By Edward Cardenas
GROSSE POINTE (CBS Detroit) – The building that once housed the former Borders book store in the Village Shopping District in Grosse Pointe is coming back to life as a mixed use medical and retail facility after nearly three years of sitting vacant.READ MORE: Michigan Matters: Fighting for Inclusion, Detroit's Place in Civil Rights History
St. John Hospital and Medical Center celebrated the grand opening Tuesday of the medical side of the St. John Medical Center Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Campus, and announced that Scott Shuptrine Interiors would anchor the retail portion of the 19,800-square-foot property on Kercheval.
“The Village is a wonderful resource, and an asset for the community … having our chance to revitalize a portion of the Village is important,” said St. John president David Brooks, of the $5 million renovation project. “It looks great on the outside, and it looks wonderful on the inside. It’s a win-win-win.”
The new medical center, which will feature an internal medicine physician practice, outpatient physical and occupational therapy, diagnostic imaging and lab services, is the latest new development for the shopping district.
In recent years the city, planners and local retailers had to deal with the closure of the Jacobson’s department store and the separate Jacobson’s home store. The department store property was remodeled into a blend of office, retail and restaurants – which includes Trader Joe’s, Jersey Mike’s subs and Jos. A Bank – and Borders moved into the former home store.
Following Borders bankruptcy in 2011, the store once again was vacant until St. John proposed the unique mixed-use redevelopment for the property last year. In addition to the medical and retail uses, designers strived for a “soft-commercial” appearance of the exterior of the building to fit in with the surrounding architecture of businesses and residential neighborhoods, said project architect Robert Wood.READ MORE: Karen Carter, and Others Metro Detroiters Chipped In To Help Salvation Army’s Bed and Bread Radiothon
The main entrance to the clinical services of the St. John Medical Center Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Campus is in the rear of the building. A corridor along the length of the facility provides an entrance off Kercheval with easy access to the street and Village shopping.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of this new and great venture,” said Jeanette McNamara, director of Scott Shuptrine Interiors.
The 7,600-square-foot store, which will feature home furnishings and design services when it opens in March 2015, will occupy the entire retail area of the building on Kervcheval. This compliments the recently opened Calico Corners fabric and interior store which opened in a former hardware store next door.
“This is probably a textbook example of how everybody coming together for the common good,” said Mayor Dale Scrace.
Other recent additions to the Village shopping district include Marais, which was named restaurant of the year by Hour Magazine; Which Wich sandwich shop; and a remodeled Moosejaw Mountaineering. Birmingham-based Christiane Larue, a women’s clothing store which features resort wear to formal evening wear, will open in October.MORE NEWS: Granholm Confirmed By Senate To Be Next Energy Secretary
“It is a wonderful mix with what we have,” Srace said of the addition of the furniture, and other retailers, who believes the mix of retail will bring in new traffic to shop the variety of stores.