SDC Ventures proposes ‘real project’ for Maxfield property

Roger Sherr of SDC Ventures told Farmington city officials last week that his vision for single family townhomes on the Maxfield Training Center site is a “real project that can get built.”

Editor’s note: Last week, four firms interested in redeveloping the 3-acre Maxfield Training Center property in downtown Farmington each made their case to city officials. This is the third of four articles on those presentations, which were based on responses to the city’s Request for Proposals (RFQ).

SDC Ventures proposes 39-59, three- and four-bedroom, owner-occupied units with 2-car garages and upgraded interiors.

Sherr said this type of housing is in demand today with young professionals and young families, compatible with the surrounding area, and will attract higher income residents. The company’s RFQ shows three options, one with detached and two with attached units.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sherr said, people are reluctant to live in housing with common hallways and a common entrance. He said low interest rates are driving more young people into home ownership, and renters tend to be transient, spending more money outside the community.

The SDC Ventures proposal’s economics will work with a brownfield site, he said, and is “not a dream that needs 10,000 hours of meetings and consulting time. It’s fairly simple to construct.”

SDC Ventures
This drawing show the SDC Ventures concept for detached townhomes on Farmington’s Maxfield Training Center property.

“Most projects get proposed in urban environments with structured parking and higher elevation, they just don’t get built,” he said.

Concept plans in the RFQ submission did not show connections to Shiawassee Park or downtown Farmington, Sherr said, because there were a number of options. Pavement and concrete in the area of an existing staircase access would be replaced.

A greenbelt on the west side of the property closes off access to Warner Street, Sherr said.

Council member Joe LaRussa asked about walkability and noted a lack of dedicated walkways in the photos of other SDC Ventures projects. Sherr said condominium communities don’t have a conventional requirement for sidewalks, but the company includes them in its single family developments.

“We love sidewalks,” he said. “We can have sidewalks on one side that abut the curb to leave more greenbelt in front of the buildings.”

Price points on the townhomes, Sherr said, will depend on the style built and could range from mid-$200,000s to $350,000. He said the company would use its own capital and work with local banks if necessary.


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