Development News

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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.

Lake Norcentra Park successfully raises more than $100,000 for improvements

Improved fishing access. Bike parking and a bike repair station. Bench and hammock seating. All these features and many more are coming to Lake Norcentra Park in Rochester. The multiple improvements come as a result of a $51,201 crowdfunding campaign and a $50,000 grant.

The crowdfunding campaign was first announced this past September. It was part of the ongoing Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative, funded by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Because the Lake Norcentra Park project was able to raise at least $50,000 through a crowdfunding campaign, MEDC and MSHDA will follow on their promise of a $50,000 matching grant. The Lake Norcentra Project finished its five week-long crowdfunding campaign $1,201 over its desired target, bringing the total money raised for the park to $101,201.

"Everyone who knows Lake Norcentra Park and looks forward to what it is becoming is so thankful to the people who donated over $50,000 to this campaign," BT Irwin, project manager of the Lake Norcentra Park project, says in a statement. "Every dollar is going straight into building or repairing something in the park that everyone in the community will be able to enjoy next spring."

The park, which is located at the intersection of the Clinton River and the Clinton River Trail, has been the focus of a series of placemaking efforts first announced in February 2016. Local officials have been working to improve access and the usability of the park on the Rochester College campus. Lake Norcentra Park is open and accessible to the public.

Additional improvements include lighting, fountains, concessions, a picnic garden, green and wooded space, interpretive signage, and gathering places for outdoor learning programs and social activities. A public art project, the Rochester Community Mural, will also be installed, the winning artist having been selected in July 2016.

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

New boutique hotel to be built in Marine City

Marine City is yet again making a play to become the small town destination along the St. Clair River with the announcement of a three-story boutique hotel to open in summer 2017.

The development team behind the Snug Theatre and River Bank Theatre redevelopments in downtown Marine City have announced plans for a three-story boutique hotel in the riverside town. Dubbed the Inn on Water Street, the mixed-use development will include a combination of 26 hotel and apartment units. It will be located at the site of an old car dealership at the intersection of Bridge and Water streets.

Developers and city officials say the hotel is another example of downtown Marine City's resurgence. The small town located on the banks of the St. Clair River benefits from nearly $4.2-million in private investment and 15 permanent jobs as a result of the development.

Elaine Vertin, one of the developers of the Inn on Water Street, believes the mixed-use concept will be of great benefit to the city and its residents. "Third-story condominiums enhance the tax base and offer owners a fantastic view of the St. Clair River, while visitors staying in the guest rooms can enjoy a close-up view of the freighter traffic and the ferry to Canada."

The development is the recipient of a $642,000 performance-based grant from the Michigan Community Revitalization Program, says the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Also, due to Brownfield conditions at the site, the County of St. Clair Brownfield Redevelopment Authority is seeking $216,800 in local and school tax capture for MSF eligible activities for the hotel.

Earlier this year, the Marine City Public Beach was the benefit of a state-sponsored crowdfunding campaign to improve beach facilities. $11,120 was raised through the campaign, and an additional $10,000 was granted to the project by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's Public Spaces Community Places placemaking initiative.

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

Royal Oak made-from-scratch bakery to open second location in Birmingham

A favorite bakery is expanding with the opening of a second location in Oakland County. Love & Buttercream, the Royal Oak bakery that opened in 2012, will be opening in Birmingham as Love & Buttercream Too.

At 6,300 sq. ft., the new Love & Buttercream is more than five times the size of the Royal Oak location. Like the original location, Love & Buttercream Too will feature hand-crafted treats made on-site and always from scratch.

There will be some differences, however, as the abundance of space allows owner Brooke Wilson Vitale the opportunity to try some new things. The Birmingham location will have a retail and seating area, including breakfast options, coffee service, and WiFi. A private events space will allow for wedding cake tastings, event planning meetings, children birthday parties, girls' night outs, bridal showers, corporate events, and baking and decorating classes.

The Birmingham location's daily offerings include five to eight varieties of cupcakes, French macarons, cake pops, sugar cookies, cakes, mini pies, whoopie pies, scones, mini donuts, and more.

"We set ourselves apart by using fresh, high-quality ingredients, and try to source organically and locally whenever possible," says Wilson Vitale. "No shortenings, preservatives, oils, or any of the fake stuff here."

Though Wilson Vitale opened Love & Buttercream in 2012, she has been baking for much longer than that. She grew up baking with her grandmother, eventually working out of her parents' basement. By 2010, she was taking cake orders and baking from home.

The Royal Oak Love & Buttercream location remains open. It's located at 3202 Crooks Rd.

Love & Buttercream Too celebrates its grand opening Wednesday, Nov. 9 and will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. It's located at 746 E Maple Rd. in Birmingham.

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

New disc golf course built in Oxford

An 18-hole disc golf course at Oakwood Lake Township Park has opened, the second such course in the township of roughly 20,000 people. And like the first course, at Seymour Lake Township Park, the Oakwood course is free and open to all.

Unlike the Seymour course, which is characterized as long with wide open approaches to the holes, the new course at Oakwood is tighter, weaving through the forests and requiring a more strategic approach rather than just a strong arm.

Oakwood was designed by Miles Lawrence, co-founder of the Murder Mitten Disc Golf Club. The MMDGC was started as a fundraiser league in 2011 to help maintain the course at Seymour. The Oakwood course will also benefit from the MMDGC, which hosts tournaments and a Sunday doubles league to raise money.

"I always thought that being able to design a course would be an interesting thing to do," says Lawrence. "It had the potential, but could we do it?"

Lawrence had learned about the Michigan Disc Golf Organization donating disc golf baskets to various courses throughout the state and figured it wouldn't hurt to ask. Lawrence, who worked a seasonal job with the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department this past summer, approached his bosses about building a second disc golf course.

Oxford agreed, MDGO donated the equipment, and Lawrence and a handful of volunteers set out into the park, cutting down a few trees and clearing brush to carve out the 18-hole course.

"Oakwood was a park that not a lot of people knew about. It's really nice, just not a lot of people were out there. We thought that maybe this course would attract attention," says Lawrence. "There were 200 people out on opening weekend."

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

Entrepreneur resource center to open in Arab American National Museum in Dearborn

The Arab American National Museum is adding entrepreneurship to its programming. Called the Growth Center, the entrepreneur resource center will offer small business coaching and tutelage to the area's Arab American, immigrant and refugee populations. There will also be a focus on nurturing the local arts and culture scene.

For the past three years, the Growth Center has been a part of ACCESS, the parent organization of AANM. As a result of an internal re-organization, the Growth Center will now have a physical presence inside the museum located on Michigan Avenue in east downtown Dearborn. 
 
Given its standing as a community center for metro Detroit's large Arab American population, officials believe AANM to be best equipped to operate the Growth Center.

"With our cultural institutions and business districts, Dearborn is the heart of the Arab-American community throughout metro Detroit. Our built environment and culture within it is rich," says Devon Akmon, Director of the Arab American National Museum. "How can we leverage those assets in a way that's beneficial to the community?"

Akmon and his organization believe the Growth Center is one way to do just that. The resource center is offering classes for entrepreneurs and one-on-one small business coaching sessions. Pop-ups, too, are a focus.

One way to teach small business lessons might be to turn the museum store into a sort of laboratory for budding entrepreneurs, exposing people to the different aspects that go into running a successful business, Akmon says.

There will also be a focus on arts and culture. An artist himself, Akmon wants to see more artists become financially successful. 
 
"Our region is a magnet for creative people from across the nation. We want to enable artists to have further reach and become artist entrepreneurs."

The Arab American National Museum is located at 13624 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

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

Advanced manufacturing workforce training center opening in Madison Heights

A new training center designed to address the advanced manufacturing skills gap throughout the region is opening in Madison Heights. The Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaboration is now accepting applications for its first cohort in CNC mill certification training, which it anticipates will start this December. Officials say the first two or three groups to take the class will do so free of charge, a $3,000 to $3,500 value.

As MAMC grows, it will also offer welding and industrial maintenance programs. The cohorts will be available to adults -- especially veterans, officials say -- and will eventually expand to include high school students.

"We want what we're teaching to be life-changing for our students," says Dan Gilbertson, MAMC Director of Innovative Educational Programs and Strategic Partnerships. "These are good careers, good paying jobs."

MAMC got its start at Madison High School in Madison Heights. Gilbertson is a former principal at the high school. He and his partners anticipated an industry demand for a local advanced manufacturing workforce; a suspicion that has since been confirmed, he says.

FANUC, one of the world's largest robotics companies with its North American headquarters in Rochester Hills, brought robotic equipment to the high school to get students interested in careers in advanced manufacturing. MAMC will use equipment from FANUC, along with Rockwell Automation, Lincoln Electric, and Parker Hannifin, to teach its courses.

The MAMC facility is located in the same building as Wilkinson Middle School, having converted 12,000 sq. ft. into instruction space. Gilbertson says large areas are necessary for these types of programs.

While many manufacturing jobs have left the region, Gilbertson says that there is once again a demand for a skilled advanced manufacturing workforce. They are good jobs, he says, and much safer and cleaner than the manufacturing jobs associated with the twentieth century.

Michigan Advanced Manufacturing Collaborative is located 26524 John R Rd. in Madison Heights. People are encouraged to apply online.

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

New yoga studio in Ferndale started by long-time teacher

Caren Paskel, a well-known figure in the local yoga industry, is striking out on her own with a new yoga studio in downtown Ferndale.

Paskel long held a leadership position at the local chain Yoga Shelter, which is co-owned by her brother Eric. She's calling her new venture EnSoul Yoga. It opens Saturday, October 8. An official grand opening won't be held until the first week of November, when Paskel will celebrate with DJs and vendors.

For those familiar with Paskel's style of teaching, EnSoul will be an extension of what she taught in the past. Paskel believes in a style of yoga that stretches the mind as well as the body, and not just during the class period. She says it's a yoga that keeps working well after a session is over.

Whatever nerves Paskel had when considering starting her own yoga studio have dissipated leading up to EnSoul opening. Originally planning on a now-scrapped Royal Oak location a year ago, she's since had that time to promote EnSoul as she readies the new Ferndale space. She's well known in the local yoga scene and has been offering pre-opening specials and Groupons leading up to the opening, all of which have been going fast, she says.

"We're off to a really good start," says Paskel. "This is pretty invigorating and exciting for me. It tells me I'm doing the right thing. People are coming."

She believes that the move to Ferndale has been the right thing, too. She says the downtown stretch of Nine Mile Road is very community-driven, with lots of neighboring business owners stopping in to say hello. "The vibe there is really awesome."

EnSoul Yoga is located at 210 W. Nine Mile Rd. in Ferndale.

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

Cafe and specialty gift shop opens in downtown Flat Rock

Just steps from the Huron River is downtown Flat Rock, a small downriver community with a population just shy of 10,000. It's there where a new shop and cafe has opened up, the Blue Heron Trading Company.

Having celebrated a mid-September grand opening, the Blue Heron Trading Company is gearing up for the fall and holiday seasons. Located inside is a cafe with coffee and teas, cozy with a fireplace and leather couches. Blue Heron is also a specialty gift store, offering Olivewood bowls, vintage aprons, jams, sauces, and more.

Blue Heron is owned by the husband and wife team of Mark and Alisa Maul. Both California natives, the Mauls moved to Flat Rock in 2001. They say they had no idea what to expect when they moved here, though they've become big Flat Rock boosters since. Mark and Alisa are both involved in the Downtown Development Authority and the City Planning Commission for Flat Rock.

The Mauls see Blue Heron as a way to help revitalize downtown Flat Rock.

"Our newest business venture began with the desire to meet the needs of Flat Rock residents with a place to gather and shop while instilling a sense of community pride," says Alisa.

The couple also own Home Source Property Management, a rental management company.

With the holiday season fast approaching, the Mauls plan on offering a variety of holiday products. Also planned are after-hours events, including cooking demonstrations, chocolate-making classes, artist and author meet-and-greets, and more. The first, a pallet painting class, will occur in mid-October.

Blue Heron Trading Company is located at 26217 E. Huron Dr. in downtown Flat Rock. Its hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays.

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

New bus routes, barber shops: September development news round-up


Reflex eases bus transit

Metro Detroit bus riders commuting between Detroit and its suburbs had their lives made a little bit easier this month as they will no longer have to transfer buses at the city/suburb border along both the Woodward Avenue and Gratiot Avenue bus routes. The new service is called Reflex and it's the result of a partnership between Detroit Department of Transportation, Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, and Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan.

[Michigan Chronicle]

Mediterranean street food biz expands

The Joe Vicari Restaurant Group is prepping for a sizable expansion, adding four more restaurants to its portfolio. The group is planning on building three more 2941 Street Food locations. The fast-casual Mediterranean eateries will open in Detroit, Birmingham, and Auburn Hills with the first two locations opening within the next two months. The group is also planning on a new Joe Muer Seafood location in the Kingsley Inn in Bloomfield Hills.

[dBusiness]

Mystery gift cards...sign me up!

At Home, a furniture and home decor store, has opened in Bloomfield Hills. On Oct. 1, At Home will hand out mystery gift cards to shoppers. It's the sixth Michigan location for the Texas-based company.

[The Oakland Press]

Detroit Grooming Company grows

Detroit Grooming Company, the Ferndale-based personal care product line, opened their first barbershop on Woodward Avenue in Ferndale this past spring. The company recently expanded operations into the second level of its Ferndale storefront and is also opening a second barbershop in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood.

[Model D]

Walk to end Alzheimers

The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Michigan Chapter, headquartered in Southfield, is hosting their annual Walk to End Alzheimer's at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit this Saturday, Oct. 1. Registration for the two-mile walk begins at 11 a.m. A 12:30 start-time follows the opening ceremony at noon.

[Alzheimer's Association]

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

Crowdfunding campaign launched for Rochester park

Lake Norcentra Park, located along the Clinton River Trail on the campus of Rochester College, has received a large share of attention from local officials for much of 2016. Improvements were first announced this past February, and the park has benefited from extensive placemaking programming since, including a public art competition that selected local artist Christine Gibson's submission for a 1,600 sq. ft. mural along the trail.

Now the 14-acre park and the nearby 46-acre College Woods are the subject of a $50,000 crowdfunding campaign to further improve the public spaces. Should organizers raise $50,000 by the Oct. 22 deadline, a $50,000 matching grant will be provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's Public Spaces Community Places initiative. The crowdfunding campaign is being hosted on the Michigan-based Patronicity platform.

"Families at the college have known this place for decades and it’s special to a lot of them. Anything worth loving is worth sharing. We think it’s time to open Lake Norcentra Park to our neighbors in the community so it can become special to them as well," Rochester College VP of Development, Finance and Operations Tom Rellinger says in a statement. "We hope the park is a great asset to active lifestyles, education, and preserving nature in the Rochester region for decades to come."

Planned improvements include concessions, a picnic garden, public art installations, benches, hammocks, green space, bike parking, a bike repair station, interpretive signage, ADA-compliant pedestrian trails, boat access to the Clinton River, fishing access to the Clinton River and Lake Norcentra, a community activity center, art, food, and music programming, and K-12 educational programming.

In total, 60 acres of green space, woodlands, and wetlands will see enhancement and preservation efforts. Lake Norcentra Park is accessible from downtown Rochester via the Clinton River Trail.

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

Michigan craft beer tasting event continues to grow in Milford

Now in its eighth year, the Brewed in Michigan beer tasting event in Milford Township has expanded yet again, working to accommodate repeat customers as well as the newcomers they bring along with them. The event has regularly sold out over the course of its eight years.

Tickets for Brewed in Michigan, which occurs Friday, Sept. 16 at Bakers of Milford in Milford Township, are available online and at the time of the event, until they sell out. Entry includes a souvenir tasting mug, 12 drink tickets, six food taste tickets, and one raffle ticket. The beer tent will feature live music from Power Play Detroit.

One way Brewed in Michigan has responded to the increasing popularity of the state's craft brewery scene is to focus on smaller, more local breweries and not the larger, popular ones like Bell's Brewery of Kalamazoo, Mich. 
 
This year, Brewed in Michigan is hosting newcomers like breweries like the Drafting Table in Wixom, the Draft Horse in New Hudson, Kickstand in Commerce Township, and Third Monk in South Lyon. Some of the breweries being featured haven't even opened their doors yet.

For Brewed in Michigan co-chair Rick Kirchner, the event is a reflection of how people's drinking tastes have changed over the past decade and the ever-rising popularity of Michigan craft beer. It's fun, he says, to see the diversity of the crowd they attract, from 20-somethings to 60-somethings, white collar to blue collar, and "all makes and models."

"When we first started, you had to have more of the simple beers, more introductory and traditional flavors. But now people are more willing to try new things," says Kirchner. "I like to see people mixing it up with new types of beer."

Michigan-made wines and hard ciders will also be available.

There will be shuttles driving around downtown Milford to ease parking congestion. The LaFontaine car dealership will also be on hand, providing cars and drivers to take home any festival attendees who may have enjoyed a little too much of the Michigan beer.

The event is sponsored by LaFontaine Automotive Group and Bakers of Milford. It is organized by the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Brewed in Michigan occurs Friday, Sept. 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. at Bakers of Milford, which is located at 2025 S. Milford Rd. in Milford Township. The beer tent will remain open until midnight with a cash bar provided by Bakers. Tickets are available online.

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

New athletic fieldhouse to open in downtown Port Huron

While students at St. Clair Community College started their fall semester this past Aug. 22, they'll have to wait just a few weeks longer for their brand new fieldhouse to open.

On Monday, Oct. 3, the SC4 Fieldhouse will officially celebrate its grand opening. Events include a ribbon cutting from noon to 1:30 p.m. and a 6:30 p.m. basketball game with the Harlem Wizards, a show performance team.

The SC4 Fieldhouse is a 25,000 sq. ft. sporting arena, community center, and the future home of the Port Huron Sports Hall of Fame. A main competition court for basketball and volleyball is cross-cut by three additional courts for tournaments. Seating capacity will open at 1,500 with an additional 500 seats to be added at a later date. An elevated walking track is also planned later down the line.

For SC4 President Dr. Deborah Snyder, the Fieldhouse isn't just a new gym in downtown Port Huron.

"The SC4 Fieldhouse is more than just a state-of-the-art new facility for our student athletes. It is a community asset that we can all take pride in," Dr. Snyder says in a statement. "This facility is the first of its kind in the Blue Water Area and will host a variety of activities that bring the community together."

In addition to the college's own sports competitions, SC4 hopes the Fieldhouse will draw college, high school, AAU, and youth athletic tournaments, cheerleading and dance competitions, and more. The Fieldhouse will also host SC4 sports camps for area youth.

Four National Junior College Athletic Association basketball tournaments have already been confirmed for March of 2017 and 2018.

The SC4 Fieldhouse is located in the former McMorran Pavilion in downtown Port Huron.

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

Macomb County's Resource Fair promotes financial independence—on four wheels

From first-time homebuyers to entrepreneurs, unregistered voters to job seekers, the Healthy Lifestyle and Financial Empowerment Resource Fair will be a veritable one-stop spot for getting things done in Macomb County. Free and open to the general public, the Resource Fair occurs Thursday, Sept. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Macomb County Family Resource Center in Mount Clemens.

The Resource Fair is a partnership between Fifth Third Bank and Macomb Community Action, an agency that works with Macomb County to address poverty and improve independence.

One of the many options for fair-goers includes the Fifth Third Bank Financial Empowerment Mobile, a.k.a the "eBus," a mobile classroom complete with computers and satellite technology. At the eBus, attendees will be able to view their credit reports and go over them with professionals, visit a certified credit counselor, receive down payment assistance information for first-time homebuyers, and perform online job searches.

"We are committed to empowering our community through financial education. The eBus allows us to serve people where they live and work and partner with agencies like Macomb Community Action to provide the knowledge and tools to help take control of their financial futures," says Loretta Humphrey-Cruz, community economic development relationship manager at Fifth Third Bank.

Many additional services are available at the Resource Fair. Macomb Community Action is providing a free lunch and Gleaners Community Food Bank will perform a cooking demonstration. MSU Extension will contribute budgeting, money management, and financial empowerment services and resources. A bounce house and face painting will be among activities geared for children.

Macomb County itself is also providing some services at the fair. The Treasurer's Office will be on hand to answer questions about tax foreclosure and tax delinquent properties. The Macomb County Health Department will provide free health screenings. And the Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds will be on site, helping Macomb County residents with birth certificates, death certificates, business registrations, marriage licenses, veteran ID cards, voter registration, concealed pistol license applications, and real estate deed requests.

The Macomb County Family Resource Center is located at 196 N. Rose St. in Mount Clemens.

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

Ferndale doggie day care business caters to small dogs

Liz Blondy has seen it firsthand, that look of anxiety creeping over a dog owner's face as they go to board their three-pound Yorkie and a 120-pound shepherd walks through the door. Often it's the owners of small dogs, and not the small dogs themselves, that are afraid of the bigger breeds of dogs. It's why Blondy created Tiny Town, a day care and boarding facility specifically designed for small dogs.

Blondy is the owner of Canine to Five, the dog day care and boarding businesses located in Detroit and Ferndale. She opened Tiny Town this past June. It's a facility reserved for dogs 20 pounds and under. While it's located in the same building as the Ferndale Canine to Five, Blondy characterizes Tiny Town as a completely separate business.

The play area is designed for small dogs. The kennels are designed for small dogs. The small dogs receive more hands-on attention from a staff that is specific to Tiny Town. Blondy even has an HVAC system set so the small dogs can't sense the large dogs. And a separate entrance limits those anxiety-inducing encounters between small dog owners and the big dogs themselves.

"I'd say Tiny Town is about 50 percent for the dogs, 50 percent for the owners," says Blondy.

While space is currently unavailable for a Tiny Town at the Detroit location, Blondy says that she's working with a bank and architect to build an addition to that building.

Tiny Town will be hosting a free play date on Sep. 11 that will be open to the public. This Friday, Aug. 26, Canine to Five will help celebrate National Dog Day at the Shinola shop in Midtown, where they'll be providing complimentary nail clippings for friendly dogs—emphasis on the friendly, says Blondy.

Tiny Town is located at 1221 E. Nine Mile Rd. in Ferndale.

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