MEDC Announces Support, Incentives Package for The dot
On Tuesday, October 22, the State of Michigan approved an incentive package that will support the development of office space, street-level retail space designed to support independent and local business, and future affordable housing units for the City of Ferndale's upcoming new mixed-use parking development, The dot. The City has partnered with development group Versa Wanda LLC to help deliver the office, retail, and residential spaces.
The arrival of The dot (short for the Development on Troy) not only represents the delivery of long needed additional parking capacity, its mixed-use features advance economic resiliency in the downtown as well. In addition to delivering the downtown’s first Class-A office space, The dot will pay homage to the small-business entrepreneurial spirit that made Ferndale so successful by offering newly constructed street-level retail space with lease rates designed to support small and independent business. It also achieves a critical City Council initiative by delivering affordable housing in the heart of downtown.
The State’s incentive support package will allow Versa Wanda to develop 20,000-25,000 square feet of office space, 12,000-16,000 square feet of street-level retail along W. Troy St., and, eventually, affordable housing along Allen Rd.
”The community’s DNA and fingerprints are all over this project,” said City Manager Joseph Gacioch, who has worked on the project since its inception in late 2015. ”They helped us achieve a project that will deliver parking capacity and affordable housing, enable small businesses to flourish, create a sense of place for the community, and become a player in office recruitment. The saying ’it takes a village’ couldn’t be more appropriate for this project. Delivering all of those asks was a tall order, and we couldn’t have done it without such great partners in the MEDC and the folks at Versa Wanda LLC."
Mayor Dan Martin echoed Gacioch’s thoughts. “The dot project has been a long time in the making, and the process was painstaking at times,” Martin said. “But that was by design; our team and Council did their research, made strategic decisions, and the end result will be a development that does more than simply answer today’s parking shortage—it will help Ferndale’s businesses and residents succeed and thrive into the future."
Jacki Smith, Chair of Ferndale's Downtown Development Authority, added her support for the project as well. “The dot will bring a much needed outdoor gathering space to downtown Ferndale while supporting the culture of small businesses that we pride ourselves on,” said Smith. “The energy created by new parking, events, and shops will spill over to support the existing business owners who have invested in this community before it was on the map.”