Development News

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A second city-owned movie theater opens in Grosse Pointe Park

The city of Grosse Pointe Park has opened a second movie theater, this one offering more variety to residents who have packed the original theater, which shows mostly family movies, since it opened 12 years ago.

The 70-seat, $750,000 Carol C. Schaap Theater was built next door to the current Okulski Family Theater and was paid for by donations from the local Schaap family and the nonprofit Grosse Pointe Park Foundation to the city.

The movie theaters are opened to residents of all of the Grosse Pointes.

The theaters are located inside Windmill Pointe Park and show a changing selection of first-run or near first-run movies week to week.

In addition to parks that come with pools, marinas, an ice rink, a splash pad, a putting green, workout facilities, gyms, and views of Lake St. Clair, Grosse Pointe Park plans to build an art center. It's all part of moves to attract and retain residents and businesses. A year-old trolley funded by the city and local businesses expanded this year.

Source: City of Grosse Pointe Park
Writer: Kim North Shine

Wok Asian Bistro opens in downtown Northville

Wok Asian Bistro, a new restaurant featuring exhibition cooking, opened this week in downtown Northville.

The restaurant at 144 Mary Alexander Ct. serves create-your-own, wok-cooked meals or specialties such as Thai peanut noodles and edamame lo mein.

The owners want to set the restaurant apart by cooking with premium and organic beef, chicken, Thai-imported shrimp, locally- and house-made Asian sauces, and the top selling soy sauce from Japan prepared by a wok master.

Source: Northville Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Durr Group sets up North American HQ in Southfield

The Durr Group, a global mechanical and plant engineering firm with a majority of its business in the auto industry, is relocating its North American headquarters to Southfield.

The operation will move its offices into a renovated former DTE Energy facility located on 14 acres on Northwestern Highway. A nearly 100,000-square-foot newly constructed building will include testing, training, and valuation centers.

The redevelopment, which is located in a brownfield-designated area, will bring an investment of about $40 million to the city along with nearly 500 jobs.

The project comes with tax abatements and will include a re-use that incorporates innovative, cost-effective energy saving technologies,

"The resulting campus will enable increased collaboration, communication, and creativity, benefiting employees and customers alike," says Rochelle Freeman, the city's business development manager.

Source: City of Southfield
Writer: Kim North Shine

MOD Pizza coming to metro Detroit

MOD Pizza (short for Made on Demand) is opening in Livonia June 22.

A second location for the Seattle-based chain known for "super fast" artisanal-style pizza made with organic ingredients in exactly the way customers wish is expected to open in Northville later this summer.

Livonia-based TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants plans to bring 25 MOD Pizza franchises to southeast Michigan in the next five years.

The Livonia location will be located in a 2,600-square-foot space on Middlebelt Road south of I-96.

The Northville store will open in the sprawling Park Place redevelopment at Seven Mile and Haggerty roads.

Besides build-your-own pizzas made from a choice of 30 ingredients and baked in an 800-degree oven in less than three minutes, MODs serve draft beer and handmade milkshakes.

Source: TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants
Writer: Kim North Shine

AMP theater pumps up downtown Milford

Amp in Central Park, a new amphitheater, soon will fill downtown Milford with the sounds of music and other performances.

The $500,000 LaFontaine Family Amphitheater grew out of a community-supported fundraising and support from sponsors including the LaFontaine family, the Rotary Club of Milford, the Huron Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Milford Downtown Development Authority. Individuals giving in amounts of $10, $20, or $30 also played a significant role in funding the project that is seen as transformative for Miford.

The theater design emphasizes nature, from grass-covered steps to a walkway for spectators to trees and vines that complement the facility's restrooms and stage.

Opening day was last week, coinciding with the start of a summer concert series. For a schedule of concerts, click on Meet Me in Milford's website. The theater is located on Main Street between Huron and Liberty streets.

Source: Franco Public Relations and Milford Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine

Royal Oak bar, O'Toole's, opening in Rochester

O'Toole's Irish American Grill in Royal Oak is opening a restaurant in Rochester.

The second O'Toole's could open by fall after renovations on the 9,000-square-foot former restaurant space it will occupy are complete.

O'Toole's owner, Keith Wadle, is a resident of Rochester Hills.

His new restaurant, which is expected to be a family friendly sports bar, will be located at 139 South Main St.

Source: City of Rochester
Writer: Kim North Shine

Farmington Hills archery range targets residents, visitors looking for new things to do

Farmington Hills is upping the amenities in the city  -- there already is an ice rink and performance stage for the community -- by adding an archery range.

The Riley Archery Range is scheduled to open at Heritage Park June 13 and give visitors to Farmington Hills another reason to come to town.

The range will have eight shooting lanes with distances between 10 and 30 yards. The varying lanes accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities. There will be open shooting times, group reservations, and lessons offered, as well as lanes for rent for camps and birthday parties.

The Riley Archery Range was funded by the Riley Foundation, Panasonic, Safari Club International, ROWE Professional Services, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Bryan Farmer, deputy director for the city of Farmington Hills Department of Special Services, calls the community archery range "our next, big, interesting, unique venture" and says "it's like no other."

A grand opening celebration is set for July 13, a month after opening day.

Source: Bryan Farmer, deputy director, City of Farmington Hills Department of Special Services
Writer: Kim North Shine


New dog bone business builds on downtown Plymouth's dog-friendly

Three Dog Bakery has opened a store in downtown Plymouth, filling a vacant storefront and also building on a dog friendly culture that's taking hold downtown.

The new Three Dog Bakery is located at 422 S. Main Street. The owners renovated the spot for the franchise that bakes fresh dog bones and other treats for pets.

Like many other downtown businesses, dogs are welcome inside Three Dog Bakery.

Business owners see the dog-friendly policies as a way to attract customers who stroll downtown with their pets.

Source: Rochester Downtown Development Authority
Writer: Kim North Shine


The Robot Garage, an educational fun spot for kids, to open third location in Grosse Pointe Park

Grosse Pointe Park has a new business coming to town in The Robot Garage.

The location will be the third for the four-year-old, Birmingham-based business that uses Legos and building toys to stoke children's creativity and interest in math, science, and engineering. The facility will host summer camps and serve as an alternative birthday party venue. It will also be a place where kids can play freely.

The newest store is expected to open by July at 15201 Kercheval Ave. in Grosse Pointe Park's business district, which is experiencing a restaurant and retail revival.

Robot Garage owners Sarah and Jonathan Jacobs decided to open the first Robot Garage in Birmingham's Rail District after seeing a shortage of fun science- and math-minded activities available to their daughters, who were regularly attending princess and sports parties. The Jacobs later expanded to a second location in Rochester Hills.

The Grosse Pointe Park store is in a 4,500-square-foot space that will have areas for walk-in building time, camps, and birthday parties. The Robot Garage also staffs math, science, and engineering teachers to guide field trips and competitions.

Source: The Robot Garage
Writer: Kim North Shine

Proposed Royal Oak 'Smart Park' needs funders

The city of Royal Oak is looking to the public to help fund what's being called a "smart park." The plans include an environmentally-friendly gathering space for kids, a center promoting local businesses through information kiosks, a Wi-Fi-connected outdoor work space with charging stations, an event space, a public art area, and more.

But first the city must raise $60,000 from the public through a crowdfunding campaign. The city has until June 16 to raise the money in order for the Michigan Economic Development Corp. to award a matching grant from the Public Spaces Community Places program, which is also supported by the Michigan Municipal League and Patroncity, a crowdfunding site that opens municipal projects up to local residents to support.

The proposed smart park would be located on Center Street in downtown Royal Oak. Check out the funding situation here.

"We are thrilled to move forward on such an incredibly ambitious project—one that will connect Royal Oak in smart new ways," says Jim Ellison, mayor of Royal Oak. "We have done our homework, talking to a variety of experts from 'green' planners to local technology gurus. We believe our smart park concept has potential on so many fronts."

"The Royal Oak Smart Park really exemplifies what Public Spaces Community Places is all about—the community banding together to transform an underutilized plaza into an unique and engaging destination,” says Katherine Czarnecki, community development director at the MEDC.
Source: City of Royal Oak
Writer: Kim North Shine

Tattoo lifestyle brand Ink Addict opens store in downtown Ferndale

Ink Addict, an apparel brand that celebrates tattoos and tattoo artistry, has expanded by opening its own retail store in downtown Ferndale.

The new store at 22007 Woodward Ave. opened April 25 and sells Ink Addict's original designs for clothing and accessories in a space that also showcases local art -- also for sale -- and features rotating guest tattoo artists.

Ink Addict, which was started in 2007 by then-college students Nathan Martin and Jim Doyon from a basement in Royal Oak, has become a globally-recognized tattoo lifestyle brand available online and in more than 400 stores in the U.S. and in 25 countries.

The owners moved their production facility to Ferndale in 2013 and decided to renovate the front portion of the 10,000-square-foot space into what the owners are calling Ink Addict's flagship store and home base for connecting tattoo enthusiasts.

“We wanted to make a difference in a struggling economy,” co-owner Jim Doyon says of their decision to start Ink Addict. “For the first couple years, we put everything we made back into the company. We didn't get financial help. We just worked our asses off and believed that one day it would pay off. We surrounded ourselves with some amazing people and are so thankful for all the individuals who have become our family in this journey."

Source: Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce
Writer: Kim North Shine

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

Birmingham builds reputation as home store destination

The opening of a new home furnishing store in downtown Birmingham brings to the city a mix of national and international retailers and local home decor veterans.

The latest arrival is Roche Bobois, a fixture at the Michigan Design Center that is relocating to 394 South Old Woodward. The store brings local shoppers home decor in the style of the Hagopian family, a prominent metro Detroit family that operates a major rug cleaning business and carpet showrooms that have made them experts in rugs and furnishings and connected them with the Detroit Institute of Arts, where they have worked on textile exhibits and collections.

Around the corner from Roche Bobois is West Elm, a national retailer that opened its first Michigan store at 215 W. Maple and had found a brisk business.

Boconcept, a European-based retailer contemporary home furnishings and design services, opened in 2013 and rounds out the three newest additions to downtown Birmingham. "[Roche Bobois] really enhances Birmingham as a home furnishing destination," says John Heiney, executive director of the Principal Shopping District in downtown Birmingham.

In total, downtown Birmingham has 14 home furnishings stores and more than a dozen shops and galleries specializing in accessories, gifts, and antiques for the home, he says.

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


Bark Avenue Play & Stay adds second location

Bark Avenue Stay & Play, a pet day care and boarding business that has developed a loyal following at its Utica location, is expanding to a second location in Roseville, opening May 18.

A grand opening celebration is planned for May 17 at the new Bark Avenue at 15075 East 11 Mile Rd. Husband-and-wife owners Michael and Marnie Scroggs, animal lovers who opened the Utica store in 2013, have built a loyal clientele, and clients who live or work closer to Roseville or have friends or family in the area want their animals to stay at Bark Avenue.

“We are very excited that our second location will be closer to home for some of our current customers and we’ll also be able to reach new families as well,” says Marnie Scroggs. “It’s a great building that will be an easy stop for commuters on their way to or from work.”

The new Bark Avenue Play & Stay is 10,000 square feet of indoor space and 5,000 square feet of outdoor space. The building is located near I-696, I-94 and I-75. The Roseville location will offer services like boarding and bathing for dogs and cats and have extended play times during daycare.

Source: Marnie Scroggs, co-owner, Bark Avenue Play & Stay
Writer: Kim North Shine

The Office Coffee Shop in Royal Oak updates co-working concept

Michael and Brooke Keith plan to open The Office Coffee Shop, a different kind of co-working space, in downtown Royal Oak in May.

Construction on the space at Fourth and Lafayette started in February, with Michael using his engineering design background to lay out a floorplan that will serve a variety of temporary office needs, from desks in a shared common space to private offices to conference and training rooms -- all rentable by the hour or by the month. The space is Wi-Fi-connected and AV wired. A printing center and mailing services are also available to users.

While those amenities aren't unusual for co-working spaces, the Keiths' concept marries business with philanthropy. A cafe serving Michigan-made coffee and eats will be located on premises, which Michael Keith says will support the community and charities by sharing proceeds with nonprofits and by offering community education and networking opportunities.

The Keiths see The Office Coffee Shop becoming a place to hang out, meet people, network, and support important causes.

"We've partnered with some of our favorite Michigan vendors such as Water Street Coffee Roaster in Kalamazoo, New York Bagel in Ferndale, Holy Cannoli's in Rochester, and Just Delicious scones in Roseville," says Brooke Keith. "We want to make sure we not only offer delicious, fresh foods, but we're also going to be looking for organic and preservative-free options from our vendors."

The Keiths will promote charitable and community support among office users and renters. They currently are supporting Forgotten Harvest, Wigs For Kids,, and Team Joseph.

"So many people will be a part of our community here," says Brooke Keith. "We know that people will not only conduct their business here, they'll socialize here and network here…We figured if we were going to reduce their business overhead, we can also expose them to some of our favorite charities."

Source: Michael and Brooke Keith, founders, The Office Coffee Shop
Writer: Kim North Shine

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