A former Livernois Avenue department store's makeover "is nearing completion and should be finished by the end of the year," a local magazine reports.
"The redevelopment will add more than 29,000 square feet of mixed-use space to the Detroit neighborhood, including retail, dining and office space," says an update at DBusiness. "Detroit Vs. Everybody, Brix Wine Bar and Lacquered already are signed as tenants."
B. Siegel, a women's fashion store, used to occupy the site on the southwest side of Livernois and Seven Mile Road -- an area currently torn up for extensive streetscape work that's also projected to be done by latre December. A restaurant tenant is being sought for the anchor corner of the 7.Liv project, which will have a rooftop patio.
A vacant pharmacy and another retail building next to the former department store were razed and are being replaced by new stores and 10 apartments. Twenty-nine underground parking spots are part of the $8.3-million project, which got $1.3 million from the Michigan Strategic Fund.
Matt Hessler, managing partner of Bagley Forest Properties, bought the three empty buildings in early 2016 for $438,000. He lives about two blocks away in Sherwood Forest.
Hessler sees his project as "the linchpin for this portion of Livernois," he told the Free Press last year, adding:
"This corner was one of the main draws historically, and I think if we can get this piece of the puzzle back in use it should really spur more development."
The location at 19031 Livernois Ave. is a mile and a half from the University of Detroit Mercy, 1.7 miles from Marygrove College and within walking range of the Green Acres, Palmer Woods and Bagley neighborhoods.
At DBusiness, Tim Keenan sketches the original tenant's history:
B. Siegel Department stores had seven locations at its peak, but the business closed in 1981 due in part to a national economic recession and increased competition from suburban retailers.
The company was founded by German immigrant Benjamin Siegel in 1881, after buying out the former Heyn’s Bazaar on Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit and changing the name.