A public meeting to discuss results of a city-financed study of the north side’s Sherwood Shopping Center and its possible redevelopment drew a standing room-only crowd Thursday in one of the center’s spaces.
The center’s future has gotten brighter since the first public meeting held in October as part of the $45,000 study by consultants MKSK Studios.
In recent weeks, a local partnership made public its efforts to purchase the property from its New York-based owners as part of the partnership’s attempt to secure loans of $1.4 million from the city. A loan request that would go through the city Community Improvement Corporation has been recommended to the full council by its finance committee. A vote is expected in early May.
The prospective new owners Sherwood of Troy LLC told the CIC plans include stabilization work including a new roof and potential tenants have discussed a restaurant, a theater and other business ideas. No specific tenants have been identified.
“We are excited to see what can become of the shopping center,” said Tim Davis of the city staff. “This crowd is probably the largest crowd it has seen in years. We are hoping this is just a drop in the bucket compared to what we will see in the future.”
Joe Nickol of MKSK Studios outlined how the study was conducted, including an online survey, and ideas for short- term and longer- term redevelopment of the center and area properties. The ideas should be considered suggestions or possibilities, he said, emphasizing that the presentation covered the consultants recommendations and not those of the potential buyers. Those buyers, he’s said, are good news for the property that is mostly vacant.
“For the first time in a long time, it looks like the ownership of this center will be back in local hands,” Nickol said. Those partners, he added, grew up in the area and want to see the center succeed.
The scenarios in the study looked first at what could be done within 24 months and then longer term in five to eight years.
Suggestions included better access to the center property itself with a mid-block entry from North Market Street and addition of new buildings along North Market possibly for restaurants and other businesses. As new life would come to the area, other suggestions include access off Adams Street to the rear of the center and construction nearby of housing, possibly townhomes, and an office building, possibly for medical offices.
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