Ferndale is often lumped in as one of Michigan's most enviable downtowns, filled with lots of things to do and a vibrant night life.
Although there isn't just one reason for its stunning rebirth, preservation is a big part of what makes Ferndale, Ferndale. Three recent redevelopment projects sum this up: The new Loving Touch pool hall, the Breckenridge Apartments rehabilitation and the offices of Foley Mansfield.
All three projects are either right in the middle of Ferndale's downtown or close to the city's center. The entrepreneurs and companies behind all three also took three historic structures and turned them into character-defining jewels for the Metro Detroit burb.
The Loving Touch was just an old, single-story commercial building next to the Woodward Avenue Brewers. It housed a popular book store for years but didn't have much else in the way of the history or defining architectural features.
Today the owners of the WAB have turned it into a stunning space that provides yet another vibrant downtown amenity. It also lets them resurrect the name of an infamous massage parlor that used to be the scourge of downtown. It's a tongue-in-cheek affectation that helps build the city's hip reputation.
Royal Oak-based Urbane Apartments is in the midst of restoring the Breckenridge Apartments building just northwest of the center of downtown. The 1930s-era building will provide more luxury rental spaces in the downtown, catering to young professionals and creative class types. Construction is expected to wrap up this spring.
The Foley Mansfield Building is the most impressive of them all. The law firm just held its grand opening this week for its new offices after relocating from Southfield. The Ferndale Schools Administration building had birds nesting in it when the developer transformed the historic structure just west of Woodward on 9 Mile. It now offers some of the best views of downtown Ferndale and an authentic loft-like Class A office space.
Posted by Erin Rose at 1:34 PM