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What Businesses Would You Like to See at Drakeshire Plaza in Farmington?

Now that construction has begun to improve the building's exterior, what should go inside?

The shape of a new façade is starting to appear at Drakeshire Plaza in Farmington, now that City of Farmington officials have approved an agreement to fix up the strip mall at Grand River and Drake. 

Only two businesses – Subway and Hungry Howie's Pizza and Subs – remain in the center, leaving lots of spaces open for new business. What would you like to see go into the center? What businesses does the community really need? 

Tell us in the comments, then take a look at what's going on in Farmington and Farmington Hills today. We've also included a list of events for which you'll need to register if you want to attend them later this week. 

Today

  • Dubin Cleaners & Laundry Winter Warmth Campaign (all day)
  • Donate Shoes 4 BDF Cat Rescue Fundraiser (all day)
  • Busch’s Fresh Food Market Season of Sharing Food Drive (all day)
  • Farmington Hills City Council meeting (6 p.m. study session, 7:30 p.m. regular meeting)
  • Farmington Planning Commission (7 p.m.)

Look ahead

  • Farmington Rotary Lunch (Tuesday)
  • Facing Cancer? Attend Free Educational Program at Botsford Hospital (Wednesday)
  • Thanksgiving for Nature (Saturday)
  • Returning Castaway Michael Skupin (Saturday)
  • Scout Days at the Nature Center (Saturday)

Check our calendar for even more activities, classes and events happening today and throughout the week. If your event isn't listed, feel free to add it

Michael Ritenour November 14, 2012 at 05:27 PM
While I appreciate the motivation behind Patch's question, I think all the comments may be wasted. The only reason all the other recent businesses left was because they were forced out by the new owner (you don't really think Plato's left voluntarily after ten years, do you?). The above suggestions are nice, but I doubt they'll carry any weight with the owner and its plan for the space, whatever that is (I've heard rumors of a Walgreen, but that's just a rumor and, in my opinion, not a welcome one). If, however, the owner is actually listening to us, PLEASE don't let it be another Dollar Store, Hobby Lobby, used clothing store, Tuesday Morning, used book store, JoAnn, or any of the other stores that have failed in Farmington over the past 15 years or so. Or a Salvation Army, Cancer store, or other non-contributor to the image of the community. Or a Hallmark (there's one just a mile away) or a J.C. Penney (listen to the news, the company is close to going out of business). Or a quality meat/butcher shop (Busch's drove a well-run store like Fresh Approach out of business, there's no reason to think another would succeed). PLEASE let it be a moderately upscale contribution that would be a destination for the neighboring communities, not just ourselves, as suggested by Ms. Keith, above.
Joni Hubred-Golden November 14, 2012 at 09:47 PM
Michael, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I would be really surprised to see a Walgreens, because the new owners bought the property from Walgreens. The company sold it through an auction.
Michael Ritenour November 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM
Joni, thanks for the info. I knew it was an auction that involved Walgreen, I just didn't know it was the seller, not the buyer. My comments notwithstanding, I'm actually very hopeful and optimistic that the new owners have something special in mind. They're certainly putting some money into it.
Linda May November 14, 2012 at 10:33 PM
I think the city is putting money into the strip mall. There was an article in The Patch to that affect a couple of weeks ago. I would like to see a yogurt or gelato shop as one of the stores in that strip mall, like the one located in downtown Traverse City callede "Sugar Kissed". I think it would be a good fit for Farmington.
Darren Whittaker November 15, 2012 at 01:47 AM
All of these suggestions are fine, but I doubt they have much chance of happening. Just down the road, downtown Farmington continues to see quite a few empty stores, even as a few new ones open occasionally. The business atmosphere here is not a good one, and landlords have been in the habit of grabbing on to anyone with a checkbook, as long as they sign a lease. There's been precious little research and effort to get a good retail mix, and consequently the area still has trouble drawing significant customer traffic. Combine that with inept "officials" who cannot or will not hire the professionals needed to attract viable new businesses, and in their attempt at trying their own hand at it have not only failed miserably, but fostered a negative perception of the area and it's customer base. The strip mall will likely be occupied by stores that have little chance to succeed - but there will almost certainly be a trumpeting of the "success" of filling it's spaces, if that should occur. Other communities have excelled at creating an atmosphere that fosters interest and desire, both on the part of outside investors and customers, even in a difficult economic period. Farmington and it's surrounds seems stuck in neutral, with it's wheels spinning but gaining very little traction. It makes me sad, and more than a little frustrated.

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