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DETROIT-Officials at Home Depot headquarters in Atlanta acknowledged that they’ve canceled plans to move a new store into the Riverbend Plaza project in Downtown Detroit. Last summer, the big-box home improvement chain received approval from the city council to build a new store as part of a $31-million development known as Riverbend Plaza III and IV.

The development, being built by Curis Enterprises of Detroit and Anthony Lombardo and Associates of Washington Township, received approval from the city council to rezone property along E. Jefferson Avenue from residential and commercial use to a planned unit district.

The project was to include a $15-million Home Depot big-box retail store, two retail restaurant lots and 126 condominiums on the city-owned land bounded by Riverbend Plaza Phases I and II, which include retail tenants such as banks, food markets and shoe stores.

However, Tom Gray, Home Depot’s public relations manager for the Midwest area, says his firm will not proceed in the Riverbend development. He tells GlobeSt.com the area has too many rental properties.

“We’re going to pass on it for now, but may come back to the property if it can bring in more single-family homes. We’re optimistic that property can eventually bring in a higher single-family home base,” Gray says.

Company policy is to build stores where there is more of a build-up of permanent residents, Gray says. Detroit is not known for having a strong residential base.

However, other big box retailers have reportedly shown interest in the Riverbend project.

Gray says Home Depot is looking at other sites to build in Detroit.

“We’re looking around at other areas in the city. We’re not disclosing where, for proprietary reasons,” Gray says.

One location could be on 36 acres soon to be owned by Avenue Investors at Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue. Home Depot was considering a store there, alongside a new high school for the Detroit Public School District. However, the plans were halted due to recent lawsuits surrounding the property.

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