Business Buzz: More Changes Ahead in Village

Two retailers will be leaving the Village only weeks after a meeting in which several new initiatives were announced.

Two more retailers are leaving the Village: Blockbuster and Bellissima Boutique, according to a Village Facebook post this week.

The departure of both retailers is just a hint at the various changes that have transpired in the Village in the last year and changes yet to come.

Blockbuster's closure is part of a larger corporate decision to close nearly 300 stores throughout the country by parent company Dish Network. The company has been losing sales to video-on demand services, leading to the reduction in stores and employees, according to a report by Wall Street Journal.

The Village Facebook post states Bellissima Boutique is leaving the Village to relocate on Mack Avenue.

Meanwhile in a meeting earlier this month for members of the former Village Association, news of a new restaurant, a new hardware store and a quick-stop hair salon were shared. Patch is attempting to gather more information.

Among the more recent changes in the Village, several stores have shifted locations and more shifts are imminent.

The Grosse Pointe Art Center, which only spent about four months in the former Hickey-Walton Pierce store, is now relocating again to a space near Village Toy.

Pretty Things moved into a storefront that had been part of Village Toy and City Kitchen expanded the bar area. A new salon also opened--all within about five months.

The ever-evolving changes within the Village are part of small business but the Village Facebook post sought suggestions of retailers that Grosse Pointers will frequent and go to regularly.

Among the suggestions:

  • an Apple store
  • Sur la Table
  • an organic market
  • Whole Foods
  • Jungle Java

What businesses would you like to see settle in the Village? Why? Share your ideas in the comments section below.

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John Hetzler (Editor) February 28, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Love the idea of a school spirit store.
Mary Berschback February 28, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Many people have mentioned that it would be wonderful to have a small scale, or "boutique" hotel, or even something like a Homewood Suites. I am thinking of the Borders/Ace block, perhaps two floors. There is no place in GP for family/visitors to stay for weddings, family events etc, everyone needs to go to Roseville, or downtown.
Janine Lanza February 28, 2013 at 07:36 PM
I'd love to see an arthouse movie theatre - like Maple Art. I hate to drive so far to see a small independent or foreign film. I would think the demographics of GP would support it.
Angela Gabridge February 28, 2013 at 07:36 PM
Indie movie house (like a Landmark), Anthropologie would be so great, Urban Outfitters, a good sports bar or gastropub, Lush or other beauty shop, moderately-priced independent retail....shoes, accessories...I hate having to drive to Oakland County for national retail or to Detroit for fun independent retail (although I love the D!). We can't have it all in such a small community, but some diversity would be nice. We have some really great independent retail and smaller eateries on Mack, but the lack of walkability makes it tough (I'm an avid runner, but most of us usually just drive up and down Mack. We aren't parking and exploring). You can cover the entire Village/Hill on foot easily and it has that downtown feel that creates community. Love all the development that is going on in the Park.
Diane Smith February 28, 2013 at 07:45 PM
small version of the luxury hotel The Townsend (in birmingham). Cut the red tape and get it done.
Angela Gabridge February 28, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Boutique hotel, like a Kimpton or a Townsend, would be fantastic.
Ken Bis February 28, 2013 at 08:25 PM
H&M, Noodles and co, Chipotle! NO to Whole Foods & an organic market. We have enough markets!!
Naomi Greene February 28, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I agree, just like the Punch & Judy Theater that used to be on Kercheval on the Hill. It would be perfect!
MRSPirateLarz February 28, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Hotel Hotel Hotel Hotel Hotel!!!!!!! (Did I mention that enough?)
Lynn Asmus February 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Jersey Mike's is a great idea. And why not Von Maur? Just don't turn it into offices like The Hill. The Village has always given GP such a strong sense of "place." It is what attracted us to the area when we relocated here in l985. We need an "anchor" like Jake's was.
Tim Prophit February 28, 2013 at 10:11 PM
Look at it this way: our demographic 'circle' consists of slice of GP, water, and ghetto. No national chain is going to want to locate here. The Hill has as a patron Gretchen Valade; the Park has the Cotton family, and GPC has Beaumont.....guess what you're going to get...
Michelle Paruszkiewicz Skuba March 01, 2013 at 12:38 AM
I am all for the Apple Store. We sure need one on the East Side.
Jason R. March 01, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Mary, I have tried to approach the current landlords and the city with the idea of a boutique hotel and was completely ignored. I was working with Starwood hotels to bring a small boutique style hotel to the old ACE building. I have also approached several franchises to set up shop in the Village. All but one (Aeropostle) said that GP did not fit into their marketing/development plans. The concern many business owners have is the price of rent in the Village. I, personally, am looking to start a business locally. I have been turned away by the high rent and the City council doesn't seem on the same page. We cannot let the Village slip away, and letting Beaumont build a medical clinic in the old ACE building will be the start of the end of the Village. Lets get incentives and a real business plan together and work on recruiting the RIGHT businesses to allow the shopping district to thrive again.
Bob konieczki March 01, 2013 at 01:43 AM
A bowling alley in the empty Ace and Border's space.Great family activity.Keep the kids in the area with a wholesome activity.Leagues would bring activity in the evening. Leagues would also bring a stable and reputable group of people to spend,and patronize the rest of the village.
Laurie March 01, 2013 at 03:46 AM
An Apple Store, Ralph Lauren/ Polo Shop (Men's, Women's, Children and Home), Michael Kors, boutique hotel, such as Kimpton, or the Townsend, Chipotle, William Sonoma, Athleta, Orvis, Restoration Hardware, Crate and Barrel, Burberry Outlet, Baker Furniture. Please...no more ice cream, bagels, bread, jewelry or hair salons. Think healthy living and active lifestyles.
Ashley March 01, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Sounds like the city needs to compromise more in order to make the spaces more appealing to vendors. Our issue is not a lack of ideas... it's that no one worth-while wants to come, or the city doesn't like the idea of a certain store, hotel, vendor, etc. The city needs to relax and be more willing to put in the hard work and sacrifices in order to make the village thrive again.
Angela Gabridge March 01, 2013 at 03:34 PM
It sounds like it's a landlord issue as much as anything else. Many of the great businesses that were there already have folded (Burger Pointe) or moved to Mack (Bellisima) for less expensive rent. They know foot traffic is lower on Mack than in the Village, yet they're willing to take the risk. It must be worth it. How do we get landlords to work with the city, form a downtown development authority type of arrangement and put together a strategic plan/vision? Just waiting for everything to come together organically doesn't seem to be working. Sure hope we figure it out though, the Village is such a great location.
Robert Payne March 01, 2013 at 03:48 PM
The City needs to revamp their parking policy. Most of my friends have stopped shopping in the Village because of the tenacity in which they write tickets. Most men do not carry change for parking meters and many women just loose track of time and who needs that headache when there are other places to shop without meters. I would think that the merchants would recognize the negative impact that the parking meters have on business. There was a national study some years ago that found most city parking enforcement policies were breakeven at best. By the time you provide vehicles and personnel for enforcement, the same for collecting money from meters a city of less than 75,000 will lose money most of the time. I guess that begs the question, is it worth the time, effort, and money to have an adverse effect on the Village businesses.
Patt Koller March 01, 2013 at 03:53 PM
Jungle Java's !!! Would go there more often if not on Hall Road. Hate driving there. And good for toddlers to teens. Great parties. We sure could use a bed & breakfast type of temp housing. Boutique Hotel?
Patt Koller March 01, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Sure miss Jacobsons. Any chance for a general clothing store?
Mark Van Osdol March 01, 2013 at 05:00 PM
Tim Prophit makes a good point above, when retail excecs are looking at locations on a map from their office in NYC, Chicago or wherever, they see great demographics & income in GP but then they see a lake on one side and ghetto on 2 others but the fact is GP DOES support their retailers and would do more if given the chance. I was talking to the salespeople at Gymoboree, they agree that their store is ridiculously small for the business they do but they were told they have to gross $1million+ to justify a bigger location. They said they practically do a million now and would do much more than that given the space. I think the Village needs to be proactive and target specific retailers and make the case to them for locating there. That and it sounds like they need be realistic about rent, I don't understand the mentality of a landlord that justifies a higher rent while their location sits empty vs a lower rent and a store that's actually occupied & thriving.
GP For Life March 01, 2013 at 06:17 PM
It surprises me that the fine folks at Bain Capital, the people who own Gymboree, haven't heard of the "sales per-square-foot" metric the kids are using these days. Of course, they probably have, and have come to conclusion that additional square feet, and rent, won't generate enough incremental sales, but what do they know.
Rich Kingston March 01, 2013 at 06:54 PM
I am getting in here late, sorry. Love all of the above. Yea retail, for sure. How about a good deli? Not just subs! Trying to get one out here in Rochester. Hotel, yes and nite spots. Stop rolling up the streets at night GP! Good luck Village! RK
Connor G March 02, 2013 at 02:55 PM
A few Tanger Outlets would be nice (retail clothing). Also, an e-magine theater in that block would be amazing. There are so many opportunities available. However, the City Council or the officials that run "The Village" are clearly close-minded and giving businesses and entrepeneurs the cold shoulder; that's why Kercheval in the Park is being built up and The Village is not.
Ken Eatherly March 03, 2013 at 10:37 PM
How about a shooting range for all the Bushmasters, AK-47s and Uzis the NRA says we have to own?
burnt_toast March 04, 2013 at 08:42 PM
The Village needs a Plum market. Have you ever been to one? They are amazing, the produce alone is stunningly beautiful and so fresh. Kroger's is a small store with lack of selection. Even the Kroger's in GPW is pathetic even though it's larger. Horrible produce, plus so little selection because they are filling it up with their own products. Very limited vegetarian as well. Even Meijer's grocery store is superior. Have you ever stopped at one? They have so much more selection than Kroger's. We don't need a Whole (Paycheck) Foods, they are very expensive and over rated IMO. Trader Joe's is alright, but again limited selection. An Apple store in GP? LOL. They don't even have one in Birmingham. They are usually reserved for mall's only. A Gap would be nice but highly unlikely. So the rumor I heard is that a True Value is coming.
GP For Life March 04, 2013 at 09:17 PM
Does anyone know if Trader Joe's is pulling up stakes? Hearing things...
Katie March 05, 2013 at 04:29 PM
Please keep retail for the Village. The Hill has become very disappointing with all of the offices and banks and now Beaumont paying big $$ for prime real estate for another office/medical building. Unless you're specifically going to one of the few established retailers (League Shop) or restaurants or the Dirty Dog, it's not a go-to community place anymore.
GP For Life March 05, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Katie, offices support retail. There's a symbiotic relationship there. You just have to strike the right balance.
Th March 19, 2013 at 06:45 PM
Replace Panera and Brueggers with Zingerman's or better still: a Zingerman's Bookstore Cafe.


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