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Baker College’s new campus building in Royal Oak could rise nearly 100 feet, cost $27.6 million

More specifics of a planned new campus building for Baker College in downtown Royal Oak that would alter the suburb’s skyline are revealed in a pair of documents obtained by Crain’s.

A request for proposals for construction managers verifies many of the details reported last month about the private college’s efforts to construct a consolidated campus building in the busy downtown, including the planned site, which is the Kinsey-Garrett Funeral Home Inc. property at 420 S. Lafayette Ave. at West Fifth Street.

It says the building would be 80,000 square feet with about 80 parking structure spaces and cost an estimated $27.6 million between the building, parking and tenant improvements. In addition, a site plan submitted to the city by the development team last month shows a 96-foot building with one floor of underground and two floors of above-ground parking, outdoor terrace space, classrooms and offices across seven above-grade floors.

The RFP anticipates final site plan approval and building permit submission by April. Construction would begin in May with a temporary certificate of occupancy by June 2021 and classes beginning in the new building in August 2021.

While neither the RFP or the site plan submitted to Royal Oak say that Baker College is the user, the school’s logo is emblazoned across a rendering of the building.

A request for comment was sent to Baker College on Wednesday morning.

After a plan for a consolidated downtown Ferndale campus blew up due to a parking issue in the spring, Baker College shifted paths and tried to put its consolidated campus in a 100,000-square-foot building proposed at Main and Sixth streets in downtown Royal Oak. However, plans for that building collapsed this summer when the City Commission opted against extending a development agreement for a city-owned 1.2-acre surface parking lot at 600 S. Main St. that it was going to be built on.

In January 2019, Baker College revealed its plans for a new campus that would serve about 1,500 students and 50 staff. The college said in a statement at the time that its Flint Township campus would be shuttered by the beginning of the fall 2020 semester, with operations moving to Owosso. In addition, it said it would move operations from Allen Park, Auburn Hills and Clinton Township to a new campus.

Ferndale remained the destination up until April, when that vision collapsed amid public criticism from Ferndale residents and an inability to work out a parking arrangement. It had planned its campus at the northwest corner of East Nine Mile and Bermuda and an adjacent city-owned parking lot to the east of Como’s pizzeria.

The funeral home site RFP and site plan confirm that the developer is Carson Equities LLC, which was founded by Stephen Carson in Bloomfield Hills. It also confirms that Ann Arbor-based Edge Design Associates Inc. is the architect on the project.

Kinsey-Garrett was started in 1936 as the Virgo E. Kinsey Funeral Home, which was bought in 1964 by Daniel Garrett and renamed the Kinsey-Garrett Funeral Home Inc. three years later, according to the funeral home’s website. Steve Garrett, owner/funeral director of Kinsey-Garrett, last month said it was “business as usual” at the nearly 84-year-old funeral home.

“I really don’t have anything to add,” Garrett said when reached by phone on Wednesday morning.

The RFP says the funeral home is to be demolished under the current plan.

 

Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on January 8, 2020.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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