New façade coming to former Kramer’s store in Village

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 11, 2020

GROSSE POINTE CITY — The former home of Kramer’s Bed, Bath & Window Fashions at 16906 Kercheval Ave. in the Village will be getting a revamped façade.

The Grosse Pointe City Council voted unanimously July 20 during a Zoom meeting to approve exterior renovations to the building.

City Planner Julie Connochie, of McKenna Associates, explained that the existing building has a dark brown brick base, large front windows, a recessed front door topped by a dark green awning, and dark brown wood paneling. The building’s owners proposed adding a decorative white Aztek base, and, above the door, straight-edged panel Hardie Board plank shingles in either taupe or gray, with white Aztek cornices.

As Connochie noted, although lighting wasn’t included in the plan as submitted, the building owners were proposing dark bronze, downward-facing decorative wall fixtures.

“We find these improvements … will result in a façade that complements nearby buildings,” Connochie said.

City Councilman John Stempfle asked about a tenant that had been slated to take over the space.

“They decided not to go ahead with an athletic facility because of the pandemic?” Stempfle asked.

Attorney Jim Bellanca, who represents property owner Kercheval Company LLC, explained that a prospective tenant — Canadian residents who hoped to open a fitness facility at the location — had to bow out. In addition to the fact that athletic facilities remain closed in Michigan because of an executive order from the governor, Bellanca said the COVID-19 pandemic has also essentially shut down the U.S.-Canadian border.

“We can no longer (just) sit there (with the building),” Bellanca said.

He said they hope an updated façade will make it easier for them to market the space to other prospective tenants.

Kramer’s, a beloved local institution, opened its doors in 1982. It closed in January 2019 when owners Mike and Joann Kramer decided to retire. The storefront has been vacant since that time.