New office building to feature rooftop amenity
By Lisa Brody
A new office building under construction at 4060 Maple Road, just east of Telegraph Road, was approved for a third story rooftop addition by the Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees at their meeting on Monday, June 12.
The property owners, Maplewood Office Park LLC, submitted a site plan application to add an enclosed third floor addition of 935 square feet and an elevator penthouse proposed near the westerly edge of the rooftop, Andrea Bibby, township deputy director of planning, building and ordinance, reported. She said the purpose of the rooftop space is for the use of the building's tenants.
“The intent is for tenants and workers of the building to use, get fresh air, and meet with others in the building,” Bibby said. She said the center of the rooftop would have enclosed mechanicals, and there would be a stairwell as well as the elevator.
While the applicant, represented at the meeting by owner Brian Najor, requested to use the rooftop area from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, the township's planning commission recommended hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday as it is adjacent to a residential area.
In order to provide screening from the adjacent residential area, Najor said they have proposed putting a hedge of evergreens and irrigation along the railing edges.
Bibby said they requested and received all variances from the township's zoning board of appelas on May 9. In response to the township's planning commission, they specified they would have no additional lighting, no loud music or speakers.
Najor informed trustees they had reached out to the president of the homeowner's association of the adjacent neighborhood and “they provided some good input. They did have some suggestions for landscaping, and we incorporated that into the rooftop. Most of the impact is facing Telegraph Road.”
To questions of tenants, he responded, “It's general office space. We're permitted up to 50 percent medical. There's a certain interest out there. What we see is an interest in shared work space, and that's what's driving this.”
Trustee Neal Barnett, who also sits on the planning commission, said he was initially opposed to the proposal, “but you really listened and made changes, and the fact that there are no residents in attendance says a lot. I think you've done a good job.”
“If this was in downtown Birmingham, I would think this was cool. But because this is in a residential area, it's kinda creepy,” said trustee Val Murray.
Trustees voted 6-1, with Murray in opposition, to approve the rooftop space.