By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter
The Sloan-Kingsley property development near Dexter has again risen from the ice for air on its glacial march forward.
At its July 11 meeting, Dexter City Council listened to Dave Lutton, lead investor in the property’s new ownership group, present his team’s overall concept for the 240-acre residential development.
“Washtenaw County homebuyers are facing the most fiercely competitive and least affordable housing market in my 48 years in real estate,” Lutton said. “Buying a home has never been more difficult than it is today.”
Lutton noted that the development of the Sloan-Kingsley property has been under discussion for at least the past 20 years. He also said the 25-30% increase in property value that existing owners have enjoyed over the past two years is actually “an unhealthy statistic for the market and for people trying to get in.” on the market today”.
With that in mind, Lutton told the Board, “We think now is the right time. We believe Sloan Kingsley properties are the right place to help alleviate some of the problems that exist in the local housing market.
The Lutton Group offers a high density development offering many different housing styles to achieve affordability. “Density itself contributes to more affordable housing or a word I like to use these days, ‘accessible’ housing,” he said. “Density helps you spread the cost and lower the price of the end product.”
The Sloan-Kingsley property is located adjacent to the southern border of the Dexter town limits on Baker Road in the Township of Scio. Lutton referred to Scio Township’s new master plan that describes the Baker Road corridor from I-94 to the city limits as a “gateway district.”
“What this means is that Scio Township is looking at higher density than any of their previous master plans,” Lutton said. “This is a new and significant change in their master plan.”
The key to the project is the sewer services. Previous concepts for the 240 acres included fewer than 300 units. These plans included a sewage treatment plant. With changes to Scio’s master plan, Mr Lutton believes the development requires more units that require connection to Dexter’s sewerage system.
The owners’ concept is for accommodations that serve and are affordable for age groups from young families to retirees. The group also sees apartments as a necessary component. Different styles would be incorporated to avoid a cookie cutter look.
Much of the property is wooded with wetlands. Lutton explained that these areas would be designated for the Township of Scio’s land preservation program, including the parcel on the west side of Baker Road near the creek. In addition to land preservation, he told the Council that the project would economically benefit Dexter and Dexter’s schools.
Council member Michels echoed the benefits for schools, explaining that the Dexter area population boom that began in the 1990s and which caused schools to expand has reached its peak. “Schools will need children,” he said.
Michels also said, “I’m very excited about this project if it’s done well. The reason I like the potential is that it’s in the south of town, which means we’re going to have people but no traffic downtown. I am very happy to hear about the different types of housing… to hear that this is not a typical housing development. »
The presentation is the starting point for discussions between the City and the Lutton group to test the water, or more precisely the wastewater, to see if there is enough interest to proceed seriously.
Lutton left the Board with two issues to consider:
- Is this a desirable project to undertake?
- Are you ready to work collaboratively to understand all that needs to be understood?
He said in closing, “I hope you will view this as a logical and strategic development and that it will be positive for the Dexter community and join us in a collaborative effort.”