Project Vision
Letter From DDA Chairman

Beginning in 2003, in order to construct Martin Parkway from Oakley Park Road to M-5, The Commerce Township Downtown Development Authority purchased two golf courses and 50 acres of Huron Clinton Metropolitan property along with some contiguous parcels, totaling 330 acres located in the area north of M-5, between Welch and Haggerty roads.  The land was purchased to provide relief from traffic congestion at M-5 and Pontiac Trail, enhance the long term economic stability of the township, and allow the opportunity to preserve 125 acres of open space while directing the improvements of the remaining property.  The project is now known as “Commerce Towne Place.”

The project is located at the north end of M-5, which is the entranceway to the interstate highway system.  With direct access to I-696 and I-275, Commerce Towne Place is a perfect location for a high visibility retail development, office, hospitality establishment, restaurants, residential development, or corporate campus, with more than 200 shovel-ready acres of land adjacent to M-5, Pontiac Trail and Martin Parkway.  In fact, during a meeting with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, one staff member called the area “possibly the single most desirable property for a corporate campus in Michigan.”

Martin Parkway is completed from M-5, and now provides access north to Oakley Park and Richardson Roads.  The Parkway is a boulevard that meanders through the project with four modern day roundabouts that provide for traffic congestion relief.  The storm management plan, which is already in place, services most of the developable land, including storm, sewer, force mains, gravity sewer and water mains, as well as a 44-foot deep pump station constructed near the Commerce Township Community Library.  The Downtown Development Authority has funded roughly nineteen million dollar costs of the roadway, stormwater management program and over five miles of recreational pathways.

The goal was to prepare the site for development, but keep it natural.  There were some great areas with some of the highest quality plant life in Michigan, and they were protected.  Storm water retention ponds were redesigned to mimic natural wetlands. Dramatic environmental improvements to the surrounding land have also been completed, including the restoration of nearly 12 acres of wetlands, critical to maintaining the water quality for Glengary Creek.  Approximately 500 mature trees were relocated and preserved when they were moved to a landscape retention area during the construction phase.  Some 260 mature evergreens and deciduous trees have been safely transplanted along the roadways.

In addition to the environmental improvements, is the Martin Parkway Bridge, a beautiful, natural stone faced structure and a township centerpiece which sits below Martin Parkway, allowing pedestrians to safely travel from east to west under the road on the 5.5 miles of pathways meandering along Glengary Creek through wetland areas, nature trails and wildlife sanctuaries.  In addition to the bridge, the area features three smaller covered wooden pedestrian bridges that cross Glengary Creek.

The original vision that the DDA had for the area was for a comprehensive development which offers a ”healthy, comfortable environment for young and old to learn, shop, work, dine, recreate and live life to its fullest in the 21st century.”

Compatible uses with such a development, would include both single and multiple family residential developments, office, high-tech, and research and development.  At the southwest portion of the project, where Pontiac Trail and M-5 intersect, there are approximately 65 acres with tremendous frontage and visibility to Pontiac Trail, Martin Parkway, and M-5, which are suitable for a high-end lifestyle retail development with restaurants, shopping and entertainment in a walkable environment.

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