Repurposed big-box retail store transforms into state-of-the-art city hall

The challenge

Home to more than 84,000 residents, Westland is the third largest city in Wayne County. Its first city hall, built in 1966, was unable to keep up with the City’s growth in service offerings and staffing numbers. Poor space design and deficiencies in departmental adjacencies, technology, security, and workstation sizes had brought about wide-spread operational problems that needed to be addressed in a new development plan.

When financing and limited options threatened to keep the City of Westland from addressing its aging city hall, the City engaged Plante Moran Cresa (PMC) to provide a solution.

The solution

PMC worked with City officials to find viable location options for the new City Hall, develop space programming, and procure funding. The City chose to renovate a long-vacant Circuit City that, because of its location, could be funded with existing Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA) funds instead of increasing the tax rate.

PMC acted as owner’s representative to the City, providing a single touch-point for the designers, contractors, and public. In our role, we also guided the City through several challenges, one of which was the introduction of stringent new drainage codes, a setback that added $1 million more dollars to the total cost and 90 more days to the schedule. 

Through careful planning and value engineering, PMC, the City, and the construction team were able to make the appropriate adjustments to keep the renovation on budget and back on track.

The benefit

The repurposed facility, completed in 2014, is 64,000 square feet, energy efficient, and large enough to house nearly all of the City’s departments as well as provide public meeting spaces for residents and businesses.

By renovating a vacant commercial space with energy-efficient features and up-to-date technologies, the new City Hall has made the City’s services more efficient and cost-effective and initiated a new wave of investment in the community.


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