By Jim Newell
It’s still in the early stages, but a new Meijer store could be going into the Lake Orion Plaza in the location that formerly housed Kmart.
Ed Boutrous, owner and founder of the Boutrous Companies in Lake Orion, owns and manages the Lake Orion Plaza. Boutrous did confirm to The Lake Orion Review that he has a contract with Meijer for the property.
Meijer submitted a special land use and site plan application, dated March 24, 2021, to Orion Township.
According to site plan documents, the main store of the development is proposed to be 89,962 square feet.
Meijer, Inc.’s corporate media division did not return requests for information and comment by Lake Orion Review press time.
Mejier would remove the Kmart building and construct a new building, Boutrous said.
“We’ve had a quite a bit of interest in (in that property) but this is certainly the best proposal that has come along. We’ve been carrying it empty for quite a while. So, we’re pleased that we waited until this materialized,” Boutrous said. “We did remodel the center a while back and, at the moment, is fully occupied. I think the existing tenants, from the initial feedback we’ve received, has been good.”
The Lake Orion Plaza is on the east side of Lapeer Road (M-24), south of Clarkston Road and includes Planet Fitness, Firehouse Subs and Dairy Queen, among other retailers.
The Kmart property, 1025 S. Lapeer Rd., had been the largest property in the plaza at more than 89,000 square feet. Planet Fitness, at 29,500 square feet, moved into the location that formerly housed Hollywood Market in 2018.
The new development is proposed to focus heavily on groceries.
“It’s a new prototype. Quite a bit smaller than a normal store would be, with all the general merchandise and everything,” he said. “If it all comes to pass. I think it will be very nice and a great addition to the township. I think they’re kind of excited about it. You can’t get too excited about that empty Kmart, can you?”
The hope is to open the new Meijer store in 2022.
Meijer respects the township’s approval process and is working through that process, Boutrous said.
“There is an approval process that has to take place. They are pretty anxious to get going,” Boutrous said. “(Meijer) put together a very detailed proposal. They were very, very well-prepared and they’ve been working with the township.”
The Lake Orion Review will have updates on this development as they become available.