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Visions for Vacancies: What Business Should Locate Here?

You don't need to be an urban planner to know what White Lake needs from this vacancy. Talk about it on Patch.

This building used to be home to Mama Mia Ristorante. The building, located off Cooley Lake Road in White Lake, is listed for sale for $525,000 according to AOL Real Estate.

So, tell us in the comments what business do you think should locate to this now vacant space? Should a new restaurant buy the space? Or, do you think we need a different type of business here?

John Holmes October 24, 2012 at 02:55 PM
If I had a million $$$, I'd bet Jimmie Hoffa is on this property
Cindy October 24, 2012 at 05:25 PM
a no kill place for the strays , a place to adopt pets which have been left behind
Matthew October 25, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Youth Center
Gerry S October 25, 2012 at 03:12 AM
This is just not a good location for any business because the entrance to the parking lot is too close to the intersection of Cooley and Round Lake Roads.
Laura Vogel October 25, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I'm wondering why this parcel is still zoned commercial. It doesn't make sense as a commercial business at all. I understand why the parcel was zoned commercial in the past: because it used to be commercial when the restaurant was in operation. But that was ten years ago. The site has been vacant for a decade. So it would stand to reason that no one wants to buy it with the current commercial zoning. This has been an eyesore long before the real estate market collapsed in 2008, and it will continue to be an eyesore until new uses are able to be made for that parcel. As such, it would make much more sense to toss a few houses on the property and have it join the rest of the residential development that surrounds it. If the township wishes to aide in the redevelopment of that parcel, then the zoning issue needs to be proactively addressed.
Brooke Tajer October 25, 2012 at 01:36 PM
From the listing, "May be possible to rezone to 100% commercial. 31 acres recreational. Other possible zoning residential; including multi, single family, or senior housing." So it looks like rezoning is an option. I would assume the township doesn't want to rezone right now because it would likely limit possible buyers and it's on the owner to initiate that process. As it stands now, anyone interested can see what it is zoned, and then what the options are for rezoning. That's my understanding at least.
Laura Vogel October 25, 2012 at 01:53 PM
Looking at the parcel from Google Maps, it seems a good proportion of those "31 acres recreational" are largely swamp/marsh which means you're buying land that you have to pay taxes on but which cannot be easily put to revenue-yielding use. If you look at the White Lake zoning map and append it to the neighboring Commerce Twp zoning map, Commerce has the whole area immediately south of that parcel zoned as R1-C (single family residential with lots at least 60 ft wide), but the area abutting the Mama Mia site is vacant.
Laura Vogel October 25, 2012 at 02:01 PM
to add: looking up the property in the County tax logs, the Mama Mia site is shown as:9361 COOLEY LAKE RD WHITE LAKE, MI 48386 PIN: 12-35-455-001 Assessed Value: $185,790 Taxable Value: $185,790 while the abutting parcel to the south in Commerce is shown as: ADDRESS NOT LISTED PIN: 17-02-208-038 It would seem, then, that Commerce has come to the conclusion that the marshy area is largely undevelopable and has no value at all. Whereas White Lake continues to tax the whole parcel as if all 30+ acres hold nearly $200k in taxable value.

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