Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

Discount Grocer ValuLand Opening Soon in Dearborn

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
A work crew installs signage for ValuLand, a new discount grocery store opening in west Dearborn.

A work crew installs signage for ValuLand, a new discount grocery store opening in west Dearborn.

A new discount grocery store in downtown west Dearborn is inching closer to its grand opening. Signs for the new store were installed Wednesday and the soon-to-open store is now soliciting applications for job openings.

Valu Land is Spartan Store Inc.’s version of Aldi, a discount grocery store with no brand name products. Valu Land is also designed to compete with Save-A-Lot and even dollar stores. Many of the products lining the shelves of Valu Land will be the grocer’s own Spartan brand or the discounted brand Valu Time.

Valu Land will be the new neighbor to ACO Hardware, the second-hand store Goodwill and the Family Dollar, which opened in 2011.

Spartan Stores opened the first of three Valu Land locations in 2011 in three smaller cities — Marion, Leslie and Clare, in north-central Michigan — and a fourth store earlier this year in Lansing Township, the only store that was not a conversion from another banner. The Lansing store is located in a shopping plaza that houses a Volunteers of America Thrift Store, Rite Aid and Dollar General store. Similar to the new Dearborn location.

In addition to Dearborn, Spartan Store officials have said the company plans to open Valu Land stores in Warren and Roseville — metro Detroit cities that have a “larger population base in the surrounding prime trade area” than its other stores.

Valu Land, a Discount Grocer, Coming to Dearborn

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Valu Land is moving into the building on Michigan Avenue that was once home to Michaels.

West downtown Dearborn is getting a new grocery store but it isn’t a Trader Joe’s as many had hoped for in the past.

Spartan Stores Inc. plans to open a new Valu Land store in the building that was once home to Michaels arts and craft store.

Michaels, readers of Deepsaidwhat.com will recall, moved its store in 2008 to Allen Park. Valu Land will be the new neighbor to ACO Hardware, the second-hand store Goodwill and the Family Dollar, which opened in 2011.

Valu Land is Spartan’s version of Aldi, a discount grocery store with no brand name products. Valu Land is also designed to compete with Save-A-Lot and even dollar stores. Many of the products lining the shelves of Valu Land will be the grocer’s own Spartan brand or the discounted brand Valu Time.

This smaller Valu Land is a new direction for Spartan Stores, a Byron Township, Michigan-based grocer which operates about 100 stores across the state under the banners of D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare Supermarket, VG’s Grocery and Glen’s Market.

Spartan Stores opened the first of three Valu Land locations in 2011 in three smaller cities — Marion, Leslie and Clare, in north-central Michigan — and a fourth store earlier this year in Lansing Township, the only store that was not a conversion from another banner. The Lansing store is located in a shopping plaza that houses a Volunteers of America Thrift Store, Rite Aid and Dollar General store. Similar to the new Dearborn location.

In addition to Dearborn, Spartan Store officials have said the company plans to open Valu Land stores in Warren and Roseville — metro Detroit cities that have a “larger population base in the surrounding prime trade area” than its other stores.

The company hopes this new model store will help the grocery retailer expand beyond its Michigan borders. The grocer’s wholesale distribution business supplies more than 350 independent grocery stores across Michigan, and northern Ohio and Indiana.

New Management Team at Former Hyatt in Dearborn

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Dearborn’s former Hyatt hotel, once considered one of the prime luxury hotels in metro Detroit, has a new management company today who plans to operate the 772-room building as an “eco-friendly” location.

What that means isn’t really clear but after Royal Realties LLC, the hotel’s current owner, failed at attempts to keep the Hyatt banner and then failed again with the Radisson chain, this newest deal is better than having the building sit closed.

The new management company, Colorado-based Atmosphere Hospitality LLC, signed a management agreement with the hotel’s owner, Royal Realties, to take over operation of the hotel today, Nov. 1.

Atmosphere apparently plans to operate the hotel as the eco-friendly Adoba Hotel Dearborn/Detroit. This apparently means more than different shower heads and linens that only get changed with each new guest but details are so far scarce. And according to Crain’s Detroit Business, Atmosphere has signed a letter of intent to purchase the building and property within 60 days for an undisclosed price.

Atmosphere is an unknown in the hotel business. Atmosphere operates a hotel next to Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse in Rapid City, S.D., offering rooms for less than $100 a night or about the price of a Hampton Inn. It is clear that this Dearborn property will go down several notches in prestige with these new owners but, again, better than being a vacant property.

Also unknown is what the new owners will do with the banquet space at the former Hyatt. They could be the price alternative in the area, putting pressure on places like The Henry and the Dearborn Inn. But with a brand name that has no identity in Michigan, let alone most of the country, the new owners of the Hyatt will have their work cut out for them.

Plans for Dearborn Hyatt Regency hotel Fall Apart

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Plans fall apart for Dearborn’s Hyatt Hotel to become the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

The former Hyatt Regency hotel in Dearborn is once again on the ropes.

Just two weeks after the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group said it would take over management of the 772-room hotel in Dearborn, the deal has been cancelled for unknown reasons.

“Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and Royal Realties LLC have agreed to terminate the previously announced management agreement for the hotel currently known as the Hyatt Regency Dearborn,” Carlson Rezidor said in a statement.

The hotel was set to open as a Radisson at the end of October, the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, based in Minneapolisand Brussels, Belgium, said just two weeks ago.

This is the second time that Royal Realties LLC, which bought the 14-story hotel in May 2011, has failed to close a deal with a hotel management company. When Royal Realties bought the hotel, the Hyatt Hotels Corp. had agreed to manage the hotel. That never materialized.

What this means for the hotel, which has served as the site of hundreds of weddings, conventions and other special events, is unknown. Let’s hope that Royal Realties can find an upper, middle market hotel chain to manage this property . . . and soon.

 

Miller’s Bar in Dearborn to Expand

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Miller’s Bar in Dearborn has purchased the adjoining building and will soon add a new private dining room.

Miller’s Bar patrons will soon have a new reason to love one of Dearborn’s best burger places — the owners of the bar will soon be adding a new dining room for private parties.

If you’ve driven by Miller’s Bar on Michigan Avenue recently, you will have noticed that the adjoining building is now painted the same red oak color of the famous burger bar. That’s because the Miller family, which has owned the business since 1941, recently purchased the adjoining building, including the upstairs apartment units.

A new private dining room will be a great addition to one of Dearborn’s gems.

We wish the Miller family the best of luck with their new purchase.

 

Hyatt in Dearborn to Become Radisson Hotel

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Dearborn’s Hyatt Hotel will soon become the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

Dearborn’s Hyatt Hotel will now become the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

The hotel will open as a Radisson at the end of October, according to the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, based in Minneapolis and Brussels, Belgium.

This is good news for Dearborn in that the Hyatt will remain a hotel. However, the Radisson brand is a upper, middle market chain that doesn’t carry the cache that the Hyatt or Ritz brand did when those two operated in Dearborn. Even so, Radisson does run a good hotel.

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced Tuesday that it has signed a long-term agreement to manage the 772-room hotel, located in the Fairlane Town Center retail complex in Dearborn.

Hyatt announced in May that it would no longer manage the hotel after its current contract expires Oct. 31. Royal Realties, a group of international investors, acquired the hotel in April 2011.

The Radisson does operate one other hotel in metro Detroit and that is in Bloomfield Hills.

It isn’t known yet when the major renovations will be completed at the former Hyatt hotel.

New Life for Vacant Dearborn Building

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

A tired looking building once the home of an office supply store near the corner of Michigan and Outer Drive has undergone a major renovation and will soon reopen as a doctor’s office and beauty salon.

A new salon and doctor’s office is moving into newly renovated building at Michigan and Outer Drive in Dearborn.

The building once was used by the Audette Office supply store on the first level and a barbershop upstairs. Audette’s former main office still sits vacant next door to the new salon.

The renovation to the building is proof positive that Dearborn buildings can indeed be saved, updated and reused rather than torn down, which seems to be the preferred method for some in Dearborn.

We don’t yet have a date for the opening of the new businesses at this location but it is nice to see new life coming to a vacant building along Michigan Avenue. We wish the new owners the best of luck.

Last Snap Near for Dearborn’s Arella Studio

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Arella Studio in Dearborn is moving to Canton and selling its building to a local dentist.

Say goodbye to another longtime Dearborn business.

Arella Studio, which has been family owned and operated since 1936, is selling its building in Dearborn and moving to Canton.

The family has decided to sell its building at 22801 Newman to a dentist.

“The building has become too big for us,” said Mike Arella, the third generation of Arellas to work at the studio. His father Angelo still works in the studio.

The last day for the business in Dearborn could come as early as Aug. 10, Arella said.

The Arella Family has been snapping family portraits and graduation pictures for 75 years. The bulk of the family business has historically been prom and graduation photos, including the senior pics of this writer back in the late 1980s.  But Arella says the market today in Dearborn for these types of pictures just doesn’t exist any longer.

“Kids don’t appear to be taking high school photos any longer, ” Arella said. “There isn’t a market left here. ”

Arella said the family is searching for a smaller location in Canton to lease. We wish the family the best of luck on this next chapter of their business.

 

Food Truck Rally Comes to Dearborn Friday, July 20

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

The “Food Truck Rally” comes to Dearborn Friday, July 20.

The Dearborn Area Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the City of Dearborn and the West Dearborn Downtown Authority will host the first of three food truck rallies planned for this summer.

The first event, sponsored by Westborn Market, will take place Friday, July 20 from 5 – 9 p.m. in Lot C, just behind Pizza Papalis and west of Monroe Street.

Patrons can expect 8-10 food trucks selling gourmet fare directly from their “kitchen-on-wheels.”

Committed food trucks include Franks Anatra, Concrete Cuisine, Treat Dreams, Ned’s, Mack Shack, El Guappo, PPC, and Jacques Tacos. On average, food items are priced between $4-$7. Patrons can enjoy live music, as well.

The Dearborn Chamber says that thanks to the Michigan Mobile Food Truck Association, food truck rallies are becoming very popular in the region with events scheduled regularly in Royal Oak, downtown Detroit and Ferndale, among others. Future events will be held August 24 and September 21 from 5 – 9 p.m. in downtown West Dearborn.

Food trucks experienced a boom just as the economy started to decline in 2008. Restaurateurs who were hesitant to drop serious cash on launching a restaurant turned to mobile trucks as a less expensive way to sell food in a down economy.

While one might think these food trucks could hurt the taxpaying restaurants in the area, the Dearborn Chamber claims that existing restaurants experience an upswing in revenue by proximity to these rallies.

“We think this will be an exciting and unique way to bring families downtown on Friday evenings for food, fun and entertainment,” Jennifer Giering of the Dearborn Chamber said in a prepared statement. “These community events have a tremendous economic impact on surrounding businesses with the first event in Ferndale attracting 1,500 people, many of which patronized local bars and restaurants after the event.”

Two More Hookah Bars for West Dearborn

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

A new hookah bar is coming to Dearborn’s West Village Commons.

It has been a revolving door of businesses at Dearborn’s West Village Commons -– the Burton-Katzman development on Michigan Avenue that opened in 2005.

But one of the first tenants of the development, Le Cigar, continues to thrive in this location and now plans to open a new hookah bar next door to his current business, which will be called La Hookah.

We wrote about the new hookah bar coming to this location back in November. See earlier story HERE.

The new La Hookah, which is expected to open in two weeks, is one of two new hookah bars coming to west Dearborn.

While hookah bars aren’t our thing, they apparently are popular. Le Cigar and La Hookah owner Najib Rizk says his businesses help draw people to west Dearborn.

“We have customers that come from Northville, Novi and Royal Oak,” Rizk said. “We are a unique place. We do need to draw more tenants to this area. The more we can draw new business to this area the better.”

The second hookah bar is planned to go into the Gateway Plaza development at the corner of Michigan and Military.

This would be the first business to go into the Gateway Plaza building, which opened in 2007 offering some 11,000 square feet in retail space and lofts on the second floor.

Regular readers of DeepsaidWhat.com will recall that Gateway developer Hakim Fakhoury once touted it would be occupied with a Bora Bora Coffee Shop, Quizno’s Sub Shop, Armani store and Caliente Grille. It isn’t clear when the new hookah bar business will open. A separate restaurant also is slated to open in the Gateway Plaza, which will offer carryout to serve hookah bar patrons and others.

When both open, west Dearborn will offer at least four places for hookah fans to smoke. The marketplace will decide just who will survive.