The purchase of three parcels of adjacent land will increase the size of Sylvan Glen Lake Park in Troy by approximately 1.2 acres.

The purchase of three parcels of adjacent land will increase the size of Sylvan Glen Lake Park in Troy by approximately 1.2 acres.

File photo by Brendan Losinski

Land added to Sylvan Glen Lake Park in Troy

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published August 24, 2022


TROY — The city of Troy recently purchased three parcels of land adjacent to Sylvan Glen Lake Park, on Rochester Road, which will be added to the park land.

Department of Public Works Director Kurt Bovensiep said that this new acquisition will be a great addition to the park, adding better park access, more green space, and more land to work with for potential future park developments.

“The parcels share a property line on the south side of the park, along Rochester Road. The vision right now is to increase the amount of green space. We are considering the pedestrian walkway onto this new land so people hoping to enter the park don’t have to go down the sidewalk along Rochester Road, they can just enter through the park.”

He added that it was fortuitous timing, since the city of Troy is working on upgrading Sylvan Glen Lake Park.

“Any time we can increase green space is always a good thing for the community,” Bovensiep remarked. “It will benefit the park by providing better access to the park for those in the subdivision to the south of Sylvan Glen Lake Park. We are in the process of transforming Sylvan Glen Lake Park into a community park and make it more of a destination park. We are in the process of adding a restroom facility and a parking lot, and future improvements will include a dock, public art, a playground and a pavilion. Anything we can do to help improve the park further — that is something we would definitely be interested in.”

Troy Mayor Ethan Baker said this kind of land acquisition is a very rare opportunity for a city.

“It truly is rare for the city to have the opportunity to purchase land adjacent to a park that is currently being improved and to grow our city-owned green space, which continues to be a top priority for our residents,” said Baker. “I’m looking forward to incorporating the new city-owned land into our Sylvan Glen Lake Park plan.”

The cost of the purchase came out of money from the city’s capital fund and included an exchange of land with the previous owner of the parcels, Eureka Building.

“The parcels total 1.2 acres. There was a single-family house back when it was one parcel. It has since been rezoned and split up into three parcels. The house is already gone, so no demolition will be necessary,” said Bovensiep. “In addition to the $350,000 to purchase the three parcels, we supplemented the payment with a parcel near Cutting Boulevard and Livernois Road, which is adjacent to the developer’s office. The $350,000 came from our capital fund.”

Troy officials had been in talks with Eureka Building about running utility lines underneath the parcels to support the new bathroom and lights going into the park when the subject was broached about purchasing the land outright.

“Our talks with the property owner began when we were talking with the owner of the parcels about running utilities through the land. It was decided that we could work out an arrangement to just acquire the land outright,” explained Bovensiep.

Bovensiep added that this is, indeed, a rare opportunity for the city of Troy and one he thinks will end up being the best outcome for the city, the community as a whole and the previous owners of the land.

“Typically, developers in buildable lots aren’t interested in selling at a rate a city can afford,” he said. “In my 20-year career, it’s the first time a developer was willing to sell land abutting a park at an affordable rate. Erion Nicola of Eureka Building was the owner of the parcels, and he has long been a good community partner. He tried rezoning the parcels in the past with no success, and he has a long relationship with the city of Troy, so I think he saw that this would benefit the city better if that land was publicly owned.”

Baker thanked Bovensiep and the other city employees who were able to ensure this land acquisition went through quickly.

“I am very thankful to all of our city staff who were quick to explore this purchase. We were able to nimbly move to add park land and be conservative fiscal stewards of our tax dollars, as there is a high likelihood we would have had to purchase this land as part of a future Rochester Road expansion but at a much higher cost.