Progress being made on pair of Royal Oak developments / by Jennifer Jurek

Nathan Mueller, nmueller@gannett.com1:28 p.m. EDT March 20, 2015 - an excerpt from Hometown Life

ROYAL OAK – State support for the proposed mixed-use development at 400 N. Main has helped the project take a “big step” toward moving forward.

Greg Erne, with Versa Development representing developers Trailhead RO, told the Downtown Development Authority on Wednesday they have passed the first phase of approval from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for Michigan Community Revitalization Program funds and are now in the process of negotiating the terms of the deal.

“Right now we are on track to have the gap to having this project filled and everything looks positive,” he said. “The hope is we can get through, in the next 90 to 120 days, all the agreements necessary and begin the project in 2015.”

Local participation in terms of financial assistance also was part of the MEDC’s approval, and last spring the DDA approved an agreement that would provide up to $3 million in tax reimbursements over the next 10 years.

The project, which has undergone a variety of changes since first proposed, is anchored by a six-story Hyatt Place hotel and also includes a six-story mixed-use building on Main and Pingree and a three-level parking structure.

Tim Thwing, Royal Oak director of planning, said the DDA will eventually get a formal reimbursement agreement, but he is waiting to see what the MEDC “kicks back.”

nmueller@hometownlife.com | 586-826-7209 | Twitter: @SOKEccentric