Downtown Dexter fills storefronts, restaurants

As spring temps finally warm, downtown Dexter's vacancy rate is melting to near-zero.

With two new shops opening over the past couple of months and a pair of new eateries coming by mid-June to the historic downtown, only the Dexter Pharmacy building will be empty, says Allison Bishop, community development manager for the village of Dexter. The downtown is home to about 50 businesses.

The Lucky Haskins antique emporium and gift purveyor Modern Vintage opened earlier this spring; eats-wise, Loreen's Village Cafe and a branch of Ypsilanti-based Aubree's Pizzeria & Tavern are expected to fire up their kitchens in late May and mid-June, respectively.

Both restaurant properties are undergoing renovations. Loreen's Village Cafe will get new flooring and a general spruce-up, while Aubree's, which will occupy the defunct North Point Seafood & Steakhouse, is repositioning its bar, among other things, Bishop notes.

"[The former North Point restaurant] is a great space and a beautiful building right across from our main park that has all sorts of activities in the summer. I think that was just a matter of time before that space was scooped up."

In other news, the village is set to close on 8077 Forest Street, one block south of downtown, by the end of May. Bishop says the home on the parcel will likely be demoed. In September 2012 the village takes possession of an industrial site just to the west of 8077 Forest Street, which will likely be added into a larger, possibly mixed-use, redevelopment plan.

"We're going through a process right now to try to select a consultant to come up with some concepts for us to ultimately present to developers to see if they would be interested..." says Bishop.

Source: Allison Bishop, community development manager for the village of Dexter
Writer: Tanya Muzumdar

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