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DEARBORN, MI-Burton-Katzman Development Co. has broken ground for West Village Commons, a 75,000-sf commercial and office project on the site of the former Jacobson’s department store on Michigan Avenue. The Bingham Farms-based company says West Village Commons will have 37,500 sf of ground-floor retail and dining space and 37,500 sf of second-floor office space encompassing two buildings.

It is the first of three phases of what will eventually be a $70-million redevelopment of the site. The buildings are to be separated by a large, brick-surfaced plaza with 20 parking spaces. The public plaza is to be available for civic events, encouraging pedestrian traffic in the business district.

West Village Square, with 48 row-house and ranch-style condominiums, is the second phase and is scheduled to break ground this summer.Phase three could include either a single project or a mix of hotel, office or additional condominiums, Dearborn Mayor Michael Guido says. It is scheduled for construction in 2006.

Dearborn’s landmark Jacobson’s was one of several closed by the now-defunct Jacobson Stores Inc. in 1997. The site was acquired by the West Dearborn Downtown Development Authority in 1999.

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