By DANIEL HERATY
DEARBORN – Students at The University of Michigan-Dearborn may live on campus soon.
City councilors approved a resolution Aug. 1 allowing for potential state approval for tax incentives for student housing on the UM-D campus.
The proposed project is to include one new building and at least two converted from existing office space, a 12-and-a-half acre property, located at 760-790 Town Center Drive. The north building, facing Lone Oak Drive, was built in 1984 and the south building, facing Evergreen Road, was built in 1993. The rehabilitation is expected to begin in late August or early September and last about a year.
According to the site plan, the project will be completed in two phases, for an estimated $44 million, and is to be funded by proposed developer Urban Campus Communities.
The first phase will include construction of a four-story building connected by corridors with about 500 studio and three-and four-bedroom student housing units. The second phase will involve construction of another student housing complex, depending on demand.
The council also approved the creation of an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Act for the buildings, allowing for redevelopment as they are still useable but not for their intended purposes.
The proposal must still be approved by officials with the State Legislature.
Dearborn Economic and Community Development Director Barry Murray said future developments could link the buildings.
“We’re working with the university and (Fairlane Town Center) to see how we can have pedestrian crossing and possibly a bridge,” he said, adding that no plans have yet been made.
According to a plan developed by the city of Dearborn Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Urban Campus Communities will be reimbursed for its construction costs through taxable revenue generated by the property, which Murray said would be determined over a period of years, depending on the tax increments. He said an amount has yet to be determined.
“We’re not sure yet,” he said of the amount. “We just know we’re going to be working with the Brownfield Development Plan and OPRA. All we have is a framework.”
(Daniel Heraty can be reached at [email protected].)