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Midtown building across from Majestic Theatre to be renovated for ‘future grocer’

A Detroit area development group plans to renovate a building it owns in the city’s Midtown neighborhood for a “future grocer,” according to documents filed with the city in recent days.

Mario Kiezi and Clark Pattah, the 50-50 owners of KP Detroit Holdings LLC, have filed a building permit application and Historic District Commission approval for the renovation of the two-story, 14,200-square-foot building at 4133-4161 Woodward Ave. at Willis Street. It most recently has been the home of the Union Street Detroit restaurant, Grace Harper Florist Inc. and the Midtown Liquor & Deli store.

The florist moved out in 2018. Kiezi said he is in the process of buying out the restaurant and liquor store to make way for a future grocery store.

The grocery tenant for the property across Woodward from the Majestic Theatre complex has not yet been determined, Kiezi said.

Kiezi and Pattah said they are courting national grocers but also considering local operators as well.

Among those who have scouted the Midtown market to open stores are Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe’s, Westborn Market, which has four locations in Southeast Michigan, Minneapolis-based Target Corp. and Walker, Mich.-based Meijer Inc.

Kiezi said he and Pattah expect to spend approximately $2 million renovating the property, which they bought for $5.7 million. Construction would begin in the summer and take six months to complete, Kiezi said.

While the first floor has had various commercial uses over the years, the top floor has been empty since the late 1960s, when eight residences were last used, according to HDC documentation from architecture firm Quinn Evans.

The building is before the HDC in a Feb. 10 meeting because it is located in the Willis-Selden Local Historic District, which has “one of the city of Detroit’s largest concentrations of architecturally significant, late 19th century and early to mid-20th century buildings of mixed use,” according to a 2010 report on the district.

One of the buildings that’s part of the overall structure was built as the Watkins & Ratcliffe hardware store around 1908.

The building’s second floor framing could be removed as part of the project, according to the documentation, creating a large open space for a grocer in what’s known as “white box” condition.

“We also propose to undo a lot of the unsympathetic construction that has occurred over the years and catch up on the deferred maintenance through which the building has suffered,” the HDC application says. “The intent is to simulate the look of the original building, retaining existing historic materials wherever possible and using modern materials where necessary to accurately recreate the original detailing without creating a false sense of history.”

Detroit’s grocery options have grown the last several years, with Meijer opening up two new supercenter stores at Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue and Grand River Avenue and West McNichols Road, with a third small-format store on the way on East Jefferson Avenue.

Farmington Hills-based Plum Market opened in 2019 in the Ally Detroit Center (formerly One Detroit Center) in the new Detroit Pistons practice center in early 2020. Both are temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, spokespeople for both landlords said earlier this month.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market Inc. opened up its Midtown location at Mack and Woodward avenues in 2013.

Kiezi is also the developer behind a $50.3 million plan to redevelop the Park Avenue House building downtown into a 172-room Hilton-branded Tapestry hotel. The project is expected to be completed in 2023 and includes MHS Group founder Mike Abdulnoor and L.A. Insurance founder Anthony Yousif as investors.

In addition, Kiezi owns another Woodward Avenue building north of West Grand Boulevard that is home to Soka Gakkai International-USA, or SGI-USA, and a nail salon and spa. He also owns a building at 478 Columbia St. downtown.

Pattah is vice president of Sylvan Lake-based Pattah Development LLC, founded by his uncle Jerry Pattah, which has developed more than 1 million square feet in its portfolio of shopping centers around the state. The Pattah family owns Fresh Choice Markets, which has locations around metro Detroit. They bought over a dozen former Farmer Jack and Kroger stores over the years.


Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on February 2, 2021.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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