**Project Update: The development team concluded negotiations with the City on April 17, 2019. Therefore, the project will not be moving forward. The staff memo and letter submit to City Council can be reviewed at this link.**
As you may be aware, the City of Ferndale has established a preliminary partnership with Baker College to explore the possibility of a new campus development in our downtown. On January 14, 2019, the City and Baker College entered into an Exclusive Negotiating Rights Agreement, or ENRA, to consider plans and provide opportunities to hear from the community before project approvals are sought.
Baker College, in partnership with Acquest Realty and TMP Architecture, desires to create a flagship urban college campus in the heart of downtown Ferndale. The campus would serve approximately 1,500 students and 50 staff, bringing an average daily peak traffic of 250-300 people per day, primarily during daytime hours, to downtown Ferndale.
Baker College plans to consolidate and close four suburban campuses in August 2020, and open their flagship urban campus somewhere in Metro Detroit in time for classes to begin in Fall 2020. Baker approached Ferndale as their preferred location and requested an opportunity to collaboratively explore this possibility with our community.
The proposed project would consist of the following developer-funded activities:
The City is exploring this opportunity with Baker College keeping in mind community goals that have been captured in the City's Master Plan and Strategic Plan, as well as the DDA's Strategic Plan. Preliminary reasons the City is taking this ENRA period to explore to opportunity include parking/mobility, community impact, and a general "fit" within the community. Community benefits that the City is negotiating with Baker College could include parking supply, public improvements (ex: green infrastructure and streetscape), affordable commercial space, and public safety.
The current timeline for the project includes:
Location: E. Nine Mile, between Bermuda and the north/south alley (behind Como's)
Site Plan Review (Article XI.)
Special Land Use (Article XII.)
Central Business District Zoning (Article IV.)