The Warren Town Center master plan was created by the Gibbs Planning Group Inc. Acquest Realty Advisors Inc. will develop a 194-room Marriott hotel. Flaherty & Collins Properties will handle the other  commercial developments, including a yet-to-be-determined grocer, slated for space along Van Dyke Avenue, just south of the hotel property.

The Warren Town Center master plan was created by the Gibbs Planning Group Inc. Acquest Realty Advisors Inc. will develop a 194-room Marriott hotel. Flaherty & Collins Properties will handle the other commercial developments, including a yet-to-be-determined grocer, slated for space along Van Dyke Avenue, just south of the hotel property.

Rendering provided by the city of Warren


Warren Town Center development plans come into focus

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 18, 2019

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WARREN — A 194-room Marriott “boutique” hotel with a rooftop bar, an “upscale” grocer, “higher-end” retail spaces, and a residential component that includes “above market” apartments and townhomes are part of the emerging plans for Warren’s Civic Center.   

A big step toward bringing those plans closer to reality was expected to go before the Warren City Council on Oct. 22, after press time.

Council members — at least six of seven members attending the last official meeting before leaving office after the election on Nov. 5 — were reportedly expected to consider establishing a commercial redevelopment district for the long-vacant property adjacent to City Hall, north of 12 Mile Road and directly across the street from the General Motors Technical Center. Doing so, city administrators said, would enable the city to offer the tax incentives necessary to lock in commercial agreements and bring a long-coveted “downtown” redevelopment effort to fruition.

“Everything is written in stone except for the high-end grocer,” Warren Mayor Jim Fouts said Oct. 17, a day after the city’s Downtown Development Authority Board met to discuss the plan and the request to establish the district. “We anticipate we will have a groundbreaking in the spring of 2021.”

The Warren Town Center master plan was created by the Gibbs Planning Group Inc.

Acquest Realty Advisors Inc. will develop the 194-room Marriott hotel. Tom Bommarito, director of Warren’s Department of Community, Economic & Downtown Development, said the planned Marriott property would be one of the company’s “Tribute” line hotels. At 194 rooms with a seventh-floor lounge and a rooftop bar, Bommarito said it would be high end and a good fit for the site because it would be “less aggressive” than a larger hotel.

Officials said it would be the first full-service hotel in Macomb County and an attractive destination for out-of-town guests coming to do business at the Tech Center, TACOM or the Cadillac brand headquarters.

Flaherty & Collins Properties will handle the other commercial developments, including a yet-to-be-determined grocer, slated for space along Van Dyke Avenue, just south of the hotel property. Bommarito said the grocery store is expected to involve 20,000-30,000 square feet of space. Additional retail — restaurants, bars or shops — would total about that much as well, bringing the total commercial footprint to around 60,000 square feet.

What’s eventually offered there will be key. Bommarito said a recent review of the Warren Town Center master plan concluded that the city loses an estimated $7 million annually in “retail leakage,” as  people leave town to spend their retail and fine-dining dollars elsewhere.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is capture those people, and instead have people who are going somewhere else come here instead,” Bommarito said.

That’s true not only for people working full time at nearby businesses, but also for those who come into town on business who are staying at the new hotel.

“To have well-heeled, out-of-town visitors walking around by those stores certainly keeps them profitable,” Bommarito said. “It (the Cadillac headquarters) is a small thing because they only brought 300 workers. It’s going to be a big thing because their entire dealer network and all of their suppliers have to come here to talk to them. When their dealers are coming here for meetings, they’re not staying at the Motel 6.”  

Bommarito said living spaces included in the development would include a mix of about 200 studio and one- or two-bedroom apartments, and nine three-bedroom townhomes, all priced above market.

Warren officials said GM would play a critical part in the plan, including an effort to construct a pedestrian bridge across Van Dyke from the hotel parking lot to the bus stop on the west side.

“The bottom line is this is going to give Warren some identity. It’s been a dream going back to the 1960s with various mayors and various councils. It’s finally coming to fruition,” Fouts said.

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