Last week, Oakland County purchased two office towers in Downtown Pontiac. The purchase is part of an ambitious plan to help redevelop the county seat through a project that could cost up to $130 million.
Officials plan to relocate up to 600 employees downtown, while creating a more walkable environment on Saginaw Street.
Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter and Professor Harley Etienne joined Detroit Today to discuss the project and the importance of city centers.
Subscribe to Detroit Today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, NPR.org or wherever you get your podcasts.
Dave Coulter is the Oakland County Executive. He says investing in Pontiac just makes sense from the county’s perspective.
“Pontiac is our county seat,” says Coulter. “And that’s why we need to be investing in our county seat like we did back in the ’60s when the county court was there, and lots of stuff was going on from a county perspective downtown.”
Harley Etienne is an Associate Professor of City and Regional Planning at Ohio State University. He says density is an important aspect of how cities support their communities.
“If the entire world were at New York density, we could fit the entire world into something the size of Texas,” says Etienne. “We actually can’t run cities without some density.”