Category Archives: Clients in the news

Leaders’ shared vision inspires Center Line development plan

Center Line DDA

Photo by David Lewinski

The city of Center Line has revived its downtown development authority and refocused its tax increment financing (TIF) in a placemaking initiative to attract businesses that serve nearby workers and young people to its tidy blocks of affordable houses.

“The first challenge is getting the willpower and getting a champion,” said CWA’s Dave Scurto in this January 21 Metromode article. “Center Line has overcome this fantastically. Everybody’s working together with the same vision and message. The mayor and the council understand the business community.”

The article features the Center Line city manager/DDA director and the mayor and their plans for a façade improvement program, gateway signage, enhanced wayfinding, streetscape maintenance and online marketing.

Dave compared the initiative to the city of Riverview’s successful plan to acquire a faded shopping center and redevelop it into a medical complex.

6 CWA communities are among Michigan’s best places to live

By John Enos

The Detroit Free Press recently published an article of the top 25 places in Michigan to live. This article was based on a study by that looked at several factors including, quality of education, nightlife, health and fitness and family amenities. Carlisle/Wortman provides continuing planning assistance to  six of the top 25 places. Just sayin’.

  1. Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County
  2. Scio Township, Washtenaw County
  3. Pittsfield Charter Township, Washtenaw County
  4. Troy, Oakland County
  5. Saline, Washtenaw County
  6. Northville, Wayne County

Changes to building OK for Manchester historic district

The Village of Manchester’s historic district protects buildings built before 1940. While this storefront was built in 1945, CWA’s staff, under John Enos, determined that, “based on the proposed exterior design changes … the new use will enhance the existing district character … (T)he plan reflects an understanding of the Village and is compatible with the distinctive character of the district setting and surrounding buildings.” From the Manchester Mirror,  2/22/16

Troy Transit Center opens


On October 14, officials cut the ribbon to open the Troy Transit Center, near the intersection of Maple and Coolidge Roads. People will be able to access intercity rail service, regional bus routes and taxis from the new center. A bridge over the railway line provides a barrier-free non-motorized link to the rail platform in Birmingham. The $6.3 million facility is included as a hub in the Detroit Regional Mass Transit plan (DRMT).

troy-transit-center-2First conceived in 1993, the project resulted from sustained, thoughtful and innovative planning. CWA guided Troy’s 2008 master plan, which commits the city to transit-oriented development, with a multi-modal facility playing a prominent role.

Find details in this Detroit News story.

CWA to manage Northville building department

strong_candid_webThe City of Northville has contracted with Carlisle/Wortman Associates to oversee the city’s building department services. Craig Strong will serve as the city’s building official. Here’s the Northville Record news story.

Form-based zoning inspires development along Troy’s major corridor

Driven by an innovative, 2008 master plan, form-based zoning and higher design requirements, the City of Troy has seen $11 million in private economic development investment along its Big Beaver corridor.

Troy store fronts

 In its December 8, 2013 edition, Crain’s Detroit Business described the city’s move away from a traditional zoning approach based on land use  to form-based zoning, which among other conditions, requires that buildings be placed along the corridor and parking be behind buildings. The city also eliminated the requirement that restaurants be attached to office buildings and allows them as infill of existing, expansive parking lots.  Six new restaurants have been built since, including Granite City Food and Brewery, Piada Italian Street Food, Bonefish Grille, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Halo Burger. La-Z-Boy Furniture, Flagstar Bank and Sprint have also opened stores in the area.

Granite City “The ordinance changes make the things we wanted most, like walkability and mixed-use development, the easiest to accomplish,” Planning Director Brent Savidant told Crain’s. “That helps strengthen the presence of infrastructure along Big Beaver Road, which we hope will encourage more development.”

The Detroit Medical Center has plans for a 70,000-square-foot, $42 million children’s outpatient specialty center along Big Beaver.  In addition, a 60-unit high-end apartment project has been preliminary approved in the area.  The city has also approved plans for five new, nationally-branded hotels, two of which will be in the Big Beaver corridor, the Detroit Free Press reported on December 8. These projects further drive demand for restaurants and retail.