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Visions for Vacancies: What You Wanted, What We Got

Here's a look back at how Royal Oak Patch readers weighed in on some previously empty storefronts around town.

Before (left) and coming: 400 N. Main
Before (left) and coming: 400 N. Main

Every so often, we highlight a vacant building, storefront or structure around town and we leave it you, the Royal Oak community, to sound off on what you’d like to see there before any plans go before city boards. We call the Patch feature Visions for Vacancies.

Here's a look back at how Royal Oak Patch readers weighed in on some previously empty storefronts around town. Some sites definitely led to more suggestions than others, but here's what you said — and remember, like the Rolling Stones sang, "You can't always get what you want."


Rumors site 

  • Where: 112 S. Main
  • Readers suggested: Unique 'boutique' hotel 
  • We got: Blaze Pizza (build-your-own artisan pizza restaurant)

Royal Music Center site

  • Where: 512 N. Main
  • Readers suggestedAnother music store
  • We got: Co. 512 (retail), Top Cat Sales (office) and multiple-family dwelling units

Dobie Building site

  • Where: 500 S. Washington
  • Readers suggestedBicycle shop, coffee shop, children's museum
  • We got: Rail & Anchor (home goods, fun gifts, and eclectic accessories) and Citizen Yoga

Street Legal Customs site

  • Where: 27754 Woodward 
  • Readers suggestedRestaurant
  • We got: Jenuwine Cigar Factory (cigar shop and lounge)

Harper Furniture site

  • Where: 916 N. Main
  • Readers suggestedDepartment store, REI, Internet cafe, something kid-friendly, Dave & Buster's, Jungle Java, Chucky Cheese, Moosejaw, recreation center
  • We got: A new development that will include ground-level business, administrative, or professional offices, medical offices and 12 upper-level multiple-family dwelling units

Northern TV Site site

  • Where: 1321 E. 11 Mile
  • Readers suggestedbulk foods, something kid-friendly, specialty foods store, niche grocery store, spa
  • We got: Strip center with Domino's Pizza, Day 7 Salon, two units are vacant

Burger King site 

  • Where: 25538 Woodward
  • Readers suggested: Totem Pole restaurant
  • We got: EZ Storage (self-storage facility)

Fresard auto dealership site

  • Where: 400 N. Main
  • Readers suggested: Hotel, Trader Joe's, roller skating rink, Kroger, new police station
  • We got: Hyatt Place (development includes  8-story hotel, an 8-story apartment building, a pair of office buildings and a 4-level off-street parking deck)

Jack Manning December 12, 2013 at 08:12 AM
All I know RO has a lot of business turnover especially if it's not offering something you can eat or drink. There are a lot of broken business dreams in RO.
niteman December 12, 2013 at 10:12 AM
Jack - RO has a ton of businesses that have been around for years. As far as the recent businesses that did not work out, there are reasons that they did not succeed. There's a lot of broken dreams everywhere but that doesn't mean you shouldn't have or pursue one. I welcome almost every new addition to RO (except Kroger at the old Fresard site).
lisa.ortlieb December 12, 2013 at 08:03 PM
Also, on the second floor of the old Rumors site, above Blaze Pizza, is Mercury Studio, a web design company. The unique space is very impressive in its design and decor. It can be rented for functions. http://www.hgstudio.com

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