Regional development news round-up for July

It's been another busy month for development news in metropolitan Detroit. Let's catch up on some more development stories from the past four weeks.

The former Save-A-Lot site in downtown Ferndale will be demolished, and the Ferndale Haus Lofts will be built in its place. The mixed-use development will include approximately 90 market-rate apartments and 10,800 sq. ft. of office/retail space. The Michigan Strategic Fund approved $2,241,384 in local and school tax capture for the project. According to a release by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the mixed-use development will generate $17.9 million in local investment and create 14 full-time jobs.

Macomb County experienced a 30 percent drop in tax-foreclosures since last year. 318 parcels were foreclosed for non-payment of taxes for 2013 and the years prior, a drop from last year's total of 449 parcels. The county launched a Keep Macomb Your Home campaign in early March, and Macomb officials say there was a sharp increase in taxpayers contacting the treasurer office upon its release.

The 125-acre Detroit House of Corrections site in Plymouth is closer to being demolished and eventually redeveloped, with the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority awarding a contract to ATC Group of Novi for preliminary environmental analysis of the property. The building has been vacant since 2004 and is largely characterized as an eyesore. Demolition could begin before the end of 2016.

The Ferndale restaurant Pop's for Italian is expanding, taking over part of a neighboring restaurant the Daily Dinette. Both restaurants are owned by Kramer Restaurant Group. Owner Brian Kramer says expanding Pop's is required because of a new brunch service, demand for large party seating, and the need to prepare fresh pasta and pizza dough daily.

Voting for Michigan Community Excellence Awards comes to a close July 30. The program celebrates placemaking projects throughout the state. Past winners include the Westland City Hall Retrofit, Ironwood Railroad Depot Park, and Cops & Doughnuts Bakery in Clare. Vote online today.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.