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Long-Vacant Detroit Store Finds New Tenant

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(WWJ Photo/Florence Walton)

(WWJ Photo/Florence Walton)

A New Jersey-based clothing factory warehouse known in several cities as Forman Mills may be planning to bring life back to an empty department store building in Detroit.

There’s a sign that reads “Forman Mills Coming” outside an old vacant store on Grand River Avenue at Greenfield Road on Detroit’s west side.

WWJ’s Florence Walton spoke with University of Detroit Mercy marketing analyst Ben Bernanke who said it’s good news anytime a retail outlet opens in the city.

“It’s not a magnet-type store — that’s certainly the case. But, the fact that they’ve selected the area, that they’re opening, certainly may give impetus for other stores to move into that area,” Bernanke said.

“It is of course of concern, though, that they’ve had some difficulty in having lost their lease before in other locations. The question is, how long are they gonna be there.”

The building once house the Federal Department Store, followed by Kingsway and Mammoth.

A big box retail outlet was one of the neighborhood improvements most wished for by people living in the  Grand River/Greenfield business district.

The neighborhood is one of six that are part of the Next Detroit Initiative project, which began in 2007.

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