Welcome to another edition of "Visions for Vacancies," where we visit a local vacant commercial building and ask you what you'd like to see go in that space.
Today, we're taking a look at the former Farmer Jack inside the Rainbow Plaza, located on the corner of 25 Mile and Shelby roads.
When anchor store, Farmer Jack, left the plaza several years ago, it left behind a 54,000 square foot empty leasing space.
In 2011, Center Management, bought the property and has since done exterior maintenance such as repaving the parking lot, to attract high-end retailers.
"We’re looking to doing some more work there and bringing in best possible tenant," said leasing agent Ron Estes.
Center Management President Tom Guastello told Patch a wholesale wine retailer has approached the company about occupying a small portion of the space to open a storefront.
But Guastello told Patch he would love to see another produce market, fitness center or even a big retail store such as TJ Maxx at the Rainbow Plaza.
Guastello, who also owns the Shelby Town Center on Hall Road, said one of the biggest hurdles his company must overcome is convincing retailers to invest in Michigan.
"We’re still having a problem with retailers who want to expand in Michigan when they hear homes sales are down – it doesn’t help the image of Detroit, so you have to show them how great Shelby is, by showing off the income and education levels of people around there," said the former Michigan state representative and a state senator.
You don't need to be a commercial developer or city planner — or have money to invest in a business project — to have the next great idea. We want to hear about it. What kind of business would you like to see occupy that space?
About this column: In highlighting vacant buildings in Shelby Township and Utica, we aim to help residents take a proactive role in planning and building their community. We'll take your feedback to public officials and property owners, to inform their decisions about future uses. Know of a vacant building we should highlight? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.