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Beaumont announces razing of Northwood Shopping Center

Survey to influence new Woodward Avenue property use

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published April 18, 2016

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ROYAL OAK — Beaumont Health System officials confirmed last week that it will begin demolition of the Northwood Shopping Plaza by the end of 2016.

The announcement comes after years of discussion on what exactly Beaumont decision-makers would do with the 212,908 square feet of property located at the southwest corner of Woodward Avenue and 13 Mile Road. Beaumont has owned the the shopping center property since the 1980s.

Commercial tenants, including Leo’s Coney Island, Party City, Office Depot, Dunham’s Sports and Kroger, were served lease termination notices by Beaumont on April 11 and were asked to vacate by July 1. Director of Corporate Communications Colette Stimmell said it is Beaumont’s intent to demolish the site by the end of this year.

Stimmell said the property has been in a state of disrepair for many years. She said the center is currently at 59 percent occupancy right now, not including Beaumont’s four tenants. Stimmell said tenants have been on month-to-month leases since December 2013.

“It has been our intention to redevelop the property,” she said. “The shopping center itself is kind of old and tired and developing more and more maintenance issues, so we have now made the decision.”

What happens next could be determined by property stakeholders including Beaumont Health employees, physicians, patients and members of the surrounding community.

A survey asking about best uses of the property was sent out to Beaumont Royal Oak employees April 11, and additional surveys will be released this month to neighbors, elected officials (to share with their constituents), local senior centers and nearby organizations with which Beaumont has built relationships.

“We’re hoping that we will have a redevelopment that’s going to meet the needs of the community, but also meet the needs of Beaumont and really be a centerpiece of the Woodward corridor and be a more attractive gateway to the campus of our Royal Oak hospital,” Stimmell said.

The survey asks participants to rank a wide range of categories, including consumer services, apparel, dining, retail, health and beauty, other retailers, medical and “other,” which includes everything from a hotel to patient-family housing to a conference center.

Each category includes many different options.

“It’s a broad range of selections, so this is really a great opportunity for us to get a good feel for what people would like to see,” Stimmell said. “When we launched it here at the hospital, within a matter of a couple of hours, we had well over a thousand people (who) had already taken the survey, so we are getting a good response.”

The community survey will run from April 18-29, and the employee survey will conclude April 22. Stimmell said she hopes to have all results summarized in May.

“We’ll have the results from the survey and start to firm up our plans from there,” she said.

Stimmell said arrangements have already been finalized with the day care for its employees that Beaumont owns and Childtime runs inside the Northwood Shopping Center.

Before demolition occurs, a new Childtime child care facility will open this fall on the former Parker Elementary School site across the street from Beaumont Hospital on 13 Mile Road.

Other Beaumont tenants include Safety City, a home medical services equipment store and facility management offices. There are 12 tenants total at the Northwood Shopping Center, including Beaumont and non-Beaumont storefronts.

Although the Kroger store will be closing on Woodward Avenue, a $25 million Kroger Marketplace store will take up about 125,000 square feet on the former St. Dennis Catholic Church property at the southwest corner of 12 Mile Road and Stephenson Highway. A typical Kroger store is about 50,000-60,000 square feet.

Kroger officials said about 72 percent of the new store will house food, with the remaining percentage offering general merchandise.  

The Northwood Shopping Center parking lot has been a popular gathering site during the Woodward Dream Cruise for spectators and planned events. There is no word yet whether or not the lot will be available for the Cruise.

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