X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

WESTLAND, MI-A Southfield-based developer is moving forward with plans to redevelop the abandoned Cooper School site which has stood vacant since the 1990s. Developer Frank Jonna would like to take the 35-acre property and build a senior citizen multifamily rental complex, medical office building and golf driving range, provided the Livonia public school system is game to sell the site.

The Cooper school was built on a landfill that was operated by Detroit until the 1950s, when it was closed and capped with a layer of clay. The school opened in 1966.

But in 1991, a woman reported finding a substance leaking from the landfill. The building was closed, and soil tests showed that it contained common household waste and toxins such as mercury and cadmium.

Previous plans for the property included condominiums and a golf driving range. However, officials say the new plans allow for better use of the property because there are no similar facilities in Westland’s north end for senior residents. Nearby Livonia has nearly 17,000 residents who are over age 65 who could benefit from the apartment, officials note.

Momentum to revitalize the property began this year, when the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality gave Livonia schools a $1.4 million grant to clean up the property. Westland will receive a $1 million loan, also to be used for cleanup. The loan can be repaid interest-free in five years.

“We’re excited about the prospect of having this go forward,” Westland Mayor Sandra Cicirelli says. “Our residents’ safety is going to be the foremost issue, and we’re going to make sure (the project) gets done appropriately.”

The developer and officials from Livonia public schools, the city of Westland and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will meet Friday to discuss a work plan for the property. DEQ officialswill have to approve the plan before developers can move forward.

If approved, the Cooper building could be demolished as early as this winter, Cicirelli says.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 3 free articles* across the ALM subscription network every 30 days
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt. Apartments 2020Event

Join 1000+ of the industry's top owners, investors, developers, brokers & financiers at THE MULTIFAMILY EVENT OF THE YEAR!

Get More Information
 

GlobeSt

Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.