cover of Pinckney developer RFQ

View the developer RFQ for Pinckney’s site at 135 West Main.

Pinckney, known as the region’s “Gateway to Play,” is surrounded by an abundance of outdoor recreation amenities ranging from watersports and trail hiking to biking and cross-country skiing. The immediate area boasts miles of non-motorized trails, an 11,000-acre Pinckney State Recreation Area (complete with camping yurts), nine inland lakes, and year-round attractions for active lifestyles.

With the help of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the Village of Pinckney worked with the Michigan Municipal League and planning consultants from Aligned Planning to tap into local knowledge about the community, conduct a commercial and housing market study to establish potential rents, forecast potential costs, and clearly express a vision for the right kind of new development needed. The result was an RFQ (Request for Proposals).

This RFQ process sought to leverage the appeal of nearby nature while providing a vision for needed new infill development in the existing town center. The Village of Pinckney chose a .31 acre publicly-owned lot in the center of the Village as the site for a new two-story mixed-use building. Located at 135 West Main Street, this currently vacant lot was formerly occupied by a bowling alley. Utilities are available, streets have been recently reconstructed, and opportunities exist for shared parking arrangements in the adjacent municipal surface parking lot.

The local stakeholder visioning process revealed a community desire for a mixed-use development, with storefronts along Main Street, and upper story uses for office and/or residential. Based on the market study and known gaps in real estate options, the Village sought proposals that would incorporate housing for families (including multiple bedrooms and shared living spaces), building designs that are harmonious with the historic context in Pinckney, and ground floor activation to encourage walkability.

Retired households seeking to downsize were identified as a particularly underserved segment of the local population. For ADA/barrier free access, the Village discussed being open to the creation of ground-level residential at the rear of the mixed-use building. They also revealed substantial interest in townhouses or rowhouses, or other “missing middle” housing types along Marion that incorporate fee-simple or rental living opportunities. On-site and shared parking with the adjacent municipal parking were anticipated options, to help ensure constructability given the size of the lot.

The village’s asking price was presented at $79,900, with all reasonable offers in support of an optimal development plan. A range of incentives, at the local and state levels, could be leveraged by MEDC and the Village, as part of a negotiated predevelopment agreement.