Place Development – Ferndale

Ferndale_Project_RRC_PDA_Site_2018.2-600x250Ferndale_Sanborn_1926_Page_35-253x300Continuing their reputation for innovative projects and progressive urbanism, the City of Ferndale embarked upon a new project in 2018 at the site of a former industrial production facility, located at 1221 Wordsworth. The guiding vision for the development is the fostering of a business-to-business food production and storage facility located on a city-owned parcel and adjacent sites under private ownership.

The League leveraged RRC Predevelopment Assistance dollars and used this idea as an opportunity to bring together diverse professionals from the fields of landscape architecture, green infrastructure, food systems, and urban planning.  The City simultaneously investigated the feasibility of including an anaerobic digester to manage the organic waste generated both on-site and from the community and produce energy to power the facility.

Professionals from LivingLab Detroit, Carlisle/Wortman Associates, and DROUGHT worked directly with the League and the City of Ferndale to conduct community visioning and planning, survey local food-based businesses in the Southeast Michigan area, and develop a plan for manifesting this grand vision into practical reality. This partnership resulted in a site plan with emphasis on green infrastructure, a completed survey of local stakeholders and potential tenants, as well as an interior space needs and usage plan for future tenants.

The City of Ferndale continues to move forward with this project. The ultimate result will be a sustainable “closed loop” campus that incorporates on-site waste management and energy production into a facility to incubate food-based businesses, provides shared cold storage, and creates a common resource for the production, processing, and distribution of food.