GRAND BLANC (WJRT) (06/17/2019) - The site of the former Kmart and Farmer Jack stores in Grand Blanc is about to get a new lease on life.
Monday night, the manager for the group that purchased the property, Markus Management Group LLC, got approval from the city planning commission to move ahead with plans to remodel the site.
"There's a need in the area for fast casual restaurants so we're talking to all kind of users that are national players, local players," said manager Doraid Markus.
He didn't announce any specific tenants for the site Monday, but he said they are pursuing retail stores and fast casual restaurants. The planning commission approved the basic plans.
"We've done a couple of developments in Grand Blanc," Markus said. "I've had my eye on this for a while. The timing was right to buy it."
If the city council also approves the plans next month, the main building house four storefronts. A new standalone building at the intersection of Saginaw and Bella Vista streets would have a two or three additional tenants, including a fast casual restaurant with a drive thru
The footprint of the building, which is currently 87,000 square feet, would be reduced by nearly 4,000 square feet by removing a portion of the building that housed Farmer Jack.
"Cut it down and create some parking in the front, create some smaller uses up there," Markus said.
Residents are excited about plans to put that site back into use.
"Very excited to hear that," noted new resident Pam Dibernardo. "The only thing that Grand Blanc is lacking is a variety."
She hopes to see Thai or fresh seafood offering.
Markus said there will be upgrades to the current site.
"Obviously the exterior needs a lot of TLC and that will get a whole new face, remodeled and repurposed," Markus said. "It won't look like what it looks like today."
Markus said they're talking to an array of tenants, and he hopes a fresh set of eyes will help turn things around after the site has sat vacant for five years.
The city council will take up the plan at their next meeting on July 10.