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Village Council Approves Area Plan for Dexter Crossing Redevelopment

Oxford Development Inc. expects to have 50 percent of the shopping center on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road leased in the near future.

Big plans for the development of the Dexter Crossing shopping center could be coming soon following the approval of the property owner's area plan on Monday.

The Dexter Village Council approved Oxford Development's request to amend its area plan of the 70,000 square foot property in a 6 to 1 vote.

According to information provided by the council, Oxford is planning to add a new 15,500 square foot single-story retail building and 30 additional parking spaces at the southeast corner of the shopping center near Dexter-Ann Arbor and Dan Hoey roads.

A portion of the existing parking lot and landscape islands will be reconfigured to accommodate the proposed building.

"We really put a lot of effort into our buildings because we know that everybody’s got to see them,” Jeff Hauptman, president of Oxford, told the council on Monday. “We’re putting our money where our mouth is and we’ve been putting money into Dexter Crossing.”

The company recently leased two spaces to Jet's Pizza and the Jewelry Box Boutique, he said.

Trustee Joe Semifero said he was concerned that the amended area plan includes a building with a window and car lane to accommodate drive-through service.

"To me that sounds like a fast food restaurant," Semifero said.

Hauptman said there are no plans to lease the space to a fast food restaurant such as a McDonald's or Taco Bell.

"I don't lease fast food restaurants in any of my properties," Hauptman said. "I don't eat the stuff, and my kids don't eat it, because its not good for you."

Hauptman said if the council does not want a fast food restaurant, he would like a clear definition of what constitutes "fast food" before marketing the property to potential clients.

"There are a number of users that have the potential to be interested in a drive thru — a pharmacy, or Java Jungle for example — and we want to keep the option open,” Hauptman said.

Despite reassurances from Oxford, Semifero said by approving the amendment, a future fast food restaurant could open on Dexter-Ann Arbor Road.

"A drive through is just that — you drive through it. It won't help the foot traffic for the other businesses at Dexter Crossing," he said. "Buildings change hands, and with the vote you take tonight, there is a distinct possibility going forward that we could have a fast food restaurant anchor Dexter Crossing."

Trustee Jim Carson disagreed, stating that by denying Oxford's request, it would limit the marketability of the property.

"Why would we limit the marketing of the property? I'm not willing to do that," Carson said. "I'll deal with the fast food issue when a proposal is brought before the Planning Commission."

Laura Kreps, assistant community development director for the village, said any future development of the property would have to get approval by the Planning Commission and the village council before moving forward.

The area plan was approved 6-1, with Semifero voting against the recommendation.

Phyllis Risdon December 13, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Perhaps a drive-through pizza place would be more in keeping with the dietary needs of Dexter (note sarcasm) rather than say a Tim Horton's or Wendy's?? Maybe, just maybe, TCF Bank could build a new branch that would include a drive-through....they aren't a fast-food restaurant...just sayin'.
Barbara Fike December 13, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Amazing! The Country Market strip mall has NEVER leased all it's storefronts since it was first built and now the Village just approved more space to be built?
Julie Wilkinson December 13, 2012 at 05:23 PM
We DO NOT need another pizza restaurant in Dexter. We need more quality, reasonable restaurants. We do not need more empty buildings. This company needs to fill what they have before adding more.
Julie Wilkinson December 13, 2012 at 05:23 PM
We DO NOT need another pizza restaurant in Dexter. We need more quality, reasonable restaurants. We do not need more empty buildings. This company needs to fill what they have before adding more.
Laura Rayer December 14, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Shouldn't the vacant spots be filled before expanding??? That seems logical to me!
Dexter resident December 14, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Yes, all vacancies should be filled first. I am also concerned about a pharmacy moving in, i.e. CVS or Rite Aid. That would not be good!

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