Southeast Michigan. It holds both historic and economic value for each of the Metro Detroit cities it passes through. It is famous for being the first paved road in America, when one mile of it was paved in 1909, and it is even more recognizable for the Woodward Dream Cruise, an annual event that draws over one million visitors and more than 40,000 classic cars.
Royal Oak, a trendy city located 13 miles outside of downtown Detroit and one of the many cities that Woodward Avenue runs through, even addressed the highway in their Master Plan. The city's plan specifically stated it aims to aid in the improvement and maintenance of buildings and streetscapes along Woodward Avenue and help phase out previous structures that no longer serve their best and fullest use.
One of the largest mixed-use development projects taking place in Royal Oak right now is located on the Southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road. The property, owned by Beaumont Health, is adjacent to Beaumont Hospital’s Royal Oak campus.
A Baseline Environmental Site Assessment conducted by PM Environmental (PM) on the project site, previously three separate parcels, identified environmental concerns and the need for further environmental response activities to address on-site contamination. Some of the Recognized Environmental Conditions (RECs) uncovered were from the property’s historical uses. One of the parcels was once a gasoline dispensing station and more recently an auto repair shop which used in-ground hoists. Another parcel was occupied by dry cleaning operations for over 25 years.
To help mitigate the costs of the environmental services needed, PM provided financial incentives consulting and prepared a Brownfield Plan, securing over $3.7 million in reimbursable costs to the developer.
Construction on the 15-acre site started in 2016 following the demolition of the blighted and dilapidated buildings on the property. The redevelopment plan calls for six buildings on the property, including an anchor grocery tenant, a five-story hotel, and an array of restaurants and other retail offerings in an attractive setting that includes green space, landscape gardens and community gathering areas. Redevelopment is anticipated to create approximately 150 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs and 200 temporary construction jobs.
Detroit-based New Order Coffee and Boston-based Wahlburgers are the first two retailers announced to have secured space in the new development. The $32.8 million, 117,000-square-foot commercial development will be named “Woodward Corners by Beaumont” and is set to be completed by the end of 2018.