The eyesore on South Monroe Street should soon be demolished, according to developer Damien Farrell, who bought the house and surrounding property to build housing.
The Fairdene development has been at a standstill since the manufacturer of prefabricated modules comprising the condominiums went out of business.
“I’ve been through the wringer,” Farrell told Saline City Council Monday. “I’m feeling the pressure.”
Mayor Brian Marl told council he recently sat down with Farrell and was “emphatic” about the need to demolish the deteriorating house on the property. The house has been the target of mischief makers and vandals. It was also used by the Saline Area Fire Department for a training exercise.
Farrell said he has to clear hurdles with DTE and MichCon before demolishing the home. He said he hoped to hear from the utility companies soon. Washtenaw Technical Rescue Team will also use the home for an exercise the day before the house is demolished, Farrell told council.
A new supplier of the prefabricated modules has been found and Farrell hopes to break ground on Fairdene in the spring. He presented his new plans for the development to council Monday.
The new plan calls for 21 two-unit buildings – for a total of 42 units. That’s up from the 30 units previously planned and far more than the seven duplexes he originally pitched to city council when competing to purchase the property from the city.
Councillor Linda TerHaar asked Farrell if he’d spoken to the neighbors about his new plans. Farrell said he sent the drawings to Mark Hanna Court resident Laura Girbach. He said he is willing to meet with the neighbors to speak about the development.
Following his presentation to council Farrell said he hoped to break ground in March. One bedroom units will be priced in the $200,000s and two bedroom units will be priced in the $300,000s.
Marl thanked Farrell for his persistence on the issue.
“I like the way this looks and I like the feel. It offers residents something different than what currently exists in the housing stock,” Marl said.
The new plans will need approval from the city’s planning commission and city council.
(This story was edited to correct the previous number of condos planned for the development. It was originally reported as 24. At one point, 24 units were planned, but that number grew to 30.)