Observer & Eccentric
A proposed two-story, 43,000-square-foot mixed-use development is slated to be constructed on the northern 1.47 acres of the property located at 20300 Civic Center Drive, on the northwest corner of Civic Center Drive and Central Park Boulevard.
The Southfield City Council unanimously approved Phase III of the Arbor Lofts development proposed at its Dec. 16 meeting.
Developers Pamela and Eugene Applebaum, Rushmore Group LLC and Arbor Investments Group converted the former 114,000-square-foot, four-story Civic Plaza office building into the new Arbor Lofts residential and retail community in mid 2013.
The top three floors were converted into loft apartments with a total of 171 rooms. The first residents moved in August 2013, and the lofts are now approximately 82 percent occupied as of December 2013. Lawrence Technological University leased 100 of the lofts for students.
The first floor has been converted into mixed-use space, including a common gym and lounge area, Koala Co-work (collaborative technology business incubator), and Meridian Visiting Physician’s corporate office. Future businesses will include a yoga studio, Cross Fitness Studio and others.
A 10,000-square-foot, multi-use accessory retail building was also approved in 2013 for future construction at the corner of Civic Center and Central Park Blvd.
“The Arbor Lofts project is a very unique and progressive approach to redevelopment that offers a great opportunity for anyone that is looking for the convenience and comfort of urban living with style and sophistication,” Mayor Brenda Lawrence said. “…I am also very pleased to see the continued development of this project with the approval of the additional commercial buildings to be constructed.”
Council President Sylvia Jordan said that the approval for the third phase came on a unanimous vote. The proposal had been controversial, with Councilman Don Fracassi and others voicing concern about a proposed road in the area and the impact of the bottom retail floor of the development.
City Council approved a zoning amendment for an Overlay Development District on the entire 5.21 acre site on Oct. 21, 2013 to clear the way for Phase III of the project. The ODD modifies the traditional form of zoning to permit more variety in design, site configuration, setbacks, layout, and use – encouraging efficiency in use of land and natural resources while ensuring compatibility with surrounding land uses.
“It is very exciting to see the Arbor Lofts development continue to take shape, starting with the adaptive reuse of the former antiquated office building to new mixed-use construction,” City Planner Terry Croad said. “We are very pleased that this project continues to move forward and attract further interest and investment.”