With an initial $500,000 investment in the development of the property at 3441 Broad Street, the visionary for Strawberry Alarm Clock Cafe is still pursuing plans for retail development that will be nestled in neighborhood that many think of as “old Dexter.”
Ann Arbor businessman Jack Savas plans to sell the property to a buyer who would be interested in turning it into a general retail space, which could include a smaller-scale cafe, according to Michelle Aniol, the city’s community development director.
“Jack Savas is actively selling and it and he may have a user that could come in with retail and maybe some cafe space, but not to the degree that Mr. Savas wanted,” Aniol explained.
Savas went through a lengthy process with the Dexter Planning Commission that sent the developer back to the drawing board for the Strawberry Alarm Clock Cafe project five times before the plan was sent on to the City Council for a final vote of 6-1 with Jim Smith dissenting.
In previous meetings, Aniol had highlighted the transformation of the 0.28 acre lot’s usage as a commercial space that could draw foot traffic as being consistent with the city’s Master Plan and in compliance with the city’s code of ordinances.
“This particular area is a very unique mix of residential and variety of densities at that,” she said last July, when the project was approved.
The new owner will have to go through the process of presenting a site plan to the Planning Commission that details what they intend to build on the property in place of Strawberry Alarm Clock Cafe, which had already earned its special land use permit along with its building permits.
“They may do a similar footprint but the outside of the building might be more representative of the historic character, as opposed to a more contemporary version of the historic character,” Aniol said, with regard to the more esoteric high-concept that Savas envisioned for his destination cafe that would have been opened later and been targeted at providing younger Dexter residents a hip hangout.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” she concluded.
In other commercial development news:
The owner of 8060 Main Street has been progressing on updates and renovations at the former Huron Camera building since last month, involving the installation of a new roof, the replacement of the HVAC system, and various interior improvements.
“The owner of 8060 Main appears to be getting close to signing some retail tenants,” Aniol reported. “I don’t have a lot more information than that.”
Multiple sources in the business community have indicated that the potential tenant could be a retailer of printed materials including comic books, graphic novels and other similar merchandise along those lines.
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