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Author Topic: Former Neisner Brothers store in Lincoln Park, MI torn down...  (Read 2917 times)
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Hudsons81
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« on: June 19, 2015, 02:07:48 PM »

...for, of all things, a new Save-A-Lot.

What's your opinion on this?

http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2015/06/19/news/doc5584381f02e33846869569.txt
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Construction to build a 15,000-square-foot Save a Lot store in downtown Lincoln Park began last week with the demolition of the historic Neisner Dime Store building.

The developer, Lormax Stern, paid $150,000 for five buildings in that block and is investing $2 million to renovate the two buildings for the grocery store. Karl Zarbo, Lormax Stern director of operations, said the company worked with the Lincoln Park Downtown Development Authority to preserve and save some of the storefront facade, though it will not be used in the new development.

The dime store was built in 1937 with an Art Deco facade on Fort Street, according to Leslie Lynch-Wilson, president of the Lincoln Park Preservation Alliance.

“It had stainless steel panels below the windows, along with a stainless steel trim with triangular cutouts," she said. "Above the windows were porcelain enamel panels, very typical of the era, along with a long sign that ran the width of the building." The sign had Art Deco details at each end and was the typical dime store red, Lynch-Wilson said.

"You could still see the red peeking out from the old dime store sign, and flanking each side of the Fort Street facade were panels with vertical Art Deco details," she said.

Lynch-Wilson said she was disappointed to see that a more imaginative approach was not taken to preserve the historic facade for Lincoln Park’s developing downtown area.

“It’s not that we are trying to be a quaint city, like Wyandotte, because we are more cool and edgy,” she said. “We could have been more like Ferndale by saving this building or at least the facade. In fact, there is a historic facade in Ferndale, similar to the Neisner, that they did save.”

Lynch-Wilson said she met with the contractor to choose about five pieces of the facade to be saved, including the sign from the back of the building.

They are currently being stored at the city's Department of Public Services, though it is unclear what they will be used for in the future.

Lynch-Wilson said preservation was important because the original Art Deco facade was still intact and the demolition jeopardized the North Fort Street Historic District’s eligibility for inclusion into the National Register of Historic Places.

“Losing the building means we might not be able to get our nomination, which is work in progress, approved by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office,” she said. “With a National Register of Historic Places Historic District, ‘contributing’ properties would be eligible for a 20 percent Federal Historic Preservation Tax Credit. It would be tragic if the loss of the Neisner Dime Store building means no historic district and no tax credits.”

Several zoning variances, or deviations from the downtown design standards, were approved for Save a Lot’s design, including having no front entrance, non-natural building materials and no front windows. Site plans include parking behind the building, where there also will be a loading dock. An outdoor pedestrian pathway also is planned to connect the Fort Street sidewalk with the front entrance of the store, along with community display boxes lining the building facing Fort Street since coolers along the walls would not permit windows.

Zarbo said the construction plans will yield a more attractive sight than what the vacant storefronts currently allow for and help develop the downtown area of Lincoln Park with the repeat and loyal traffic that grocery stores are known to create.

He added that 20 to 30 permanent retail jobs will be created and that a local team is an important part of the development. Lormax Stern expects to turn the project over to Save a Lot by October.

Brad Coulter, Lincoln Park’s state-appointed emergency manager, previously called the Save a Lot development a “home run” for the city.

“We are bringing an anchor tenant to a block of buildings that are an eyesore for the city," Coulter said during zoning talks earlier this year. "With Save a Lot stabilizing the strip, the remaining three buildings now become financially viable and, hopefully, will be filled soon as well.”

Madhu Oberoi, director of the Lincoln Park Downtown Development Authority, said it is sad to see a historic building be torn down.

“This is a decision that was made by the city to allow a demolition and we are at least happy that work is started now and they are one step closer to getting the project completed,” Oberoi said.
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TheFugitive
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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 08:24:36 AM »

It's always sad to lose a historic building of that nature.  However, given the economic struggles of that area, Lincoln Park likely could not afford to have pushed the issue.  The need for jobs and tax revenue are just too great. 
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Hudsons81
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2015, 03:20:07 PM »

It's always sad to lose a historic building of that nature.  However, given the economic struggles of that area, Lincoln Park likely could not afford to have pushed the issue.  The need for jobs and tax revenue are just too great.  

And sadly, it hasn't been the first time that was the case...the Mellus Newspapers Building was torn down in 2010 despite being listed on the historic registry...that building had looked more deteriorated since Heinz Prechter bought Mellus, merged it with his newly-acquired Heritage Newspapers and moved both chains into a new office building that he had built in Southgate-all in the late 1980's.

Plus, this means that both of Neisner's Downriver locations are no longer standing...the Wyandotte building was lost in a spectacular fire back in 1990.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 03:22:56 PM by Hudsons81 » Logged
TheFugitive
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2015, 07:35:36 AM »

Or the original Mellon Bank on Smithfield Street in Downtown Pittsburgh.
A beautiful masterpiece of gold and marble from the Gilded Age of Andrew Carnegie
and Henry Clay Frick.  Truly an architectural masterpiece. 

Our then-Mayor Tom Murphy had this cockeyed idea to turn Downtown Pittsburgh
into a major retail destination (which was never going to happen because basically
there is no parking down there!)  He inked a deal to bring Lord and Taylor here and
move them into the old Mellon Bank.  That meant gutting the interior and doing your
typical drywall and ceiling tile retail retrofit.   The local preservation community went
nuts.  They stormed hearings, ran ads, did everything they could to save the bank.
But to no avail.  The Mayor got his way and Lord and Taylor destroyed the inside
of this building.

They stayed in business maybe two years in that location.  But the historic interior was
gone forever.  As was Lazarus, which got rolled into Macy's and abandoned a big new
building the Mayor had put up for them at taxpayer's expense.  Saks Fifth Avenue bugged
out of town a few years later.
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