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Desolation row no more



This structure at 11000 E. Jefferson was once one in a long row of dilapidated storefronts that helped make this eastside neighborhood look a lot like Berlin just after World War II. But over the past several months the neighboring buildings have been razed to make room for a new commercial development, while this one was left untouched. The Abandoned Structure Squad (known as ASS to friends and enemies alike) took notice; what, we wondered, saved this particular hulk from the wrecking ball?

Turns out it was nothing more than a little red tape. Charles Allen, of Graimark Realty Advisors and G-W-Jefferson-St. Jean LLC, is one of the developers behind the shopping center project, dubbed Shops at Jefferson Village. He says that the only thing special about 11000 E. Jefferson is that its purchase took longer to finalize than those of its neighbors. The sale has now been completed and the developers are waiting only for a demolition permit from the city. Allen declined to divulge how much was spent on the structure, which once housed a business called Michigan Probe Supply and a candy store, but he laughingly assured us that it was “more than [the building] was worth.”

ASS tried to contact the former owner of the building for comment but was unable to reach him. Once the building is demolished, Allen says, the property will be incorporated into the project’s 795-space parking lot. According to Allen, the $16.8 million, 133,000-square-foot shopping center will be anchored by a Farmer Jack supermarket, slated to open June 25.

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