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WARREN, MI-A local art center and a Detroit regional mall have entered a new relationship. The nonprofit Warren Tri-County Arts Inc. is moving to the Universal Mall in Warren, where it will open its Warren Fine Arts Center. The organization, which offers classes and displays artworks created by area residents, had been located in a public school-owned community center in Warren, but was forced to move dueto rising enrollment in the school system.

Chris Palmer, marketing director at Universal Mall, says the mall offered Tri-County 3,500 sf near one of its anchors, Mervyn’s, to support the local program. The mall is also hoping the move will increase foot traffic in that area of the mall. “We’re a little bit nervous about it because we never would’ve left (the recreation center),” says Elaine DePalma, director of the arts center. “But things happen for a reason, and this may end up being better in the long run.”

The higher visibility could draw more members and revenue, she says. The mall won’t charge the art center rent, but DePalma says the cost of utilities at the mall would be higher than what the center had been paying at its former location.

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