Grand Blanc is experiencing business expansion - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Grand Blanc is experiencing business expansion

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(07/10/14) - Downtown Grand Blanc is undergoing a transformation. Where a rundown gas station once sat, two new buildings are under construction and should be ready soon. A upscale pizzeria plans to open in mid-August, employing 75 to 80 people. Next to that will be gourmet sub sandwiches.

A bedding store is also under construction. Aubree's Pizzeria will be the eighth location for the Ypsilanti-based restaurant chain. It will serve gourmet pizza and feature a dining room, bar and patio dining. The Firehouse Subs chain was started in Florida by two firefighters. In a separate building will be an Art Van Pure Sleep bedding store. The city manager says the construction projects will spur more growth.

"If we have a sense of place in downtown, it will make us very competitive to bring in those types of jobs that create greater wealth," said Paul Brake, Grand Blanc city manager.

Brake says the architecture and placement of the building closer to Saginaw Street will make it feel more like a typical small town.

"It creates a destination in the center of the community," Brake said.

The fact that two of the new businesses will be restaurants doesn't bother the manager of the Big Boy across the street.

"We have enough population in the Grand Blanc community to have plenty of restaurants," Karen Schofield said.

There's room for even more development in the city.

"With the impending closure of K-Mart, there's great interest in re-developing that property," Brake said.

There are also plans for a new retail store on a vacant lot at Saginaw and Church.

"I'm really optimistic. I think within the next couple of years, if you were to leave Grand Blanc and come back, there would be a very noticeable change," Brake said.

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