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DETROIT-First Commercial wants to expand on a 54,000-sf Kroger grocery store inthe city, by adding more than 35,820-sf more of retail space and building anew 14,460-sf facility for Faith Outreach Church that would include a492-sanctuary, a bookstore, child-care center and office space.

The Bingham Farms-based firm went before a hearing at the Detroit PlanningCommission recently to ask for a zoning change, from the current B3(shopping district) and P1 (open parking district) to PD (planneddevelopment district) allow for the expansion.The property is located along Seven Mile Road and Maddelein Avenue, near acurrent planned development district at the southwest corner of Gratiot andLappin.

The new church would replace the congregation’s current house of worship onthe site. Also to be bulldozed on the property is a former FamilyIndependence Agency Building and an automotive repair shop.A neighborhood group, the Northeast Village Collaborative, and thecommission were concerned that certain promises weren’t kept about theprevious PD, including providing traffic studies and proper traffic signs.

However, the collaborative said it supports the plan, and local residentswant the buildings torn down to prevent prostitution and other crime.Also, the commission was concerned about three buildings in the middle ofthe project that are not part of the rezoning. William Watch of FirstCommercial said his firm was not successful in buying these buildings.

City officials did say that the development appears to be in compliance withthe area’s master plan.The commission took the matter under advisement.

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