TO THE EDITOR:
Yesterday I read the editorial by former Mayor Tom Buck regarding plans for the Park View Lofts. While I am excited by the idea of turning the former site of the Maxfield Training Center into a new residential development that will spark investment and activity in our downtown area, I am deeply concerned by the architecture of the project.
The developers, who have made many contributions to our city over the years, say they respect the historic nature of our community. Their choice of design, however, clearly belies that statement.
New architecture need not imitate the historic homes in the Grand River area, but certainly a softer look could be found, one that would still appeal to millennials and empty nesters but would also fit into our downtown and blend smoothly with existing neighborhoods. Do people really come to Farmington seeking sleek, contemporary housing, or are they attracted instead to the warmth and charm of our city?
To get a sense of how architecture like this could play out in a city that also has historic buildings, I suggest citizens take a drive to Northville. A development similar to Park View Lots is located on the east side of Sheldon Road, just north of Main Street, across the street from Kroger’s. It is sterile, harsh, cold, and clashes with the loveliness of downtown Northville. Take a moment to take a look. Is this really what we want for Farmington? I believe we can do better.
I urge the City Council to take its time and consider all proposals carefully. Our city is unique and precious. Let’s guard our treasure carefully.