More than 170 new houses could be built on a Scio Township property if a proposal is approved later this month. Property owner Mark Smith says the project would bring residential infill development that could help stave off suburban sprawl.
"It's a great location," Smith says of the W. Liberty Rd. property. "You're five minutes to downtown, you're two minutes to the freeway and half an hour to the airport. Going all the way back to when Scio Twp. had a master plan, it always called for this area to be developed in low density housing."
Smith and his wife have been working to develop the 162-acre property for decades, with plans for golf course and single family housing falling through for various reasons. Now, however, he believes the time is right and the property well-suited for housing.
"It's been in my wife's family for a long time," says Smith. "We live on this property, and it is near and dear to our hearts, and it's a great location relative to the city."
The proposed development would ultimately include 176 houses, though some of those homes already exist on the property. Plans include lots of various sizes, including space for what Smith calls "traditional suburban" homes, and others for transitional neighborhood developments, such as multi-generational and smaller homes.
A developer has yet to be selected as the Smiths await approval from Scio Township to move forward later in January. He expects the total amount of investment in the project to be in the tens of millions of dollars, and hopes, should all approvals be given, to begin site work this fall and break ground on housing in 2015.
Source: Mark Smith, property owner
Writer: Natalie Burg