Okay.I'm interested. Do tell.
Thanks for posting.Okay.
For several years, the property was owned by a developer known as REIS.
They spent a few years creating plans for use of the site.
Their goal was mixed use: housing, retail, offices, dining, etc.
They worked closely with Northville Township, getting to know their
codes and ordinances, and when their final submission was met with
a few denials, they went into what seemed a revenge mode.
First thing they did was to place a few modular homes on the site.
Renting to occupants under the guise of being 'security' for the site,
they became registered resident voters or Northville. These people
then petitioned(on behalf of REIS) the adjacant city to have the site
annexed to Novi. The requisite public hearing and subsequent vote
was unsurprisingly against the motion. Approval would have meant
having to tunnel under the 6-lane highway to provide the site with
Novi's own gas, electric, water and sewer utilities, which would
have been extraordinarily costly and difficult.
Upon the official no vote, REIS then began selectively lumbering
on the site, felling the oldest and largest trees of the very
old-growth and dense forest, while simultaneously evicting
the residents of the mobile homes. Due to deforestation,
Northville Township began legal proceedings against REIS.
During the above and until the dust settled on the legal proceedings,
the Northville Police Department ramped up their efforts to keep
trespassers out of the site. Reports of TIDs(thermal imaging devices)
began surfacing, with violators easily apprehended. Several local
news sources were reporting of easy arrests made by police due
to the TIDS, along with a few overnight jail stays accompanied
by some very hefty fines. That was enough to keep me out
after my fourth visit.
By the time legal proceedings were settled, the 450 acres of land was
cleared of most of the forest, designated wetland areas were
irreversibly eradicated, and emotions were high.
In the end, Northville Township acquired the site for an intended use
of mixed development with a large natural space for public use,
but the damage was too great for salvation. Latest satellite imaging
shows nearly all of the site clear-cut, with the first construction
being an extention of University Of Michigan's school of medicine
and affiliated healthcare systems. Northville still maintains plans
for public space and other uses, with those plans having
radically changed due to the property damage.
Last I heard, REIS and Northville Township were back in court
hashing it out over restitution and environmental damages.