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Panera to close downtown Birmingham location, open first spot in Royal Oak

Panera Bread Co. is planning to pack it up in downtown Birmingham and move to a new location in Royal Oak.

The bakery-cafe will close its 100 N. Old Woodward Ave. shop “sometime in June or July” and move to the new Woodward Corners development at 13 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue headed by Beaumont Health.

Kimberly Carroll, manager of the Birmingham location, confirmed the move to Crain’s. “Bigger store, new opportunities,” she said, referring to the reasoning behind the decision.

The new store would likely open within a week after the Birmingham one closes, Carroll said. Panera has been open at the Birmingham location for more than a decade, said Kevin Byrnes, spokesman for the city of Birmingham.

The new, 5,300-square-foot store location will allow for more parking to better accommodate customers.  The Detroit Free Press first reported the planned move Tuesday.  Requests for more information were made to Panera’s corporate office.

The Birmingham location, also about 5,300 square feet, is in the center of downtown at the corner of Old Woodward Avenue and Maple Road — prime real estate in the upscale Oakland County city. Birmingham completed last year a $7 million overhaul of its downtown that included a new streetscape for its main drag.

The new location would be Panera’s first in Royal Oak, which has long been abuzz with coffee shops and restaurants. Panera will join New Order Coffee Roasters, Wahlburgers, a smaller-footprint Meijer Inc. grocery store and Brown Iron Brewhouse in the new development, which is expected to open its first phase in June.

Ingrid Tighe, executive director of the Birmingham Shopping District, said two perspective retailers are doing due diligence on the property. She declined to reveal their names, but said they are not restaurants. She said the city knew about Panera’s plans for the past two or three months and that it is moving to boost visibility.

“We’re sad to see Panera leave,” she said. “They have been a longtime, great tenant in Birmingham, but this is a great opportunity for new businesses to come to downtown Birmingham.”

 

Posted By: Crain’s Detroit Business on April 2, 2019.  For more information, please click here to read the source article.

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