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Visions for Vacancies: 19271 Mack Ave. in GPW

Share your ideas of what business you'd like to see locate in this vacant commercial property at 19271 Mack Ave. in Grosse Pointe Woods.

This week's pick for Visions for Vacancies is on Mack Avenue in .

The martini bar closed earlier this year somewhat quietly. While their closure was unexpected to most, the property owner, Marlene Stevens, told Patch it had been coming for a while as the owners had not paid their rent in several months. The owners of Robusto's never returned messsages seeking comment.

Now the free-standing building is available for lease. Stevens is hopeful she'll be able to fill the space without much lapse. The space is already set up for a restaurant, which would be ideal but other types of business are welcome, she told Patch.

The two-story building is 2,940 square-feet, according to Woods property records, and has its own parking lot. It was built in 1960.

Pete Waldmeir, GP Woods April 14, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I recently pinpointed with tonge firmly planted in cheek that Robusto's Cigar Bar and Lounge is a great place to open Grosse Pointe Woods' first casino! The Michigan Legislature is now considering eight - that's 8 - new non Native American-owned casinos in Michigan. Robusto's owners have a sorry history of paying their real estate taxes because of the city's lackadaisical attitude about making tax scofflaws pay up. The Woods city council thinks their residents are rich enough to give them an extra $1.2 million (or more) a year in a Headlee Override tax increase, right? City Hall's full of high rollers, that's for sure.
Terry Rudolph April 15, 2012 at 11:43 AM
How about a movie theater?
kathy April 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM
Small movie theatre?---Don't know if it's logistically feasible, but it'd be nice to have one close to home.
Lucretia Cracchiolo April 15, 2012 at 03:01 PM
I would love a J Alexanders!
LMJ April 15, 2012 at 03:58 PM
@Kathy, love that idea. I think a 'Main Art' or DIA FT type venue would be fantastic, first run independent/ art films, that sort thing. I liked Robusto's too, and would be happy to see another upscale wine bar or something of that nature there as well. My only request, is, please, not ANOTHER Italian restaurant.
walden schmidt April 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM
State law dictates exactly what happens and when, to property owners that do not pay their taxes. Local communities can not create policies or ordinances that are contrary to the state law in order to expedite the collection of delinquent taxes. As a previous member of the GPW city council, I expect that you would have already known this...
kash313 April 16, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Yes - how about Woods Theatre, version #2! In synch with the good old days. Pictures of family on the walls of the lobby/concession area, popcorn for $0.50 and a couple of movies to choose from.
Pete Waldmeir, GP Woods April 16, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Mr. Schmidt: As a former council member and Grosse Pointe Woods taxpayer, I know people who don;t pay their taxes get their property seized. The Robusto's owners stiffed the city of Gross Pointe Woods administration for at least two years, then folded the joint in the middle of the night and took off. The city made a half-hearted attempt to collect all that back-tax money, but never really got in the owner's face about it for whatever reasons only they know. You want our city to be like Detroit or Wayne County, where the leadership just lets things fall thru the cracks? Bet you even support the 4 mill Headlee Override, right? Give 'em more money to mismanage.
walden schmidt April 16, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Doing anything, including “getting in the owner’s face” is waste of time and resources. Like I previously posted, a municipality has no legal basis for pursuing back taxes from a property owner, other than reporting the property as being delinquent and turning them over to the county treasurer. What I was referring to is the Delinquent Tax Revolving Fund. The DTRF allows the municipalities to receive their property tax revenue shortly after the delinquent property is turned over to the county treasurer, opposed to waiting until the taxes are actually paid.
jeff wright April 16, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Thanks walden for speaking back to the late great in his mind Waldmeir SR. while he boast about being on the council he did nothing but take up space. The idea that he left because he could get nothing down is BS he did nothing...and left to run for another shoe in office that he was soundly defeated for.....he is an angry old man with a pen who wants his time in the spotlight back....and this is it ....how sad.
Pete Waldmeir, GP Woods April 20, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Hey, Jeff!Don't be shy. Why don't you takes the gloves off and tell us what you really mean?
Andrew Gwinnell April 20, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Although any tax paying business would be preferable to vacancy, ideally I would not like to see another salon, bank, or dry cleaning business. Mack is over saturated and could use some variety.
Joseph Sucher May 01, 2012 at 08:06 PM
A little late, but for the sake of accuracy, the taxes Robusto's were delinquent on (2 years) were the Personal Property taxes, not Property taxes. They did not own the property. As a consequence, they were operating for at least a year, maybe two, without a business license. While one arm of the City ticketed the business, another arm let them skate through a variety or court hearings for nearly six months until they closed.
Ted November 18, 2012 at 03:28 PM
I think this location would be an awesome spot for a fitness center. Something like Planet Fitness. The location is centrally located at a major entrance to the community. There's lots of parking. Lots of other businesses & the hospital to draw customers from and to. If it were built, I know I'd join.
Bruce Toma January 12, 2014 at 08:32 PM
Would another cigar bar be welcomed to the city? Like a Churchills cigar bar in Birmingham? More of a lounge with TVs instead of live music.

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