Reimagining the 10 Mile/Orchard Lake Intersection
City leaders in Farmington and Farmington Hills are working with residents and businesses around the intersection of Orchard Lake and Ten Mile Roads to rethink this area’s relationship to the surrounding neighborhoods. This effort is being supported by the League and urban designers from Lawrence Technological University Detroit Studio through the PlacePlans program. Final design recommendations are anticipated in mid-2015.
The two cities are seeking to identify placemaking strategies for the Orchard Lake and Ten Mile intersection that can help it serve as an identifiable neighborhood center and a distinct place along Orchard Lake Road. The area was identified as a gap between existing planning efforts on the Grand River corridor to the south, and the Farmington Hills civic complex to the north. While this area hosts landmark attractions such as Greene’s hamburgers and Café Cortina, as well as a number of medical offices and knowledge-based businesses like Illuminating Concepts, it is largely disconnected from adjacent residential areas. The roads also carry large volumes of higher-speed through traffic, and can be intimidating for local pedestrian traffic.
Design Open House
At the June 17 Design Open House at Farmington Hills City Hall, the LTU urban design team unveiled their design plan for the 10 Mile/Orchard Lake intersection. Residents had a chance to view the plan and draft report and offer their comments. The design proposal is meant to align with the communities’ ideals of making walkability and biking more pleasurable, strengthening community connections with a public gathering space, and adding environmentally-conscious elements. Participants were also given a unique opportunity to “invest” play money in the placemaking features that are most important to them for this intersection.
LTU has been working with the two cities to examine the current conditions around this intersection and survey nearly 200 nearby businesses and residents about the needs for the area. A visioning workshop in March brought these community members together to discuss opportunities for improving access, safety, aesthetics, and destinations so that the area can serve both through traffic and the surrounding community.
PlacePlans is a joint effort between the League and Michigan State University to help communities design and plan for transformative placemaking projects. The PlacePlans are done with support from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) and Governor Snyder’s MIplace Partnership. The Orchard Lake and Ten Mile Road project is the first collaboration with Lawrence Technological University Detroit Studio in the PlacePlans program, and promises to offer lessons about how the placemaking toolkit can apply to suburban road corridors across the state.
For more information on the project contact:
City of Farmington Hills: Nate Geinzer, Assistant to the City Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Farmington: Kevin Christiansen, Economic and Community Development Director, email@example.com
Farmington/Farmington Hills residents ‘invest’ in placemaking – Hometown Life, June 21, 2015
Ideas brewing for Orchard Lake/10 Mile – Hometown Life, March 20, 2015
Farmington, Hills partner with citizens to reimagine 10 Mile/Orchard Lake Road – Farmington Voice, March 6, 2015
Imagine a 10 Mile/Orchard Lake hamlet – Hometownlife, March 6, 2015
What’s your vision for Orchard Lake and Ten Mile area? – Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch, March 5, 2015