Dearborn Puts Vacant Lot up for Sale, Hopes to Lure Developer

Howard Street vacant propertyHoping to again try and jumpstart development in downtown West Dearborn, city officials are now trying to sell a prime piece of real estate to the person with the best idea and proof it can actually be delivered in a “timely” fashion.

The minimum bid is $20,000, and other criteria must be met under the request for proposal. Responses are due April 24.

The property is at 22190 Michigan Avenue, at the northeast corner of Howard Street, next door to the Biergarten. That bar was forced to close by the city Sept. 3, 2013 because of structural issues caused when the Brothers Tuxedo building was demolished in April 2012. City and Biergarten officials were surprised to find a large passageway about the size of a garage door that had been between the buildings.

The vacant lot is zoned for the highest intensity of commercial use.

City officials hope the development of the 70 foot by 116 foot vacant lot in the west downtown will be a catalyst project to amplify other significant investments in the district and spur additional activity.

Dearborn’s west downtown is a traditional, walkable destination but has fallen on tough times with numerous vacant dirty buildings, unkept sidewalks and few destinations. Elected officials, desperate to show they are doing something in the area, have generally allowed any type of business to come into the area, which has done little to attract quality businesses.

While other cities have slowly comeback from the nationwide financial crisis in 2008 that slowed momentum across Michigan, Dearborn continues to struggle only adding the occasional restaurant or hookah lounge.

The city acquired the property at 22910 Michigan Avenue from Wayne County through the foreclosure process. City leaders say another property on Michigan Avenue offered for sale under similar circumstances now is the focus of hotel project, along with several new restaurants and businesses.

City leaders say that those submitting proposals for 22910 Michigan Avenue will be able to take advantage of infrastructure improvements to the district, including the resurfacing of Michigan Avenue, the redesign and resurfacing of all City-owned parking areas in the district, upgrades to a popular and well-used pedestrian and bicycle path, and the construction of a new intermodal passenger rail station.

It is one of the busiest commercial districts in southeast Michigan, and is close to the Southfield Freeway. There are 50,000 vehicles per day on Michigan Avenue and about 100,000 vehicles per day on the Southfield Freeway that travel near this property.

Those interested in developing this property should know that while the submitted price will be one factor, the design and catalytic integrity of the proposed redevelopment, financial capacity and redevelopment experience of the project team, and the ability to complete the project according to the city’s schedule are even more important criteria.

Interested developers are asked to contact Purchasing Agent Rae Townsel at 313-943-2209 or email her at for details and an information packet. welcomes your views and encourages lively -- but civil -- discussions. Comments are unedited, but submissions reported as abusive may be removed.

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