Stores in the spotlight
TARGET SOUTHLAND finishes renovations
The totally renovated Target Southland (14099 Pardee) has reopened to strong reviews. It recently underwent major renovations over the course of several months and store officials and staff are proud to show off the new look.
"We have spent the past few months transforming our store to create an easier shopping experience both in store and online for our guests," Kaitlyn Piazza, human resources executive team leader at the store, told The News-Herald Newspapers. "The biggest improvements are our new guest service area for online pickups, returns and exchanges, (and a) drive-up lane for ease of shopping."
Piazza said customers can now order an item online and have a Target employee bring it out to their car. Mayor Rick Sollars and his wife Alicia have been regular customers for years. During the re-grand opening in late May, the mayor mentioned their fondness for the retailer – as well as the fact that his family had already visited the remodeled store a half-dozen times before the ceremony even took place.
The renovations started in January, and the store remained open throughout the process.
Several other improvements were implemented at the Taylor location, including a new self-service snack bar and new fitting rooms, bathrooms, fixtures and exterior improvements.
BOB'S DISCOUNT FURNITURE opens
Bob’s Discount Furniture (14544 Racho) opened just before Memorial Day. The nationwide chain headquartered on the East Coast renovated and moved into the old Babies R Us location, just west of Kohl’s in the greater Southland Center complex. The opening included monetary donations to Taylor High School and Kinyon Elementary School.
In addition to Taylor, Bob’s Discount has locations in Grand Rapids, Livonia, Novi and Shelby Township.
Owned by Bob Kaufman, the chain is the result of a tragedy turned into an opportunity. Back in the 1970s, Kaufman was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident. His physician suggested that he try sleeping on a waterbed, so Kaufman went shopping. He quickly became frustrated with “all of the sales and the phony pricing,” and decided to set off on his own in the industry.
The result has been a growing chain of discount furniture stores that focus on everyday low pricing, working through direct partnerships with manufactures to offer the highest quality for the lowest prices, based on rather transparent formula pricing.
Kaufman himself has turned into somewhat of a celebrity. As his business has grown, he has starred in his own commercials – as a cartoon caricature of himself. When he floated the idea of doing the commercials to his father decades ago, his dad suggested anything but using himself in the lead role, especially given his rather squeaky voice. Instead, he’s been the “star” of over 5,000 commercials over the years … loved and hated, but always watched.
Bob’s Discount Furniture is open from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays.
BJ'S WHOLESALE CLUB breaks ground for new 100,000-square-foot complex in Trader's Pointe
The long-awaited buildout of BJ’s Wholesale Club is underway in Trader’s Pointe, Eureka and I-75. BJ’s is the second big box retailer to move into the 83-acre site, joining Menards, the anchor store.
Mayor Sollars joined leaders of BJ’s Wholesale Club during a ceremonial groundbreaking on April 25. The site of the 100,000-square-foot retailer, parking lots and fueling station have been fenced off as the heavy construction equipment moves in.
BJ’s made the announcement that is was coming to Taylor in November 2018. The building is expected to be open in the fall, and is located directly north of the new Menards.
Among those representing BJ’s were Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Kirk Saville, Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Property Development David Picot, General Manager of Taylor BJ’s Wholesale Club Johnnie Rogers, and Senior Vice President for Financial Strategy and Investor Relations Bill Werner.
BJ’s Wholesale Club is opening two new clubs in Michigan this year. A second location is planned for Madison Heights.
"This is yet another 'win' for the City of Taylor, Trader’s Pointe and the Eureka Way! business and entertainment district,” Mayor Sollars said. “We've anticipated the eventual build-out of the parcel ever since Menards purchased the entire location from the old Gibraltar Trade Center four years ago. Menards started the ball rolling by creating a unique footprint of its own on the southern-most portion of the property, an extremely successful location that has been welcomed by residents of our City and people across Downriver and the greater metropolitan area.
"Shoppers will find that BJ's offers a great option on their 'to-do' list. It is a major competitor to nationwide brands like Costco and Sam's Club, and is as good or better than its competition. This is a great fit for BJ's, and a great fit for us.”
BJ’s is a leading wholesale club on the East Coast, operating 216 clubs and 136 gas stations in 16 states. The company is known for its fresh food offerings – produce, meat, bakery and deli – and for helping working families save on their grocery bills.
The new clubs will feature an extensive selection of prepared foods and a wide range of convenient services, including buy online pick up in club and digital coupons. The two new Michigan clubs will bring a significant investment in the area as well as approximately 300 new jobs. The projects are also expected to support up to 1,000 construction jobs.
ATLAS FLEET SERVICES opens on Industrial Drive in north Taylor
Atlas Fleet Services (20401 Industrial Drive) opened in last May and offers a hi-tech 24-hour service, complete repair and maintenance on diesel trucks and commercial trailers.
“You have to be really impressed with this facility,” Mayor Sollars said of the 73,000-square-foot building on the campus of Atlas Trucking and Eaton Streel, on the south side of the I-94 freeway. “The corporation really did a nice job, and they should be highly successful. This is yet another victory for Taylor.”
The grand opening also served as a first annual open house featuring various companies including Royal Truck & Trailer, Shrader Tire & Oil, TNT Trailer Sales, BestDrive, FleetPride, Truck Source, Pica, Superior Turbo & Injection, Kenworth, Hadley, Safety-Kleen, Tico, Kimball Midwest, Centramatic, Green APU, Hunter Engineering, Fully Promoted, 1st AYD, Bridgestone, LKQ, PNC, Auto Value, Red Wing Shoes, Certified, CommPar, Prestige and Donaldson.
With a team of trained mechanics – including a master mechanic – Atlas Fleet Services can perform all types of preventative maintenance and repairs needed for a wide variety of trucks and trailers.
Its best-in-class repair facility has plenty of space to service multiple trucks and trailers at once. The 24-hour capability means that Atlas get its customers in the metropolitan Detroit area back to work as quickly as possible.
It offers a well-stocked parts department that can even cut/assemble custom hydraulic lines and fittings. If someone needs a simple, quick repair, its “Rapid Assessment Bay” handles quick jobs of four hours or less, such as marker lights and flat tires. Truckers can relax in Atlas Fleet Services’ comfortable Driver’s Lounge while they wait.
For more information, call (313) 429-2102 or click www.atlasfleetservices.com.
FAIRFIELD INN AND TOWNEPLACE SUITES building on old Ramada Inn site along Eureka Road
Plans have been approved for a new Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites on the location of the former Ramada Inn on Eureka Road, east of I-75. Marriott’s plans call for two, four-story hotels on the same site, deep to the south of Eureka Road.
The Fairfield Inn will have 100 rooms; the TownePlace Suites will have 116.
“Marriott has been in play for quite some time, whether it was in the old Ramada location or on the Taylor Tool site across Eureka,” Mayor Sollars said. “This type of development is great for our community, and continues to build up the area around I-75 and Eureka Road. We look forward to more and more great national brands locating here.”
The Fairfield Inn & TownePlace Suites are two of a dozen hotel versions that Marriott offers. The Fairfield Inn series is included in its “select service” category. Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites by Marriott are two other brands that fall into that “select service” class.
The TownePlace Suites line is part of an “extended stay” series, built for the traveler who appreciates the value in full kitchens, free WiFi and breakfast. Others that fall into that same class are Residence Inn and Marriott Executive Apartments.
The Ramada Inn complex was torn down in 2015 when a new developer acquired the site. It had been a vacant eyesore for more than five years before being torn down and the site cleaned up. Plans for a hotel, or more than one hotel, had surfaced from time to time. The same developer owned both the old Ramada site and the former Taylor Tool location on the northern side of Eureka Road. A new strip mall was eventually built on the Taylor Tool location, anchored by La-Z-Boy. Tropical Smoothies and Detroit Wing Co.
The Marriott development joins Hilton in Taylor. Hilton is building a Home 2 Suites location on Pardee Road, across from Southland Center and Target.