Thursday, July 16, 2020

Warm welcome

Village project greets visitors to Northville

Helping dedicate the new Village at Northville last week
were, from left, Scott Schwanke from MI Homes, developer
of the project, Northville Township Supervisor Robert Nix, II,
Township Treasurer Fred Shadko, Township Clerk Marjorie Banner,
Township Trustee Symantha Heath and Howard Fingeroot,
of Northville Five. Photo by Dave Willett
The $175 million southern gateway into Northville Township was officially dedicated last week.
Township Supervisor Robert Nix and members of the board of trustees, representatives of the developer and project manager along with the artists who created the park sculptures were on hand to celebrate the project which incorporates the history of the area into the futuristic design.
Nix noted that the new Village at Northville is “one of the jewels” of the long-awaited, 53-acre, mixed-use development that is constructed on the site of the former Scott Correctional Facility at the northwest corner of Five Mile and Beck roads.

“This transformational project forever changes the complexion and image of a key southern gateway to the community,” said Nix.
The master-planned, integrated village will include an upscale 283 unit “loft” apartment building with an internal parking deck, 64 townhomes, 108 single-family homes, neighborhood retailers, a Hilton Home2 hotel, a specialty grocery store, premier restaurant and area for future commercial construction.
The centerpiece of the entire development is a carefully crafted 1-acre park, which will serve not only the residents of the Village and Northville, but will be available six times a year as a Northville Township venue for music, picnics, a farmer's market and other activities in cooperation with the Northville Chamber of Commerce. Officials said they hope to host that first community event before year end.
Local area artists, Russell and Nancy Thayer, were commissioned to create two sculptural park elements. These sculptures, together with a series of permanent commemorative plaques designed by the Northville Township Historic District Commission (HDC), delineate a history of this site and several other historically significant Northville Township sites.
Township Clerk and Historic District Commission member Marjorie Banner said, “I am very appreciative of the fact that some Northville Township history could be incorporated as part of this beautiful new park.”
The park was required as part of the project to provide the township with “downtown” type events for residents, Nix said, and was added to this development at no cost to the township.
Artists Russell and Nancy Thayer created the two red sculptures
denoting joy and flight installed at the Village at Northville
development officially dedicated last week. Photos by Dave Willett
Nix thanked the developers and those from the township who had worked so diligently on the project, preserving the history of the site in the design of the total development. Nix said the project was a “joint effort” of the developers and the township.
“We have no downtown,” Nix said, “but now we have a gathering place for concerts, a farmer's market. This park represents a milestone.”
He thanked both Banner and Historic Commission member and Township Treasurer Fred Shadko who also worked with the developers and the artists to preserve the historic value at the site.
Shadko said that the project has been in development since 2015-2016 and that the township and the developer wanted to create “something to be proud of.”
The two bright red sculptures installed in the park represent another aspect of township history when airplanes were built in the community during the 1920s and flown from the manufacturing site to nearby airports.
Sculptor Nancy Thayer said her during her research the red color continued to appear in historic documents, prompting her to choose to incorporate it into the design.
“I think it denotes happiness and a simulation of flight and joy,” she said. Her husband and collaborator agreed and noted that they spent many hours of research before the final design and metalwork on the installations.
“I made a lot of models of airplanes when I was younger and this incorporates some of that look,” Russell Thayer said.
Nix reminded the crowd that the entire development is walkable and goes into the township park area.
“This was all done at no cost to the township,” Nix said. “We think it is a wonderful asset for the community.”