Bed Bath and Beyond and JoAnn’s Fabrics will be coming soon to White Lake Township, as the two retailers will open stores in the building that used to house a Farmer Jack store at the corner of M-59 and Fisk Road.
According to White Lake Township Planner Sean O’Neil, contractors hope to start site work in September, with the businesses being able to open by spring 2012.
For the past few years, the building has remained vacant after A&P — the parent company of Farmer Jack — decided to close many of its stores in July 2007. When A&P filed for bankruptcy in December 2010, the lease agreement between the company and property owner Gershenson Realty & Investments was broken, allowing the property owner to pursue other tenants.
O’Neil said township officials are “very pleased and excited” to have new tenants move into the building.
“We’ve heard complaints (about that vacant property) more than others over the past few years,” he said. “With the economy, it was a matter of finding good retailers who would be there for the long run. White Lake is a great place to be, but it’s been tough to find people to invest in Michigan — especially such a big financial commitment. Now that empty space will be occupied by two excellent tenants, and we’re just very excited these two retailers are coming to the township.”
Gershenson Realty recently submitted a site plan for review to the township and needs to tweak a few minor things before a final development agreement is reached, according to O’Neil. However, he said he’s confident that everything is in “good shape, schedule-wise.”
“Our hope is that they can get started with exterior construction in September,” he said. “And our goal is to make that happen. The township has been committed to expediting the process so we can get them doing their thing and get the building occupied. We’re making sure everything is done properly as fast as we can. Everybody has been on board. Every single department had a review in this, and they’ve turned it all around in half the normal review time. I’m very pleased at how we are all pulling together to try and make this happen.”