Royal Oak’s multimillion-dollar Civic Center project has been recognized for its positive impact and use of public-private partnership to change the center of the city complex and attract a new health system outpatient building Henry Ford.
The award was presented last week by the Detroit chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Women Network (CREW).
The nomination was submitted by women working with Plante Moran Cresa, the consultancy that oversaw the many moving parts of the development, which spanned several years.
“We are very honored to receive this CREW Impact Award,” said City Manager Paul Brake. “Despite the obstacles we had to go through, it is a very successful project.”
Royal Oak spent around $63 million to relocate and build a new city hall and police station, create Centennial Commons Park and build a 580-car parking lot on 11 Mile Road.
Private developer Ron Boji spent $40 million in construction and related costs to erect the Henry Ford Ambulatory Building, and the health system spent another $70 million to outfit the interior.
All components of the project city have opened in the past two years. The 2.2-acre Centennial Commons was the final piece of the project and was completed in December 2021.
A key part of the city’s goal in creating the park and having a new office building was to have green space and amenities in the middle of downtown, and to bring more office workers into the neighborhood to frequent businesses.
“We get inquiries all the time,” about the Civic Center, Brake said. “We’ve become a model in southeast Michigan where municipalities are looking to bring together these public developments that can have an impact.”
Centennial Commons has received positive feedback from residents and visitors, he added.
“You don’t see a lot of spaces in an urban area where a parking lot has become a park,” Brake said.
Among the challenges facing the project were setbacks caused by the pandemic and an ultimately unsuccessful lawsuit filed against the city by a handful of city business owners.