Stores in the spotlight


Kudos Taproom and Fieldhouse to take over Gander Mountain facility

Economic developer and consultant Parker Grant is planning a unique “eat-ertainment” concept for the old Gander Mountain location. Kudos Taproom and Fieldhouse has been approved by the Planning Commission and is aiming for a Spring 2021 opening. 

Parker Grant is a catering, consulting, and events company. They specialize in project-based consulting, event management, and experiential design. Projects range from restaurant development and stadium concessions to corporate gatherings and curated event design. The firm has previously worked on the creation of Montana State University’s food and beverage strategy; Bay Harbor’s luxury experience along an exclusive five miles of Little Grant Traverse Bay: all facets of operations on minor league ballpark Jimmie John’s Field; the creation of Agave Tequila Bar in Ann Arbor; and the recreation of the Midland Brewing Company. Co-founder David Parker previously worked with 313 Presents.

The Kudos Taproom and Fieldhouse concept is a combination of street food, craft beer, axe throwing, fowling, retro arcade, corn hole fields, children’s play area, 70 65-inch televisions, corporate VIP space and much more. It focuses to provide family fun seven days a week through a “one-stop approach” that offers a Disney-like clean atmosphere with a rustic modern approach, according to the developers. Parker Grant is offering a “community” approach that includes a dozen charitable partners; safe fun around a connect and celebrate idea; and drawing new visitors, sponsors and corporate groups to the City. It will offer 50-plus full- and part-time jobs and year-around indoor social space. All in an open layout building concept.

Dairy Queen Grill & Chill moving to break ground on Telegraph Road

A new Dairy Queen Grill & Chill franchise is getting ready to build on Telegraph Road, just south of WalMart. This DQ is going on a parcel that remains vacant for nearly two decades, but will come to life thanks to some hard work by the City’s Economic Development Department. A similar DQ is located in Dearborn, and offers much more than just ice cream. Included are things like online DQ cake ordering; drive-thru; outdoor seating; gift cards; and mobile ordering and rewards. It also has a “Blizzard” and “Julius Orange” fan clubs and its own app. DQ is one of the America’s most popular and recognized brands. It’s first location opened in Joliet, Ill., in 1940, and it opened its first Canadian location 13 years later. In the 1950s, popular concepts like The Dilly Bar and its relationship with Brazier foods were introduced. Recent developments have included the first Grill & Chill location in South Korea (2017); DQ Bakes (2015); and 5 Buck Lunch (2013).

Loves Furniture takes over the old Art Van’s

The old Art Van location on Eureka Road and Racho will be getting a new lease on life as it and 17 other former Art Van locations across Michigan reopen as Loves Furniture. The announcement broke in mid-July, and the location is tentatively scheduled to open sometime in September. The story is the latest chapter in the lengthy history of Art Van Furniture, which went from powerhouse to liquidation in three years. Into the void steps Loves. In addition to Taylor and Canton, Loves will open in Ann Arbor, Battle Creek, Bay City, Burton, Howell, Livonia, Muskegon, Petoskey, Port Huron, Portage, Royal Oak, Saginaw, Shelby Township, Warren (8 Mile), Waterford Township and Westland.

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bubbas 33

Bubba’s 33 next to the old Art Van

Bubba’s 33, a new sports-themed family restaurant, has opened in the Burlington Square Center, just west of Art Van Furniture and Men’s Warehouse. The chain is named for founder Kent “Bubba” Taylor, with the 33 referencing the year prohibition ended in the United States. Taylor also is the CEO of Texas Roadhouse. The Bubba’s 33 building is done exceptionally well, both on the exterior and the interior, which is very upbeat featuring large TVs in every direction and a sports motif. Bubba's is yet another solid addition to the “Eureka Way!” retail and entertainment district between Telegraph and Allen Roads. Southland Center has made millions of dollars in improvements, and additions like Menards and BJ's Wholesale Club have made the area one of the most attractive development spots in Michigan. Bubba's is open 4-11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 10-10 on Sundays. Call (734) 479-9610 for more information.

Hook & Reel first Michigan location on Telegraph Road

Hook & Reel has been one of the most popular Cajun-style seafood restaurants for years, with 34 locations starting in Maryland and stretching across the country. It’s first Michigan location recently opened at 7938 Telegraph Road, and it features everything this area loves – hospitality, shared family meals and great food flavors. The menu features an assortment of Cajun country seafood boils, prepared in signature sauces. Thanks to the new cocktails-to-go bill in Michigan, which allows restaurants to offer mixed drinks to go, Hook & Reel has developed a unique to-go cup that acts like a juice pouch with a straw attached. It can be filled with one of the restaurant’s four signature cocktails that complement its food offerings. Hook & Reel is open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, and 11:30-11:30 Fridays and Saturdays. Call (313) 982-7979.


Hampton Manor moving ahead with senior facility

Hampton Manor has been approved by the Planning Commission to build a 72-unit elderly assisted living center on 6.18 acres of property on the northwest corner of Pardee Road and Superior. The developers worked with the City for months refining the project, which will include amenities like a putting green, salon, spa, theatre, library, outdoor walking paths, benches and gazebo. It will be located northwest corner of Pardee and Superior, within walking distance of the Eureka Way! business and entertainment district. Hampton has years of experience in providing care to seniors. It has used its knowledge, the latest technology and the highest standards of hospitality and care to develop and operate some of the most advanced, top rated, newly built, and friendly senior living communities in the nation. Its portfolio consists of several assisted living communities, and it has created a team of thoroughly trained and licensed staff who take pride in being a part of the Manor Senior Living family — physicians, licensed nurses, nursing assistants, caregivers, therapists, activity directors and managers.


World Gateway of Taylor begins buildout on Inkster Road

Clearing for the World Gateway of Taylor project has been ongoing along Inkster Road, north of Eureka. The unique project calls for an 83,500-square-foot industrial center that includes three environmentally friendly “green” buildings and a parking lot made of permeable pavers for vehicle storage targeting traffic to and from Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Even the parking lot canopies will hold solar panels.

A “green” building is a building that, in its design, construction or operation, reduces or eliminates negative impacts, and has a positive effect on climate and natural environment. Green buildings preserve precious natural resources and improve quality of life. Some elements of typical green buildings include efficient use of energy, water and other resources; use of renewable energy, such as solar energy; pollution and waste reduction measures, and the enabling of re-use and recycling; good indoor environmental air quality; and use of materials that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable.

Likewise, permeable pavers are environmentally friendly, although installation is difficult and expensive. Parking lots made of permeable pavers reduce or eliminate the need for drainage systems and provide lower long-term costs. For example, over a recent three-year period, the University of California Santa Cruz installed six permeable paver parking lots on its campus, totaling more than 150,000-square-feet. The lots had the ability to handle heavy traffic, and eliminated the need for run off detention (had they been concrete or asphalt). Storm water filtering through these type of pavers is considered one of the best management practices by industry experts.

Pronto Freight Way builds addition

Pronto Freight Ways Inc. (13485 Inkster) is the most well-designed logistical trucking firms in Taylor, is adding a new 16,500-square-foot addition to its existing property. Founded in 1999 by Paul F. Wozniak, Pronto has become one of the most diverse carriers in the Detroit market. His 35 years in the industry grew Pronto from a single truck carrier to an impressive fleet comprised of Sprinter & Cargo Vans, Straight Trucks and 53' Dry Vans.  Aside from local operations, Pronto Freightways, Inc. also operates throughout the Midwest. 

American Freight readies for business

American Freight, formerly the Sears Outlet at 9860 Telegraph Road, is opening. Specializing in furniture, mattresses and appliances, American offers free curbside service, contactless home delivery and preventive in-store measures during this health crisis. The name on the outside of Sears Outlet stores may have changed to American Freight, but the stores are thriving with expanded product offerings. Since 1994, American Freight has been helping customers save money on quality furniture and mattresses. It buys directly from manufacturers and sells directly in warehouse style stores. By cutting out the middle man it keeps overhead costs low. American Freight offers same day delivery on all in-stock items and flexible payment options. 


City plans plaza at Northline and Inkster

The City of Taylor is building an entry plaza, to be constructed at Northline and Inkster roads. It will include electronic marquee signage, sidewalks, landscaping sections, trees, backlighting and incorporate the brick columns and black ornamental fencing identified with the Downtown Development Authority’s guidelines in other areas of the community. This capital outlay is funded by the Tax Increment Finance Authority, and the cost of approximately $330,000 came in some $200,000 under budget. The corner parcel, which includes 32 acres overall, has been owned by authority since 1998. The site is located in what is commonly referred to as the Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s “ring road” development area, where private companies could leverage their proximity to the airport (as well as freeways and nearby rail) to the global marketplace.

TIFAs capture the year-to-year growth in property values within a designated district on an annual basis. They have the ability to reinvest those dollars in “public facilities,” as defined by the statute, within the district. These authorities are essentially an economic development tool, and deal in what is commonly known as "restricted funds” that can only be approved for specific usage.

Vast commerce parks dominate the Northline/Inkster area and employ thousands of workers surrounding the proposed plaza. Major companies like Load One Transport, Printwell, US Ecology, Windsor Machine & Stamping, Lear and Beaumont Mobile Medicine are all located in the vicinity. Eventually, eastbound Northline opens up at Beech Daly to the City’s Department of Public Works, UPS, Downriver Fish & Loaves Food Pantry and the Lakes of Taylor Golf Course.

“This type of plaza helps create a sense of identity for the development area,” Mayor Rick Sollars said. “From a strategic standpoint, it is being placed in excellent position to become a key point as airport industrial development continues and hopefully increases in the future. This not only benefits Taylor’s image, but should be an advantage to further developing that particular parcel of land, as well as the surrounding areas and businesses. It’s an initial enhancement, and we will look to further improve the property by working with DTE on infrastructure improvements; consider our options with the Lange Drain (running through the property); and study storm water retention options.”

 Northline Road was originally widened and improved throughout Taylor nearly two decades ago after being named as a major connector between I-75 and the airport. In fact, it connects the Downriver communities along the Detroit River with not only the airport, but truck routes to Western Wayne communities, Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and beyond.

Marriott Hotels planned on old Ramada site near Eureka and I-75

Preparations continue for two new Marriott Hotels – a Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites – on the vacant location of the former Ramada Inn on Eureka Road, just east of I-75. The plans call for two, four-story hotels. The Fairfield Inn will have 100 rooms; the TownePlace Suites will have 116.

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. These properties feature modern spacious suites with full kitchens, free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Others that fall into that same class are Residence Inn and Marriott Executive Apartments.

Other classes offered by Marriott include luxury (i.e. Ritz-Carlton); lifestyle collection (Renaissance Hotels); signature (Marriott Hotels & Resorts); and destination entertainment (Gaylord Hotels).

The Ramada Inn complex was torn down in 2015 when a new developer acquired the site. Plans for a hotel, or more than one hotel, had surfaced from time to time. The 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 abandoned Taylor Tool location and is anchored by La-Z-Boy. Tropical Smoothies and Detroit Wing Co. are also in that center, which is directly across from Trader’s Pointe.

For a lengthy period of time, Taylor featured only a single hotel location, Comfort Inn & Suites on Telegraph Road north of I-94. But soon it will have three – Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and Hilton Home2Suites, on Pardee Road across from Southland Center and Target.