The City of Grosse Pointe City Council voted Thursday morning to approve a zoning amendment that could lead to the redevelopment of the former Borders building in the Village.
The amendment, which was approved 5-1, changes the ratio of retail to office use in buildings in the Village shopping district.
"We are trying to create this framework that any applicant can work
within and still protect the retail frontage," said Mayor Dale Scrace.
He added that city is trying to keep up with the changing retail environment that is seeing the decline of big box retailers, such as Jacobson's and Borders, and a switch to smaller businesses.
"We are trying to keep our ordinances reflective of those changes," he added.
The new ordinance requires retail, and other permitted uses, to occupy the front 45 percent of buildings that are more than 150 feet deep. For buildings 150 feet or less, the current standard remains in effect and offices may occupy the rear 40 feet, or 40 percent of the building depth, whichever is greater.
By changing the ratio, a proposed medical and retail development by St. John Hospital in the former Borders would now be compliant.
During a presentation before city council in August, St. John officials proposed renovating the current 18,366 square foot building for a mix of medical office and retail.
Retail will still be located on Kercheval, with the possibility of single tenant occupying 7,639-square-feet. Or the space could be subdivided for three smaller retail tenants of 2,555-square-feet each.
Medical offices would occupy the rear 9,412-square-feet facing the city parking lot. This would be used for physical therapy, blood draw and primary care uses.
This proposal has a smaller medical footprint, and greater retail area, than a previous plan presented to the city in June. Also in the new proposal, St. John is planning on building a pedestrian corridor that link Kercheval to the city parking lot that would allow for easier access to the retailers and medical area.
City officials state the hospital may present final plans for the project at a meeting Sept. 6.