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Mixed-use parking garage gets approval in Ferndale

Ferndale City Council approved special land use and site plan applications for a mixed-use parking structure at 180 Vester Street at its April 11 meeting. Shown here is a rendering by Serra-Marko & Associates of what the building might look like.

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FERNDALE — A mixed-use parking structure in downtown Ferndale has received City Council approval.

At its April 11 meeting, Ferndale City Council voted 4-0 to approve special land use and site plan applications for a 5-story parking structure at 180 Vester St. The property is owned at the Ferndale Collision auto shop.

The mixed-use building is proposed to contain 169 spaces over an area of ​​18,572 square feet. The first floor would not have parking, but would house shops. The project is connected to a mixed-use development at 141 Vester St. which was approved by council earlier this year.

A condition of this approval was that the developer agree to delay construction for 14 months from the date of approval to create an opportunity for the 180 Vester car park to be built first. The 141 Vester project will include 72 units with a focus on affordable housing.

“The rendering is basically the facade, a facade that’s broken in such a way that…it’s not immediately apparent as a parking structure,” said Peter D’Aleo, architect at Serra-Marko & Associates, during Of the reunion. “It attempts to be more compatible with adjacent buildings and contextually with the streetscape.”

Council approval, City Manager Joe Gacioch said, allows the developers, Zoma Investments, to move forward to explore their financing options.

Mayor Melanie Piana added that the banks need a good design project in order to estimate what the financing needs of the project would be to see if it can actually be built.

“Our business community and the residents of our meeting at 141 Vester wanted a guarantee that it was going to be built, and we said there was no guarantee of development,” she said, ” But this is just one step in the process of moving this project forward at a faster pace to see if it can meet parking demands, as well as the needs and demands that the business community and residents have set themselves a priority.

Councilman Greg Pawlica thought the project was excellent and made good use of the property. He also said the structure would allow Ferndale more flexibility with potential parking in land behind the Como restaurant, as well as any other development that might want to explore the east side of town.

“This addresses the need for additional parking on the east side, which (we will) lose a significant amount of parking to Project 141 (Vester),” he said.

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Deena S. Hawkins

The author Deena S. Hawkins