DETROIT (WWJ) – Eight years after it was initially announced, developers of a proposed shopping center at Eight Mile and Woodward Avenue say they will break ground on the mall in November. They heard complaints about the project Thursday.

A Meijer and Marshalls store will anchor the “Gateway Marketplace” on the southeast corner of Eight Mile and Woodward.

Woodward Avenue Action Association Program manager Jason Fowler is among those who are not happy with the mall’s design.

Fowler said plans show the main entrance to Meijer will be a quarter-mile away from Woodward Avenue. “The focus is mostly on the automobile, and we believe (the design) is hostile to pedestrians,” Fowler said.

“It does not enhance the appearance of the Woodward corridors, so much so that loading docks and rears of buildings are facing our major thoroughfares. There are berms and fences,” he said.

The project is also being criticized by local residents who say it is not attracting the upscale stores that were once promised.

Developers responded by saying the design is a work in progress.

Comments (2)
  1. Gerry Flood says:

    I spent my childhood on Alameda street, which is about in the middle of the site. The complaints are all stupid. As to not being “pedestrian friendly’ where would the pedestrians come from? The Ferndale residents only have to travel a few steps across 8 Mile. Any Detroit residents, especially those looking for ‘upscale’ shopping, have to walk/drive from at least 1/2 mile away as the old Fairgrounds completely surround this site. My bad, there are 3 occupied condos and 1 caretakers home(in the cemetery) on the west side of Woodward, so there are a few who could walk to the site. What are Fowler’s REAL objections, maybe a payoff?

  2. Sally says:

    Detroiters are looking for upscale shopping centers to spend their welfare money at. Really? Get real! Both Meijers and Marshalls are stores that offer good quality merchandise at affordable prices. Let’s not forget the jobs these stores will bring. They are the anchor stores which leads one to believe small specialty shops will be attracted to space in the mall. I haven’t been in that area for a while but I seem to remember that strip clubs, topless bars, etc provide the “shopping” and entertainment opportunities for residents.
    The Woodward Avenue Action Association Program had better poll residents and be expressing the opinions of many shoppers before they criticize this plan.

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