Many challenges presented by the property at 711 N. Center — most promiment is a steep slope — were met by developer Nassar Beydoun at this week’s Northville Planning Commission meeting when he received final site plan approval for six high-end, luxury residential condominium units.
The steeply sloped parcel is on the west side of the street that begins at Baseline Road and extends up the hill nearly one acre to abut the property of Hillside Middle School.
An initial request to divide the .88 acre property into thirds was granted in 2017.
There was an historic farmhouse-style home built in 1901 on the property that had been renovated by the builder/owner.
The original developer’s vision was to demolish the house and add three houses to the site – expanding the number of families that could live there.
That vision was reimagined by Beydoun, who wanted to build three separate duplexes, styled like townhouses. At Beydoun’s request, the property was rezoned from R-1B (First Density Residential District) to R-2 (Second Density Residential District) in late 2020.
Originally the developer’s team showed a contemporary look for the duplex units. However, after some expressed concern about that design, the developer altered his plans to create a more historic looking brownstone.
Because of the sloping lot, the townhouses will have front garages in the basement, steps leading to the front door, an open-concept living room/dining room/kitchen, three bedrooms with an optional bedroom in the first-floor den, first-floor laundry room, walk-in pantry, and an elevator.
Access to these units will be from a private road that follows the route of the existing driveway, and has a single connection point to N. Center St. on the south end of the site.
At the Planning Commission meeting on June 6 where a quorum was present, the Final Condominium Plan was approved on a vote of 4-1, with several conditions.
Conditions for approval …
Among them are the need to: obtain a temporary construction easement and an agreement for tree mitigation from the Northville School District, which is acceptable to the DPW director; and plant homeowner trees on the lot or make a contribution to the Environmental Fund before a final Certificate of Occupancy is issued for that lot.
In addition, the building official will ensure during the Building Permit process that the buildings are compliant with variances granted for each building.
The city attorney will conduct a legal review of the condominium documents. And matters raised by the Police Department’s internal review (5/24/23) will be addressed by the applicant.
Landscaping at Northville Luxury Estates, as planned, will be a nice addition to that section of town.
This site acts as a gateway to the city due to its location where Baseline Road ends at N. Center.
The site will have evergreen trees along the N. Center St. frontage for year-round color. New trees will be added to the property and landmark trees that can be saved at the rear will continue to grace the property.
A tiered retaining wall and plantings will screen much of the development from the view of those driving by. Walkers will see the portion of the homes that are taller than the new trees. To improve walkability, the public sidewalk will be moved back five feet from N. Center to allow for safer passage of schoolchildren and everyday pedestrians.
One master association
The condominium will have one master association that oversees maintenance of all common elements, including the private road, retaining walls, and landscape screens, among other items.
Throughout the approval process — from land split to multi-family dwellings — several commissioners noted that the duplexes fit well with the Master Plan due to its increased density, being part of the transition from the school property to other area residences, and the conversion from tough topography to improved land.
Thanks to Northville Communications Director Liz Cezat for contributing this article to SocialHouseNews.com.