Town Commons in Howell, Michigan, one
ROBERT STEUTEVILLE    OCT. 1, 2000
Town Commons in Howell, Michigan, one of four TNDs getting underway in that state, will see its first retail buildings under construction in October 2000. In a reversal of the usual TND order of residential first, commercial second, developer DeMaria Building Co. is constructing the 13,000 square feet of ground-floor retail in three-story buildings prior to selling single home lots. Above the shops will be stacked-flat townhome units to be rented as upscale apartments. “We know the market is there for the single homes,” says Geoffrey Greeneisen, director of land development. “Building the commercial core will create even more interest. We don’t believe that we will miss the market by waiting another six months to sell lots to builders.” Additionally, DeMaria has already sold the 50 townhouse lots to Mark Leonard Building Co. The first townhomes are expected to break ground in the first quarter of 2001. DeMaria has found its first tenant for Town Commons — Sterling Market is a 3,000 square foot grocery store that will sell gourmet foods in addition to staples like milk and bread. The market will also have outdoor cafe seating. A developer of single homes and a commercial contractor, DeMaria has never before attempted TND. The $60 million, 60-acre, 344-unit Town Commons was planned by Gibbs Planning Group.