OAK PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - Some cities in Oakland County are hoping to turn a stretch of one of the Mile Roads into the latest hot spot.
Oak Park, Berkley and Huntington Woods are teaming up with efforts to revamp the the stretch of 11 Mile Road between Greenfield and Woodward. They have plans for bicycle lanes and bus routes, in hopes of attracting new neighbors and business owners.
"We want happy hours. We want lots of happy hours," Oak Park City Manager Erik Tungate tells us. "We're trying to create a sense of a place and put quality of life amenities in place that are going to attract the best and brightest."
He adds that stretch of road is a pretty dense corridor throughout multiple communities, so they all see a good opportunity they want to take full advantage of.
Tungate says when looking at the city's master plan, city officials realized some zoning limitations weren't allowing them to attract the right businesses and residential projects. So, they amended it.
"We're not going to be an office center of the Metro area; we're not going to have high rises that exceed what's going on downtown or other communities; but we want to have really solid neighborhoods with neighborhood amenities like restaurants and other establishments that might attract people after work."
Oak Park, once a dry city, is now allowing liquor licenses as well. It's a move that's already attracted new business. River Rouge Brewing Company in Royal Oak has plans to open a second location in the city. That location is planned at 11 Mile and Gardner, not far from Drought, a new juicing facility in Berkley.
Tungate says the ultimate goal is to allow the city to become more walkable by reducing traffic lanes. One major bike lane project soon to hit Nine Mile will also give easier access to Ferndale and Detroit.
"Having bicycle lanes, dedicated routes - safe routes - having walkability, being the proximity to downtown, bus routes throughout the city - all of the above adds to just a higher quality of life," Tungate says.
Bu he adds this is only part of what they're trying to accomplish. He teased more announcements are coming next week.