Multi-family residential development approaches selection process in downtown Farmington
Aerial View of Maxfield Training Center
Kevin Christiansen believes that the third time’s the charm for the development of the old Maxwell Training Center site in downtown Farmington.

And Christiansen should know. Over the course of eight years, the Economic and Community Development Director for the City of Farmington has been involved in attempts to redevelop the Maxwell Training Center through two RFP processes and the city’s eventual purchasing of the site from Farmington Public Schools.

Christiansen is especially optimistic about this RFQ, though. The objective is to create housing in downtown Farmington, where demand outpaces supply.

The deadline for RFQ submissions is this Friday, Nov. 13.

“There is demand for housing throughout the country, Michigan, southeast Michigan, Oakland County. And in Farmington we’re seeing existing housing changing hands very quickly,” Christiansen says.

“This is being looked at as a multi-family development. We’re looking for high quality projects that complement downtown and are compatible with adjacent properties and will add to the city’s tax base.”

While it’s too early to say what the development will end up looking like, the RFQ says that a development could provide up to 124 residential units.

Christiansen views the approximately three-acre site as a link between the adjacent residential neighborhoods, historic district, and downtown Farmington, connecting the three distinct areas.

The selection process should move smoothly and quickly, he says. Following the deadline for submissions, the RFQs will then go through the review and recommendation process.

Christiansen expects a developer to be selected as soon as the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021.

The Maxwell Training Center, first built as the city high school in 1952, will be demolished to make way for the new development.

“Building housing provides people the opportunity to live downtown, for those that want to live, work, shop, and play downtown. It also serves as transitional land use from the neighborhoods to the historic district to the commercial district downtown,” Christiansen says.

“We’re very encouraged with all the work that’s been made, from Farmington Public Schools working with the city and then our work with the consultants and city council — this is the time that the city will realize the right project.”

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