NORTHVILLE (WWJ) – Some Wayne County residents are upset construction activities are changing the country-like atmosphere of their neighborhood.
John Larkin lives in a neighborhood north of 7 Mile Road just west of Haggerty Road and across from what used to be part of the 420 acre Northville Psychiatric Hospital — 82 acres of which have been carved out for development into the 100,000 sq-ft University of Michigan Medical Facility.
“Well, I preferred the trees and birds and yeah, I liked it that way,” Larkin told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
The hospital closed in 2003 and the state sold its 400-plus acre campus years ago. The property has since been split into two parcels with different owners and redevelopment prospects.
Construction on Northville Park Place, a medical and commercial development to be anchored by a $39 million health clinic, began earlier this year. Ved Garkey, Larkin’s neighbor, lives one house closer to the work zone.
“Before this, we could sit out on our deck and stare at the trees. Now, it’s just like it’s all in the open,” he said.
While the construction activities can be irritating, Garkey admitted that “you can’t stop progress.” Nearby resident Marvin King agreed, adding that the project will at the very least bring new businesses and jobs to the area.
“There’s going to be a red light and we’re going to have one or two fast-food type restaurants,” he said.