Birmingham/Troy transit center plans for development, possible streetcar line

There might not be a wrong side of the tracks when it comes to Troy and Birmingham but there definitely is a difference.

Look to the east and there is Troy in all of its sprawling, suburbanized glory. To the west is the more urban Birmingham with its grid-like neighborhoods standing in stark contrast to the subdivisions of its eastern sister. But local leaders have a plan to connect these two very different communities by creating a rail line from Troy's Somerset Collection and Pavilions of Troy to Birmingham's booming downtown and Triangle District.

Connecting these institutions is a planned transit center in Birmingham's emerging Rail District and a proposed small mass transit line. The transit center would be the stop for the proposed northern leg of the Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail line.

The Rail District is planned to become a dense urban environment built with mixed-use structures similar to downtown and the Triangle District. That's a big change in direction for a place that has historically been an industrial area surrounded by traditional neighborhoods.

The proposed small mass transit line would utilize a permanent form of transit, such as streetcars. It would connect major institutions in both communities, such as downtown Birmingham, Somerset Mall, Pavilions of Troy and Troy's Civic Center.

Source: University of Michigan/Urban Land Institute Real Estate Forum
Writer: Jon Zemke

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