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Grosse Pointe Receives 2 Theater Proposals

The proposals both target the parking lot area behind the middle block in the Village that houses Caribou Coffee. One is by a corporate entity and one is by a local non-profit.

The has received two proposals for theaters for the parking lot on St. Clair Street between and , City Manager Pete Dame announced Tuesday in a press release.

The City planning and development employees have begun reviewing the proposals, both of which are available on the City's website along with the renderings.

Emagine Entertainment has proposed a 35,000 square-foot building that would house eight screens for first-run movies. This company has six locations throughout Michigan, five of which are in the metro Detroit area.

has proposed a 40,000 square-foot cultural arts center with a 400-seat theater for live productions and a banquet area. The theatre company is currently housed on Fisher Road and performs many of its productions at the .

Dame's press release provides a rough timeline of how the proposals will be handled:

  • the theatre proposals and other development will be part of the discussion at next week's first public hearing on the upcoming revision of the City's master plan
  • city planning employees will analyze the proposals and prepare a written report to the council
  • council will host a public meeting to gather feedback and thoughts from the public after the city employees have the reports complete

A specific date has not yet been set but an estimated timeframe is June for the completion of the report and public hearing, according to Dame's release.

City officials encourage those who want to offer comment or thoughts about the proposals now to email the city: city@grossepointecity.org or to contact Dame directly at 313-885-5800 or through his email.

Should either of the proposals come to fruition, the development would happen essentially across the street from the future home of the Neighborhood Club. The final beam for the frame of the Neighborhood Club's new building was installed last week and construction is projected to be finished by January, but is weather dependent.

It would be the third large-scale project in the Village in a matter of a few years including the Neighborhood Club, which is zoned as part of the Village, and Kroger. 

Katie April 25, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Kevin, Don. Wow. Attractive comment for 'neighbor's' in the North.
Wendy April 25, 2012 at 01:18 PM
The Emagine Theatre is just unattractive though. Why not have a better design? Why not raise the bar on good architecture in the Village? Also, in response to Chad's comments that there has not been an increase in crime in Birmingham, that's just untrue. There were two articles in this weeks' Detroit News about gun violence in Birmingham. One of the articles also described an 18 year old boy loitering around the movie theatre with a loaded M1 rifle. This sounds crazy, but it's true. See the links below. http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120423/METRO02/204230338/Birmingham-grapples-crime?odyssey=mod%7Cnewswell%7Ctext%7CFRONTPAGE%7Cs http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120423/OPINION03/204230335 Birmingham has the money to pay for extra police patrolling their downtown. Does GP City? I want a theatre, but it should be (a) attractive and (b) sized appropriately to meet our needs.
Chad Bateman April 25, 2012 at 02:59 PM
True enough, but if you want to play this game, my family friend, Jane Bashara, was brutally murdered in GP recently and her killer is still at large and has not been charged.
Mark April 26, 2012 at 10:19 PM
It would be nice to have something to help bring some vitality to the area. And for all of the whiners talking about the crime of LOITERING my god no wonder there is a reputation of GP being an aging community losing its youth. Step up policing if you really feel this would draw more criminal activity. It is an incredibly small downtown area that would not be too hard to step up surveillance on. Get it together people!
Adam April 27, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Wendy, I very much agree with your first point re: design. If an Emagine Theatre was constructed in the Village, I'd hope that the architecture and landscaping would receive special consideration. The proposal from Emgaine states that the current site plan and design are "intended to form the basis of further discussion with the City regarding design issues." I trust our city to get this right. Also, the site isn't even on Kercheval and construction of the theatre may end up actually extended the streetscape theme along St. Clair into a pedestrian-friendly "European style walkway" in front of the theatre, behind some of the businesses facing Kercheval. So, the question isn't so much if the proposed building design keeps up with everything else on Kercheval (which I'd argue it does anyways, ex: Kroger), but if we'd rather leave the back of these buildings as trash dumpsters and cracked blacktop, or introduce a small luxury theatre and paved walkway. One of those options sounds considerably more appealing to me. As for the concerns over crime, I don't think pointing to 1 or 2 news stories provides enough evidence. Besides, the alternative development plan is to build another parking structure on this lot. I'd surmise that a parking structure could attract as much or more illicit activity as a luxury movie theater would.

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