Livonia, despite its perception of being built out, approved new residential development site plans in 2021, expanding or developing four unused sites: the previous site of Webster School, located in Castle Gardens; the former Washington Elementary, located in Clements Circle; Lyndon Park, previously Adams Elementary School, and a new development located off Newburgh and Ann Arbor Trail. This translates to approximately 125 new houses given the green light to build, adding to Livonia’s 37,000 existing households. Long time Livonia developer and resident Leo Soave (doing business as Infinity Homes) will be developing three of the sites, with Adams Park being developed by Windmill Homes.
These sites were not approved without their share of controversy though. Meeting minutes from planning commission and city council meetings indicate that each of the neighborhood development proposal was met with negative reception from the surrounding community. Some nearby residents presented concerns about diminishing green space; others were concerned some were concerned with the proposed lot sizes or congruence of with the surrounding area.
These sites come amidst a recent review of housing stock conducted as part of Livonia Vision 21. Livonia Vision 21, a master plan published in January 2019, found a deficiency of homes and prioritized the objective to “Encourage residential developments which are needed by persons of all ages, incomes and household sizes.”
Meeting minutes indicate that one of the three site plans, Emerson Oaks, plans to sell between $250-300,000. The other Infinity Homes sites expect sell some for $400-500,000. Lyndon Park expects to sell between $300,000 to 400,000. Public sales data from the few house that have sold or are on market support this, with one house selling at $528,000. Realitor.com cites Livonia’s median home price this year as $259,000.
Current Livonians may expect to see the median home prices increase as a result of these new builds. One project developer Leo Soave, during the December 2nd, 2021 public hearing on rezoning the Emerson Oaks site, stated “I can give you some empirical data that every sub we’ve built in the past five years, we’ve increased the home value in the surrounding there probably by 10-15% easy.”
Livonians will get a further understanding of what these developments will look like in the next six months to a year as more of the homes from these developments complete. Ongoing societal and economic realities continue to make development in our community interesting to watch!
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