Farmington DDA to manage city-owned houses

Farmington city and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) officials this week finalized a two-year agreement for the management of two city-owned houses on Grand River and Thomas Street.

Council members in August of 2017 purchased the back-to-back homes for a future “pass through” from the former Maxfield Training Center (MTC), also on Thomas Street. A developer plans to turn that property into a multi-story apartment complex.

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The management agreement notes:

“… the City purchased the Properties in an area where a pass-through from Grand River Avenue to Thomas Street is contemplated sometime in the future; however, the City currently has no plans to demolish the structures or to construct such a pass-through.”

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This image, courtesy Preservation Farmington, shows the location of the city-owned house on Grand River.

Both properties are currently rented; 33107 Thomas Street has a residential tenant, 33104 Grand River has a main floor business tenant with a residential apartment on the second floor.

The DDA will keep rental fees from both properties in exchange for managing and maintaining them, and will pay the city a $4,500 annual fee. The agreement is renewable annually after the initial two-year term and may be dissolved by either party with at least four months’ notice.

City manager David Murphy told council members on Monday that the DDA will hire a management firm to handle the properties. He said funds would likely go into the organization’s general operating fund, and he “would ask them to participate more in some of the infrastructure projects we have going on downtown.”

“The first year, they won’t make much money,” Murphy said. “The second year, it’ll be a revenue source for them.”

Council member Bill Galvin said he’d like rental proceeds kept out of the DDA’s general operating fund.

” I would rather see the DDA take these revenues and put them into a separate fund, rather than general fund,” he said. “It’s an allocation strategy is all it is.”

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