Police probe now part of Hemlock grocery store delay

Published: Jan. 7, 2020 at 5:20 PM EST
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More questions than answers tonight in a small, mid-Michigan community, where people have been waiting months for a grocery store to open up.

It's a saga out of Hemlock that we've been following closely for you.

And now, ABC12 has learned the Richland Township police department has opened up an investigation.

"This area wants a grocery store more than anything," says Annamarie Reno, Richland Township manager.

Hemlock and the surrounding area lost its only grocery store two years ago. In stepped Jim McColgan, who planned on re-opening the store last year.

But even though the sign still says accepting applications, the store hasn't opened.

"If we talk to Jim, we are under the impression the market is still coming to town, if I talk to the leasing company the building is up for lease, so we are just as confused as the residents whether the market is coming to town or not," says Reno.

That's right, there are signs on the building saying its for lease and when we called the phone number, the person representing the leasing company said the entire building is now for sale.

And now we have also learned a Richland Township police investigation has started related to the still-closed store.

"The police chief has informed that there was a complaint filed, they are looking at that complaint," says Reno.

She did not know what the complaint was about and police chief Jack Doyle did not want to release further details.

I was able to contact McColgan, who texted me saying that he is planning a press conference in two weeks and still plans on opening the store this year.

He announced a town hall meeting for this past November to explain the delay, but it was cancelled. Reno says other people have now expressed interest in the property to give Hemlock what it wants, a grocery store.

"We have different people constantly reaching out, and one of these days, I do believe something will come through, if not Jim's it will be something else," Reno says.