Although demolition of the former Northville Psychiatric Hospital is not expected to happen for years, the township has decided to begin the process of redeveloping the land now.
The township plans to develop its 349 acres of the Seven Mile Property into a park, which could include a community center, pool, band shell, natural wooded areas, mountain bike park and an energy park.
The township Board of Trustees officially formed a sub-committee Thursday night that will start the long-term research process in order to be ready to hit the ground running when the land is ready to be developed.
The subcommittee will focus on exploring the possibilities of development for sections of the property that are not contaminated and to maintain certain areas.
"I don't want for two years from now to say, 'Well now let's begin the exploration,' and it will take another two years until we find out what those processes are," said Trustee Marjorie Banner, who came up with the idea for the committee.
Some of the ideas they will look into include the following:
- Clean up forested areas: Clean up mustard weed and other invasive species, which are destroying the forested area. Also, continuing to clean up the area of downed trees and make it ready for use or begin the process of walking and biking trail mapping and/or building.
- Plan arboretum: This area is mapped on the master plan on the west side of the commercial area. Gardeners could begin planning the building of that area. The subcommittee would research volunteer involvement and community donations.
- Explore an energy park: Research the potential partnering with energy companies (thermal, wind, solar, oil, electric) with the idea of providing the infrastructure necessary for this to be a self-sustaining site. The committee would look into what is viable, necessary and reasonable for the area.
- Plan mountain bike trails: Explore and/or begin mapping out the biking areas and perhaps work with volunteers to begin building those trails. The mountain bike club in the area has offered to do this. It would likely take several years before the volunteers could raise enough funding and make the trails.
- Figure out a new name: Begin an effort to name the park so it does not have to be referred to as the "former Northville Psychiatric Facility."
- Find funding: Explore opportunities and partners to fund park improvements.
Committee members will include Treasurer Marjorie Banner, Trustee Fred Shadko, resident Joe Vig and resident Bill Sivy. Township Manager Chip Snider, Supervisor Bob Nix and Director of Community Development Jennifer Frey will serve as ex officio members.
The committee expects to meet once per month for now and will serve on a volunteer basis.
- Northville Township Approves $82.6 Million Park Plan for Seven Mile Property
- Demolition of Northville Psychiatric Hospital Not Expected to Begin Until 2015
- University of Michigan to Open Ambulatory Care Facility in Northville Township
- More Details Emerge About University of Michigan Medical Center