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Farmers market to offer winter produce cooking demonstrations and recipes

A series of cooking demonstrations featuring fresh and local produce will launch at the Oakland County Farmers Market this Saturday, Jan. 14, and continue every other Saturday through the end of March.

The demonstrations occur from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the market, each featuring a different guest chef. Danny Martinez of the Alley Cat Cafe in Pontiac will be the first to host, with chefs from Townhouse in Birmingham, High 5 Salts With Benefits, C.A.Y.A. Smokehouse Grill in Wolverine Lake, Cacao Tree Cafe in Royal Oak, and the Dorsey Schools Culinary Academy to follow. The demonstrations are free to attend.

Oakland County Farmers Market Manager Jeremy Brown says winter produce demonstrations have been a hit since first starting two years ago, providing visitors with valuable and useful information.

"I hope the cooking demonstration series inspires people to incorporate more fresh fruits and vegetables in their meals during the winter, when finding fresh items can be challenging," he says. "I think some people may be surprised as to how many items are available at the market during the winter."

Items like root vegetables, mushrooms, honey, garlic, onions, and apples are all available fresh from local vendors during the winter months and will be utilized by the guest chefs. Following the cooking demonstration free samples of the prepared dishes will be available and Lake Orion's White Pine Coffee will be providing free coffee samples, as well.

Recipes of the prepared dishes will be available for those who wish to try them out at home and the ingredients will be available from Oakland County Farmers Market vendors. These vendors include VanHoutte Farms in Armada, Penzien Produce in Imlay City, Hockey Haven Farm in Lapeer, Give & Grow Mushroom in Chesterfield, Sweetz Sugaring in Imlay City, and Brookwood Fruit Farm in Almont.

The Oakland County Farmers Market is located at 2350 Pontiac Lake Rd. in Waterford. Winter hours are 7 a.m.-1:30 p.m. every Saturday.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

East Dearborn's City Hall Artspace Lofts bazaar offers local, one-of-a-kind gifts

With the passage of Thanksgiving, the traditional holiday shopping season has begun. For all of the shopping options out there, a relatively new tenant of East Downtown Dearborn is making a play for consumers' holiday shopping attention.

The first annual City Hall Artspace Lofts Holiday Bazaar opened Saturday, November 26 and will continue the next three Saturdays. Featuring work from the artist tenants of the City Hall Artspace Lofts live/work space, the CHAL Holiday Bazaar offers a wide range of local, handmade arts and crafts gift ideas.

"We want to encourage people to come to the bazaar and shop local," says Event Director Julia Kapilango. "These are one-of-a-kind, quality-made items."

Pieces include handmade jewelry, sculptures, textiles, glass dolls, and visual arts. Some of the artists have made holiday-specific items, including ornaments, textiles, and jewelry. The bazaars will feature live entertainment from dancers, Djs, and bands. There is also a metal pour and mold workshop.

The City Hall Artspace Lofts occupy the former Dearborn City Hall, which left for a more central location. The lofts, which are designed as live/work spaces for artists, opened earlier this year.

"This is about building community and inviting people into the Artspace Lofts so they can see what's happening both in there and in Dearborn," says Kapilango. "This is an attractive place for millenials and we want them to see it firsthand. We want to create opportunities for the artists to teach, train, and empower."

The City Hall Artspace Lofts Holiday Bazaar is occurring on the Saturdays of December 3rd, 10th, and 17th. It is open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and is free to attend.

The City Hall Artspace Lofts campus is located at 13615 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn. The bazaar is located in the annex side of City Hall, at the intersection of Maple and Nagy.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Skateboard shop opens up in Clawson

Clawson-area skateboarders have a nine-year-old boy to thank for the Clawson Skate Shop, which is celebrating its grand opening this Friday, November 5. Well, a nine-year-old and his father.

Clawson resident Jeff Richards set out to open the Clawson Skate Shop last July and, after a series of start-and-stops due to some bureaucratic headaches, has finally done so. A soft opening last week preceded this week's grand opening.

The shop carries everything from skateboard equipment, including decks, trucks, wheels, and bearings, to safety equipment, shoes, and clothing. Notable brands include Girl, skate boardTum Yeto, SK8MAFIA, Skate1, and Alien Workshop.

Clawson Skate Shop will also serve as a community center for the skateboarding community. Richards plans on bringing in couches and a television for people to watch skateboarding videos and play video games.

Richards, a carpenter by trade, got the idea to open a skateboard shop from his nine-year-old son Mason, who Richards says was pretty persistent. Mason started skateboarding at four years old and, after putting it down for a year, picked up the skateboard in earnest, skating up to 14 hours a day.

"He's been patiently waiting but every day it's been him asking, when are we opening, when are we opening?" says Richards.

With skateboarding being added to the Olympics, Mason hopes to one day skateboard in the international competition. Mason's younger brother, Dylan, now skateboards, too.

Richards believes that with the popularity of the nearby Clawson Skate Park, the skate shop should stay pretty busy. He's already planning for the future, too, saying that he hopes to find an additional space, maybe at around 15,000 to 20,000 sq. ft., to build an indoor skate park.

Clawson Skate Shop is located at 1024 W. 14 Mile Rd. in Clawson.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Future of Northland Center in Southfield to be discussed at public meeting

Concerned citizens and curious onlookers alike are invited to attend a public input meeting for the redevelopment of the Northland Center site in Southfield. 
 
The shuttered mall—once America's largest—is scheduled to come down and a new development is expected to rise in its place. The public input meeting is to allow residents the opportunity to let the city and developers hear their opinions on what should happen with the 114-acre site.

The public input meeting is being held Tuesday, Aug. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. in the Southfield Public Library Auditorium, located at 26300 Evergreen Rd. A similar forum was held June 22.

Northland Center is sentimental for many across metro Detroit. The mall, which opened in 1954 and closed in 2014, had many features in addition to the stores, including unique works of art and even a nuclear fallout shelter. One of those works, the Boy and the Bear, was saved by a fundraising campaign that received more than $55,000 in donations.

Jerry Naftaly, a former mayor of nearby Oak Park who says that, during his childhood, the mall was his family's downtown, wrote a book about Northland Center. In an interview published in July, he told Metromode's Maureen McDonald that, "The last mall manager took me on a tour of the tunnels that once served as pathways for truck deliveries to Northland stores, including places for storage and 484 rooms of varied sizes. There were old mannequins, computer junk, purses and shoes, and an anonymous letter from a guy who squatted a month down under the mall." 
 
The tunnels and the bomb shelter on the lowest level will add to the demolition cost, which the city estimates at $8 to $10 million.
 
Read more about Northland Mall >>>

Representatives from architecture, engineering, and planning firm OHM Advisors, commissioned by the city to create a master plan for the redevelopment, will be on hand at the public input meeting. They will also present their latest thinking on the Northland Center site.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Coffee, books, music, movies, and more: New and used retailer to open in Utica

The specialty retailer 2nd & Charles is expanding its presence in Michigan with a new store in Utica. The location will be its second, complementing an Auburn Hills store which opened in 2013.

In addition to the more than 300,000 items the store boasts in daily inventory, the national chain has announced that the Utica location will be the very first of its nearly 30 locations to host an on-site coffee bar. Whole-bean coffee, full-leaf tea, snacks, and more will be on offer at the first of its kind, ChuckStop.

2nd & Charles has stores in 15 states, from Michigan to Texas, Delaware to Colorado.

The store offers a wide range of products; both used and new. Among its inventory are books, vinyl records, CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray, video games, video game systems, comic books, electronics, toys, collectibles, and more. 2nd & Charles also buys items from customers in exchange for either cash or store credit.

"2nd & Charles offers a very different kind of shopping and trading experience," Scott Kappler, vice president of marketing for 2nd & Charles, says in a statement. "Utica’s dynamic energy makes it the perfect place to further expand our presence in Michigan, and we look forward to sharing all the personal and profound treasures that 2nd & Charles has to offer with the community."

According to store representatives, 2nd & Charles replenishes stock daily, creating a new experience on each customer's visit. The store's items take up over three miles of shelf space. More than 50 employees will be hired to staff the Utica location.

2nd & Charles is located at 45290 Utica Park Blvd. in the Utica Park Place shopping center. Expect an opening in late July.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Leon & Lulu nears completion of expansion into historic Clawson Theater

The wife-and-husband team of Mary Liz Curtin and Stephen Scannell, co-owners of Leon & Lulu in downtown Clawson, have nearly completed their redevelopment of the historic Clawson Theater. 
 
They are converting the historic theater, which itself was converted from a theater to light industrial uses in the early 1960s, into a cafe, custom framing shop, and furniture showroom. Curtin expects to open in two to three months.

The redevelopment is a natural extension for Leon & Lulu, the popular furniture, clothing, gifts, and more shop that opened in the old Ambassador Roller Rink building in 2005. 
 
It's been a big redevelopment, too. Curtin says the old Clawson Theater building needed just about everything one might imagine, including new plumbing, electricity, HVAC system, roof, and more.

The theater floor was flattened long ago after it closed in the 1960s. But Curtin and Scannell are restoring a bit of history with a refurbished theater marquee to hearken back to the days of the old Clawson entertainment district. Both the roller rink and theater buildings, separated only by a shared parking lot, were built in 1941.

According to Curtin, Clawson residents used to call the theater "the Show," so the new building will be called "The Show at Leon & Lulu." 
 
The back will contain additional showroom space for furniture from the main shop as well as a custom framing workshop. Up front will be Three Cats Cafe, a place for shoppers to come take a load off after they've finished shopping at Leon & Lulu.

"We think it will complete the shopping experience," says Curtin. "It will be a place for a little sustenance, maybe some live music and a glass of wine. There will be pastries, cookies, and espresso in the morning, salads and quiches at lunch, hors d'oeuvres at night. It will be like the old days where there was a fabulous restaurant inside a department store."

For Curtin, The Show at Lulu & Leon completes the story, providing a center for the community. She says they've never wanted to franchise the Leon & Lulu brand. But they do want to improve the location in downtown Clawson. It's about more than the merchandise, she says. It's an experience.

"What we really sell is happiness and fun."

Leon & Lulu is located at 96 W. 14 Mile Rd. in Clawson.

Got a development news story to share? Email MJ Galbraith here or send him a tweet @mikegalbraith.

Women's boutique opens in downtown Farmington

A women's clothing and accessories boutique from Commerce has relocated to downtown Farmington.

POSH by Tori Boutique opened in mid-April at 33411 Grand River Ave.

Owner Tori Thompson is hoping to attract a new customer base while still serving the clients who have kept her boutique in business for four years.

POSH by Tori sells trendy fashions and fashion classics at affordable prices, offers later operating hours that allow working customers to shop, and hosts special events as ways to open the boutique to more shoppers.

Source: Farmington Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Will downtown Birmingham valet service end hunt for parking spaces?

Economically, it can be a good thing for a downtown to have a parking shortage. It typically means businesses are thriving and commercial vacancies are low. For shoppers and visitors, however, there's really no upside.

With that in mind, a downtown-wide valet service is coming to Birmingham from April 2 to May 30. The service will be available noon to 6 p.m. Thursday - Saturday. The cost to use the valet is $4. There will be two pick-up locations: next to Roots at Henrietta and West Maple and at Comerica Bank on Old Woodward at Hamilton Row. Shoppers can call the valet when they're ready to be picked up.

"With warming weather, parking use increases significantly in April and May," says John Heiney, executive director of Birmingham's Principal Shopping District. "Plus, our merchants have told us that their customers have asked for this convenience."

He says downtown is at 98 percent occupancy and about 100,000 square feet of office space is being built over the next 18 months. The valet service, which was offered last spring and over the holidays, is a temporary fix to what looks to be a long term parking problem. Demand is increasing, Heiney said.

The city has established a steering committee to look at expanding the parking system and consider short term solutions such as relocating employee parking.

The company, In House Valet, will operate the service, which is being subsidized by the Principal Shopping District, an organization made up of downtown business owners that works in partnership with the city.

Source: John Heiney, executive director, Principal Shopping District
Writer: Kim North Shine

Former Northville psych hospital to become massive commercial/public use space

After years of sitting dark and quiet, wasting way, the former psychiatric hospital property in Northville Township is undergoing changes that are part of a lively economic redevelopment that turns the 400-acre site into a walkable, shoppable, eatable, hang-outable, job-creatable project.

Part of the project at 7 Mile and Haggerty roads, known as Northville Park Place, covers about 82 acres, and is being developed by Livonia-based Schostak and its Team Schostak Family Restaurants. A large portion is a public park, walking trails and other amenities that will give visitors a variety of things to do and also connect some locals to their neighborhoods via a trail system. The main hospital and other buildings have yet to be demolished, but the development is proceeding.

As the retail and commercial portion of the project enters phase 2, several restaurants and retailers have signed leases to open. They include Tom + Chee, a specialty grilled cheese restaurant; Mediterranean eatery, Red Olive, North Dakota-based Granite City, Seattle-based MOD Pizza, BurgerFi, Chipotle, Jimmy John's are signed leases previously.

Several stores are also signed on. Phase 1 was the 100,000-square-foot University of Michigan Northville Health Center.

The final phase will be the public space that will also feature water falls, a pond, bike trails and outdoor seating.

The re-use of the land was a source of debate for years in the township as several plans and promises were made and broken and red tape for the former state-owned property dragged out a re-use of the prominent piece of land.

Source: Jennifer Frey, director of community development, Northville Township
Writer: Kim North Shine

Small Favors opening specialty shop in Grosse Pointe's Village

Grosse Pointe's Village business district is getting another tenant in a specialty gift shop, Small Favors, an arrival that will almost completely fill the three-block area along Kercheval Avenue.

A year ago the stretch that is considered the Grosse Pointes's downtown area was pocked by numerous vacant storefronts.

"The Village is on the cusp of a rebirth, and it's so exciting to be a part of it," says Kasey Malley, who co-owns Small Favors with Betsy Enders. Small Favors started in the basement of Malley's home in 2003, mostly selling specialty party favors. Within a few years the business had moved into a warehouse-type building with room to assemble party supplies and corporate gift baskets and such. Five years ago they opened a retail gift shop on Mack Avenue.

Earlier this year, they decided to move from their approximately 500-square-foot square foot store to a 1,500-square-foot space in the same block of Kercheval where a Borders bookstore and Ace Hardware once operated. Now there is a recently opened massage business, a dance studio, a Calico Corners fabric store and a shoe store, The Shoe Tree. St.John Medical center offices and a Scott Shuptrine furniture store are on the way.

"We didn't do as well as we could have on Mack. We had limited parking on the street and no parking lot," Malley says. "People would go out of their way to come to us. They're loyal, but there just was not enough traffic."

A build-out of the new Small Favors space is underway and will have "a great look with an industrial feel" with an open ceiling, exposed duct work and polished concrete floors, says Malley.

Opening day is expected to come in February. The current location remains open with holiday merchandise already out. While the new store, which is near the city's Santa's Village, is under construction there will be holiday pop-up shops selling Small Favors favorites. Other local Grosse Pointe business owners such as Ethel's Edibles's Jill Bommarito, and belt, belt buckle and specialty monogrammed item designer Kristen Henchel will join the pop-ups.

Small Favors is stocked with carefully selected merchandise found mostly by Enders and Malley on their annual trips to America's Mart in Atlanta. There they seek out new businesses and products that are unique. "We don't want anything you'll find in Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond…We don't want mass market.We're trying to keep that boutique-y small town, smaller feel," Malley says.

Small Favors regulars also come for the selection of favorite preppy brands such as Scout, high-quality candles and body products and unusual toys.

The move to the Village takes Malley back to the days "of what the Village used to be. It was small, independent businesses. That's what we've been missing. People want to go to the Village and shop around, get a coffee and stroll in and out. I think we're getting back to that and it's an exciting time."

Six businesses open in Grosse Pointe's Village

At least six new businesses opened in October in and around Grosse Pointe's downtown Village district.

All replaced vacant shops or filled in available office space and are mixing up the variety of businesses in the three-block retail area that often was the butt of jokes for its overabundance of coffee and bagel shops.

New businesses along Kercheval Avenue and on St. Clair, just off of the main street that runs through the Village, include:

* Shoe Tree, a women's shoe and accessories store. 17121 Kercheval Ave.
* Massage Green, the first Grosse Pointe franchise of the national brand built on affordable massage and spa services. 664 St. Clair
* Christiane Larue, the second location of the successful Birmingham boutique that sells and styles customers in ready to wear and formal attire from designers rarely found in metro Detroit or Michigan. 17114 Kercheval Ave.
*City Bark, a pet boutique with always changing merchandise for pets and and people who love pets. 17027 Kercheval Ave.
* Grosse Pointe Fine Homes is opening as the local real estate market improves. The office is the first Southeast Michigan location for the national brokerage Weichert Realty. 648 St. Clair.
* Creative Design has an office above Einstein Bagels at 16828 Kercheval Ave. and designs cancer-, Alzheimer's- and autism- awareness items such as apparel, jewelry and gifts.

Source: Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Kim North Shine

Warp 9 comics enters phase 2 with renovated shop in downtown Clawson

Warp 9 Comics and Collectibles has built a loyal customer following after 15 years in business, and now with a new owner and a renovated space it's time to put down the next panel in Warp 9's story.

The new owner, Trey Hunt, hosted a grand opening party Oct. 18. The store is located at 21 W. 14 Mile Road in downtown Clawson and attracts customers from across metro Detroit.

Comic book artists, costumes and comic idol cookies were part of the grand opening party. The store sells toys as well and also is an eBay dealer.

Besides painting, cleaning and re-organizing the store, where Hunt worked before buying it from the previous owner, the plan is to make Warp 9 a family-friendly shop and destination for comic art.

Source: Warp 9
Writer: Kim North Shine

DIY drives Adore Eclectic Interiors home consignment store

An interior decorator who made a business out of re-using what's already in clients' homes and complementing it with affordable accessories has opened her own home consignment store in Grosse Pointe Woods.

Marleen Prater, owner of Remixed Rooms, decided to go into retail after a decade as an interior decorator and striking out too often on quality, affordable home goods stores.

Adore Eclectic Interiors opened Monday at 20725 Mack Avenue in Grosse Pointe Woods, and "we had a very good opening day. Things are flying out the door," says Prater.

Besides selling home furnishings and accessories from the shop, she staffs painters, furniture re-purposers to change or customize pieces and experienced designers to lead classes for customers who want to make the changes themselves.

"Number one, we want very unique, cool pieces," she says. "So many times people are re-decorating or moving and things just don't fit. We are here for them when they need a place for those nice things, and we're here for customers who need that special piece or that new arrangement that can change the look and feel of their home. Number two, we want it to be very affordable."

She and the women she works with envision Adore as a place to get advice, talk about their homes, what's good and what's bad about them, how they can make their homes what they want them to be, and to learn how to make the changes they want.

"We see it as an experience. We have fresh coffee, homemade cookies and lots to talk about," says Prater.

Source: Marleen Prater, owner, Adore Eclectic Interiors
Writer: Kim North Shine

Shinola bikes for rent in downtown Birmingham

http://metromode.com/images/features/issue_355/the_townsend_hotel_shinola_bike_rental_program1.jpg

Shinola and The Townsend Hotel, two brands cementing reputations of luxury, are pairing up to offer Shinola bikes to hotel guests and to Birmingham residents.

The Shinola bike rental program at The Townsend launched about a month ago as a new amenity that offers an easy and stylish way to see downtown Birmingham.

The bikes are for rent by the half hour for $15, an hour for $25 and for a day for $125. Bike helmets and locks are also available.

Operators at The Townsend, a Euro-styled hotel in Birmingham, and Shinola, which promotes American- and Detroit-made products and operates a factory and retail store in Detroit, say Shinola's Runwell and Bixby models are a great way to see how walkable -- or rideable -- Birmingham can be.

"We've only had a few rentals so far, but we have a sign at the concierge desk in the main lobby announcing the offering, and we've had many inquiries," says Lynette Zebrowski, The Townsend's chief concierge. "So we are expecting to see this pick up."

Source: Hope Brown, principal PublicCity PR
, and Lynette Zebrowski, chief concierge, The Townsend Hotel
Writer: Kim North Shine

 

Shoe Tree women's shoe store to open in Grosse Pointe's Village

The most-watched block in Grosse Pointe's Village business district is getting a new tenant, a shoe store that will sell moderately priced women's shoes and be owned by a local who believes she knows what Grosse Pointers want and are willing to pay.

Hilary Butcher will open the Shoe Tree, likely in late October, at 17121 Kercheval Avenue, next door to the Calico fabric store that opened in June.

The block once housed a Borders bookstore and Ace hardware store, and since they closed in 2011 and 2012 the block sat vacant until a few months ago.

The developer, Kercheval Company, has leased much of the space to St. John Hospital, which will have offices and retail space. Kercheval Dance has opened a dance studio next door and Calico at the opposite end from St. John, which is still renovating its space.

Butcher's store is an alternative to the pricey, designer shoe store, Capricious, which is located on Kercheval Avenue on The Hill in Grosse Pointe Farms.

Source: The Voice of the Village
Writer: Kim North Shine
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