FPS officials may vote on Training Center purchase Tuesday

Maxfield Training CenterFarmington Public Schools officials may vote Tuesday on a proposal that would bring a two-story apartment complex to downtown Farmington, with the purchase of the long-vacant Maxfield Training Center.

In materials posted last week on the district’s website, administrators recommend accepting a $1.2 million cash offer from AC Acquisitions for the property on Thomas Street, just north of Grand River. The firm submitted a cash offer, and the plan includes 238 parking spaces.

“The interview team felt they had the best redevelopment option at the best offering price,” Director of Facilities Management Jon Riebe wrote in a memo outlining the recommendation.

City of Farmington officials took part in the plan review, because the city’s Planning Commission and council members will have final say over the redevelopment. All of the proposals include demolition of the 58,675-square-foot building, using Brownfield assistance to capture future tax revenues and offset demolition costs.

The district received four offers for the property after issuing a second request for proposals over the summer. They were opened on June 22, and bidders were offered an opportunity to submit a “last and best offer”. The other three development proposals all included apartments:

  • Curtis Building Company: $935,000 purchase, 67 apartments and 15 townhomes
  • Lorenzo Cavaliere and Michael Smith: $1.15 million purchase, 163 apartments, seven townhomes, and a parking deck, on district and adjacent First United Methodist Church property
  • SDC Ventures: $850,000 purchase, 150 apartments and a parking structure on district and church property

In his memo, Riebe noted that the two concepts using church property would likely complicate the purchase, because neither party had begun negotiations with the church. In addition, the proposals with parking decks assumed the city would fund construction, and “the City has indicated that they do not have funding available.”

Riebe’s memo noted that AC Acquisitions has completed similar projects in Royal Oak and Detroit, and “The company is a trusted professional name in the industry.”

The company’s proposal also appears to contain development on the Training Center property and would not affect four, Queen Anne-style houses on Grand River that preservationists have rallied to save.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in the Board Room at the Lewis B. Schulmann Administrative Center, 32500 Shiawassee in Farmington, and will be broadcast live on TV-10. There are opportunities at the beginning and end of the meeting for public comment. Learn more at farmington.k12.mi.us.