ADRIAN – Another redesign concept for the Adrian shopping center is in the works.
The Adrian Planning Committee was briefed last week by Daniel Garno and members of the Adrian Development Group, as well as Mall Ownership, on the planned Unit Development (PUD) for the mall. The plan proposes to redesign the mall into a mixed-use facility with multi-family residential housing, key commercial tenants who can attract customers to the mall, various options for retail and food service establishments, a church and self-storage.
The committee did not vote on the proposal as the item was on the agenda of its meeting for discussion and pre-nomination presentation. The concept for the mall was the first time commissioners could see the plans at a public meeting. While they did not vote on its details, some commissioners expressed positivity towards the proposal.
“I am very excited about the concept you are showing here,” said planning committee chairman Mike Jacobitz. “In order for me to embark on this project, there would have to be some assurance of completion or progress.”
Adrian Mayor Angie Sword Heath was present at the meeting and spoke briefly during the public comments, noting his enthusiasm for the proposal.
“I’m very excited to see something more versatile and think outside the box, which is what this group is doing,” she said. “Just to see retail, a church, self storage and housing, all of these mixed uses, and use these outdoor lots and get rid of a huge parking lot and have more greenery; it’s very, very exciting.
If the project gets the support of the Planning Commission, then it will move on to the Adrian City Commission, which will also review it. If approved by the city commission, the project would be a go.
Garno, a longtime resident of Adrian and Lenawee County who has been a licensed general contractor for 30 years in Michigan, said he has completed several housing and redevelopment projects in and around the area. Adrian. The mall project in particular, he said, is both personal and professional for him.
“We would like to see something good being done for Adrian,” he said. “We want to do it right.”
The Adrian Development Group, he said, is made up of individuals from the community who are invested in the success of the city and the mall. There are already establishments and businesses, which he did not name at the meeting, that have letters of intent to purchase ready.
“We already have several pieces ready to take off,” he said.
A major component of the project would be to demolish the part of the mall currently most affected by water damage, mold and other problems, which have led to the mall’s condemnation for almost two years now. This area would be transformed into a boulevard between Dunham’s Sports and Ollie’s Bargain Outlet. The boulevard would include the planting of greenery, the possibility of food and retail establishments and an expanded parking lot.
The New Life Church, which previously met at the mall but met in Tecumseh for most of this year, has an ongoing deal with the mall’s development group and property to build a worship center. and community. According to the proposal, this would be on the side of the mall facing Winter Street in the former Elder-Beerman location.
The former JCPenney location would become a 100,000 square foot self-storage facility, which would also house a loading and unloading dock for the mall’s other businesses and offices for the employees.
At least 200 family residential units would be built on the northeast corner of the current shopping center layout. These could be low rise apartments or two to three storeys with one or two bedrooms.
The proposal indicates the possibility for 160,000 square feet of retail and restaurant businesses both in and around the mall, using the exterior lots – those businesses that surround the mall’s parking lot. The proposal shows the possibility of at least six businesses being built on five acres. The parking lot would also be smaller than it is now and it would be redeveloped.
Something Garno and others expressed was the Adrian Development Group’s openness to flexibility regarding the intended uses of the project. What they presented on Tuesday is just a blueprint, which can be changed and tweaked, if necessary.
Garno also said work on the mall will be completed in phases, not all at once. The first phase of the project would be the demolition of the condemned part of the mall then the construction of the boulevard. In order to ensure that all necessary works on the mall would be completed, the commissioners suggested that a performance completion agreement be signed by all parties involved. Jacobitz said the core of the mall – the proposed boulevard – should be the first thing to build, as that would give the project working capital.
Members of the design collaboration said there was healthy development around the Adrian Mall, citing the new Hampton Inn and Suites as well as the success of Ollie’s Bargain Outlet, Dunham’s Sports, Hobby Lobby and Buffalo Wild Wings. What has not worked for the mall over the years, according to the presentation, is the indoor retail. However, outward-oriented retailers have been more successful.
The future of the mall should be more of exterior-facing businesses, which customers can see as they move around Adrian and into the mall parking lot, according to the presentation. If the plan is ultimately approved, the principles of smart design and advertising will be implemented in the future, the presenters said.
There would also be the option of an outdoor living space, something like casual outdoor seating and maybe a children’s play area.