Residents of Huntington Woods here in Michigan are no strangers to the fact that real estate properties are always evolving, changing the appearance of a town or city, always hopefully for the better. But what many people may not know is that the process is not as simple as just handing over a deed. Often times, a city council must decide what is best for the community, sometimes changing an area of land to something completely different than what it once was.

Such is the case for one Massachusetts community whose city council has finally approved the rezoning of the 109 acre plot of land where the former Hewlett Packard campus. It’s been a decision weeks in the making as the city’s Urban Affairs Committee reviewed the proposed project to transform the land into commercial office space, retail shops, restaurants, a hotel, and residential apartments.

According to the property development group planning to build on the site, their proposition would allow for a mixed-use overlay district which they say is the current trend in suburban commercial real estate development.

The creation of an additional 350 luxury apartments on the site will help fill the demand for more housing, a truth many people here in Michigan can understand. The addition of hotel rooms, shops and restaurants are also being introduced in hopes of continuing to grow the city’s economy.

The acceptance of land use propositions hinged heavily upon the consideration of traffic, parking and water resource protection. The committee’s unanimous decision to approve the plan was probably a contributing factor when the city council finally voted in favor of the proposed plan earlier this month.

Source: The Community Advocate, “Mixed-use zoning for former HP site approved,” Joan F. Simoneau, Dec. 21, 2012

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