SMC Luncheon Speaker: Tyler Hinton
At the Senior Men’s Club Luncheon on Tuesday, January 22nd, Ty Hinton, the Economic and Community Development Director of Harper Woods talked to us about the redevelopment of Eastland Mall. Ty is an accomplished and active 77-year old. Last year he was honored by being named a recipient of one of the Michigan Chronicle’s 2018 Man of Excellence awards. In addition to his ECD position at Harper Woods, Ty runs their home improvement loan program using community improvement block grant dollars. This program also includes the Grosse Pointes. He also helps out at The Helm, including with the installation of their standby generator.
Ty emphasized that Harper Woods and the Grosse Pointes are connected, and the failure to successfully redevelop Eastland will adversely affect Grosse Pointe property values. Rather than just leaving the redevelopment to whatever developer would buy the property at a foreclosure auction, Harper Woods retained McKenna Associates to prepare a plan that would include residential, retail and office space, including space for Harper Woods municipal offices. See their proposal in the plan image below. Retail malls are not doing well in the current market, so the plan attempts to create a whole village of upscale apartment complexes, hotels, restaurants, and offices on the site. Because the big box sites at Eastland such as Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target and Macy’s are not owned by the developer, they may or may not be part of the plan.
Kohan Retail Investment Group, a New York-based retail investment firm won the auction for Eastland in October of last year with a bid of $3.125 million. Ty told us that Harper Woods has started discussions with them and expects that the redevelopment will be done as a partnership between the developer and the City so that the City can move City Hall and possibly police and fire facilities to the site. The City also expects that the site will support patrons and tenants from a diverse base, including Millenials and seniors. Ty hopes that construction will begin within 24 months and be completed within five years.
Ty also discussed the improvement of the Kelly Road district of Harper Woods and announced that several new restaurants will be opening soon on Kelly, including a new jazz club in the old Applebee’s building and a Japanese hibachi-style restaurant.
This exciting report by Tyrone Hinton was all good news for our Eastside community. Thank you Ty for this report to the Senior Men’s Club of Grosse Pointe.
Reported by George Arsenault and David Morrow