The Big Boy restaurant at 20800 Haggerty Road sits vacant and shuttered. The restaurant may soon be demolished to make way for a new Tapper’s Jewelry store.

The Big Boy restaurant at 20800 Haggerty Road sits vacant and shuttered. The restaurant may soon be demolished to make way for a new Tapper’s Jewelry store.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Tapper’s Jewelry to relocate from Twelve Oaks Mall to Eight Mile and Haggerty

Former Big Boy on site to be demolished

By: Jonathan Shead | Novi Note | Published September 22, 2021


NOVI — The Tapper’s Jewelry store currently located in Twelve Oaks Mall took a big step forward in finding what company President Mark Tapper hopes will be a new, permanent home on the corner of Haggerty and Eight Mile roads.

The Novi Planning Commission unanimously approved a preliminary site plan and stormwater management plan Aug. 25 for Broder & Sachse Real Estate, which is representing Tapper’s Jewelry in the planning and development process.

The 1.16-acre parcel at 20800 Haggerty Road currently hosts a now-closed Big Boy restaurant, which will be leveled to make way for a new 8,200-square-foot building, Tapper said, if the development receives final approval. The Big Boy restaurant closed roughly six to eight months ago, Novi Planning Commission Chairperson Mark Pehrson said.

“We just felt like this was a once-in-a-generation opportunity to acquire a hard corner on the fabulous Haggerty (Road) corridor between Six and Eight Mile Roads,” Tapper said of the decision to move his store. “Not very often does a piece of property like this, with sightlines from (Interstate) 275 and such great access and visibility, come about. When we had the opportunity, we just jumped on it.”

The mall, and the company’s customers who have visited Tapper’s over the years there, have been great to the business, Tapper said, but the opportunity to build a luxury campus, as he called it, couldn’t be passed up.

“We just believe that the community kind of expects it and demands it, and deserves a luxury oasis to be able to purchase beautiful jewelry and gifts for their family,” Tapper said.

Renderings of the proposed development show a two-townhouse-style building structure, Tapper explained, with one 1,500-square-foot building to be made into the second-in-the-state Rolex boutique. The second portion of the building would be used to sell the store’s other watches, jewelry, diamond and bridal products.

The store also will feature a 350-square-foot David Yurman display. Yurman is a well-known jewelry and watch designer in the industry.

After looking through the jewelry store’s proposed redevelopment of the site, Pehrson said his commission didn’t have many concerns with the preliminary plans.

“I think it’s a pretty good location. I think it’s an ideal location for Tapper’s, relative to where it’s going to be if it goes further. There were really no objections to the site plan from a preliminary standpoint,” Pehrson said. “If the building looks like what the rendering is, I think it’s going to be a huge success for Tapper’s. It’ll be a great entry point into the city of Novi, relative to what that location provides.”

The development’s requested waivers, many of them coming in the realm of landscaping and buffering, were cleared during a preliminary overview, as well. The commission generally likes to see a “clean sheet relative to the waivers,” Pehrson said, adding that a more detailed look into those items would occur during the final site plan review.

“We just gave them some general comments. We’ll probably get more into that on the final site plan when we actually see the realization of the building and what it looks like. We’ll typically provide additional input to them at that time to add (and) look at certain things,” he explained.

A large reason for approving the preliminary design with its requests for less landscaping than what would normally be required in some locations of the parcel ultimately came down to security, Pehrson added.

“For this particular site, it really came down to security measures. Thinking about what’s going to be in there and the ability for somebody to do something dastardly, and the ability to not have a camera follow or track or do something, we had to have some of those considerations, as well.”

A stormwater management plan associated with the site plan was also approved with the unanimous vote Aug. 25, because the proposed development plans to use what’s currently on-site, Pehrson said.

“They didn’t want to disturb, disrupt or modify what’s existing to the extent that they could conserve and use what’s on-site already,” he said. “Square footage-wise and utilization-wise, it should present something that’s a lower usage than what’s needed even for the restaurant.”

The Planning Commission expects to see a more detailed utilization plan during the final site plan review, Pehrson said. Tapper’s Jewelry and Broder & Sachse hope to return for a final site plan review in the next couple of months, Tapper said.

“Our goal would be to have a shovel in the ground, and the former Big Boy site demoed in October. We’re hoping it’s really a 12-month build from there, so it would be our intent to be operating before Christmas of 2022,” Tapper said.

Before any demolition or groundbreaking can occur, the development will need to receive final site plan approval from the Planning Commission, as well as get approval to omit a loading zone on the site from the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

“If it’s good for the developer or the applicant, then it’s going to be typically good for the city,” Pehrson said. “This is something unique that hopefully will stand out for the city itself, that provides something use-wise that doesn’t exist in a lot of other communities.”

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