DEARBORN, Michigan – It’s worse than your favorite team losing the Super Bowl. You really want your city to win, but they keep making stupid plays and fumbling the ball. On Monday, February 13th, Dearborn has another chance to win. The City Planning Commission will consider whether to approve plans for opening a Goodwill retail outlet at their 7:00pm meeting — and the zoning board will consider the plan on the 15th at their 5:30pm meeting.
Goodwill Industries says they are moving forward with opening the store at Michigan and Military. Mark Lane, Public Relations director of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit says they will invest $500,000 to refurbish the old Inca store which has been empty for over a decade, and create 25 new full-time retail jobs in west Dearborn.
Crain’s Detroit Business recently named Goodwill Industries the best managed non-profit in Detroit. Yet – the city planners are not sure if allowing the store in west Dearborn is the best option. The Dearborn City Planning Commission had a “hiccup” at their January meeting and a final decision was postponed until the February 13th meeting.
Mr. Lane says the Portland, Oregon area has around “forty-five Goodwill stores that pull in over $100 Million per year – and that money goes back to (their mission) of putting people with employment challenges back to work.” Lane said several city council members including Bob Abraham, and Mark Shooshanian visited the Canton Goodwill store, along with Mark Guido (the assistant to the Mayor).
Listen to the podcast interview with Mark Lane, live from Biggby Coffee on January 25, 2012.
Jennifer Knott Giering, President of the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce spoke in favor of the new Goodwill store at the corner of Michigan and Military, saying: “First and foremost, I think it’s going to re-invigorate that corner of Michigan Avenue. Norm Newman has done a really nice job filling up the north-south development with some great businesses… and I think to drive foot traffic to the bakery [Iverson’s Bakery] and Biggby and whatnot… It’s going to create jobs. It’s going to turn an empty building into a thriving corner. ”
“Consumer habits are changing. I think we need to be on the forefront of embracing those changes, and that means being really forward thinking about encouraging re-sale shops and some different [business/retail store] models to come in… the re-sale market is really, really growing.” Giering concluded.
“The pricey shops can’t survive if there isn’t something to bring people to those shops. My friend owned Exclusive Styles and it barely lasted a year in West Village Commons, but over four years in another city. Would the Goodwill store be just as debated if this was a Plato’s Closet – which is also a second hand store? Most of that shopping center is empty, and its not going to attract other businesses by staying empty. People are afraid of the ‘kind of people’ that will shop at the store. Are they any different than those that go to Walmart?” – commented Lynn Haliburton.
“We’re going to bring something good to Dearborn,” Mark Lane explained “Local businesses are excited about getting foot traffic in the area.”
“Goodwill coming to Dearborn is a positive for Dearborn. My parents shopped at second hand stores my entire life and continue to for my little cousins. The fact is that Goodwill is willing to bring business to Dearborn and bring in jobs into this city… Bringing people to Dearborn means that they will eat, shop, and invest their money into Dearborn and circulate the money throughout” – remarked Silvio Davis.
“I am just amazed that there is a problem with making the city more attractive to others. Having a Goodwill store is not a bad thing, it is a good thing. I have lived in upscale Franklin TN, Brentwood TN, and Simpsonville SC where most of the homes are in the $200k-$400k price range — they had Goodwill. Come on people, this is a good thing, it will bring people to Dearborn to shop there but look at the big picture. If they come, they eat and spend money here. I hope it passes — as now I have to drive out to Canton — and wouldn’t be nice to have one right here in my home town?” – commented Gail Gifford.
Related Stories and Links
- Three Things That Make No Sense to Me – Opinion – Morris Goodman – Dearborn Press and Guide
- Goodwill Seeks OK for Dearborn Second Hand Store – DeepSaidWhat?
- City Asks for Further Review of Goodwill Store Plan – Dearborn Patch
- Goodwill Aims to Secure Dearborn Store Approval At Planning Commission Tonight – Dearborn Patch
- Henry Ford’s common sense needed in West Downtown Dearborn – Dearborn Press and Guide
- Dearborn Planning Commission Deadlocks on Goodwill Store Proposal – Dearborn Press and Guide
- Goodwill Industries Eyes West Dearborn Location – DeepSaidWhat.com
- Goodwill Showing Interest in Dearborn Retail Location – Dearborn Press and Guide – OpEd item by Jennifer Knott Giering – President of the Dearborn Chamber of Commerce
- Happy Birthday to Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit’s flagship resale store in Canton, Mich. – story on Goodwill Industries website
- Goodwill Industries Named Crain Detroit’s 2011 Best Managed Non-Profit – story on Goodwill Industries website – reprinted from Crain’s Detroit Business – ( download a PDF of that article )
- Goodwill Dearborn Store – Facebook Page