HASLETT, Mich. — The Haslett Village Square in Meridian Township has been practically empty for years after L&L grocery store closed in 2011. Now, there's a proposal for a new $60 million housing and commercial development.
Michael Bosgraaf, president of Bosgraff Homes, is one of the developers hoping to bring some life back into the area that is now an empty plaza.
“It's seen a few better days and we have purchased the entire site there, except for the Pine Village site, which is the assisted living area to the west,” Bosgraaf said.
Bosgraaf said they're proposing 301 new housing units.
“There are anywhere from stack flats in a four-story building to apartments in a three-story buildings and then we have several apartments or townhouses, condominiums towards the backside of the property,” Bosgraaf said.
There will also be spots for commercial space.
“We're keeping the corner which is currently a bank site that will stay commercial and could be a future Walgreens, restaurant, brewpub, something of that nature, it will be torn down,” Bosgraaf said.
And a community hub with pickleball courts, a fitness center and outdoor activities.
“Some kind of restaurant or coffee shop," Bosgraaf said. "We've proposed a food truck area that would be open to the public where we could get up to four food trucks there on temporary basis, kind of a community, party, atmosphere. There's outside seating, fire pits, a pool area, all open to the public.”
Bosgraaf said working with a site that's already been developed like the Haslett Village Square has its advantages and disadvantages especially when it comes to cost.
“Potential contaminants, water and sewer lines, pavement buildings," Bosgraaf said. "The advantages, it has a fully developed area around that. So lots of areas that appeal to people. There's restaurants, there's shopping, school system, friends, walking trails off in that neighborhood. So, it really was an ideal site just had a lot of stuff on it that needs to go. The nice thing about redeveloping this brownfield site is it's a nice clean site with the exception of all the buildings, that's just expensive.”
Bosgraaf said they anticipate the cost to be between $60 and $70 million covered by private funding, possible bank funding and Bosgraaf hopes some from the Meridian Redevelopment Fund.
“I believe that number is about $900,000 to a million dollars and that's a pretty light ask, compared to the size of the project," Bosgraaf said. "Typically this size project, we'd see a five to 10 percent ask for cleanup. The advantages, the site is a fairly clean site. Just needs the demolition taken care of and some of that, to bring it you know, competitive with the rest of the markets.”
The Meridian Economic Development Corporation supported the amount requested at their last meeting. The next steps in approval will be review by a subcommittee appointed by the township board followed by approval from the board.
According to the developers' application for the money, there will be six phases of construction. Bosgraaf said he expects construction to begin this fall and be complete in about three years.
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