Commerce Township Finally Gets Its Downtown District, Valued at $285M


More than a decade in the making, Commerce Township officials, working with private developers and InSite Commercial, are moving ahead on a $285 million project called Commerce Towne Place at M-5 and Haggerty Road. The latest news joins significant infrastructure upgrades in recent years at the 330-acre site, including new roads and utility services.

New features include the addition of more than 700 residential units, including single-family homes, luxury apartments, and a senior living center. Approximately 150 single-family residences will be built by Hunter Pasteur Homes, 400 townhouses will be added by M. Shapiro Development, along with a bank, restaurant, or other commercial building near the main entrance at M-5 and Haggerty. In addition, Granger Development will build a 160-room, full-service senior center.

In turn, Robert B. Aikens & Associates in Birmingham plans to develop a 575,000-square-foot outdoor lifestyle center offering stores, restaurants, and entertainment uses. It will be similar to the Village of Rochester Hills the company developed near the campus of Oakland University.

“We still have 23 acres available for future development, and we are very happy to bring forward an exciting and dynamic development,” says Kathleen Jackson, director of the Commerce Township Downtown Development Authority. “InSite Commercial has been working very hard on finding developers, and the upturn in the economy on a global and local level have really helped us. We’ve been marketing it at the local, state, national, and global level with such organizations as the International Council of Shopping Centers.”

Randy Thomas, president and CEO of InSite Commercial in Commerce Township, says some of the development parcels received multiple offers. “We have a shovel ready, master planned community, and that really began resonating with people in the last year,” Thomas says. “Plus, you have a very organized township that is forward thinking and ready to go.”

Residential models will be ready next summer, while the retail additions will be open in the next two to three years. There’s also 5.5 miles of walking trails throughout the development area.

The origin of Commerce Towne Place came in 2003 when the Commerce Township DDA acquired 330 acres in the area north of M-5, between Welch and Haggerty Roads.  The land was purchased to provide relief from traffic congestion, enhance the long-term economic stability of the township, and preserve 125 acres of open space while directing the improvements of the remaining property.

The original vision that the DDA had for the area was for a comprehensive development which offers a “healthy, comfortable environment for young and old to learn, shop, work, dine, recreate, and live life to its fullest in the 21st century.” 

“We are honored and excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the Commerce Towne Place project,” says Bruce Aikens, vice chairman of Robert B. Aikens & Associates. “Our goal will be to work with the Township to develop a dynamic destination and gathering place on the west-side of Oakland County, one that is akin to places like Rochester or Birmingham; places that leverage their ‘Main Street’ characteristics to draw shoppers and visitors to their locales.”