The long vacant Kroger grocery store in the Parkway Plaza in Clinton Township has a new tenant, the plaza’s owner said Monday.
Mountain Grove, Mo.-based Fun City will take over the 50,000-square-foot former grocer space on Groesbeck Highway at Metro Parkway (16 Mile Road), according to Dante Bacall, CEO of Bacall Companies in Birmingham.
Bacall said the family-oriented Fun City will contain gymnastics, an arcade, laser tag, basketball courts, along with other activities and a restaurant.
“We are hoping to start construction in the next 30 days and be open by around June,” Bacall said. “We took a shopping center that was 90% vacant and plan to fill it up. We’re hoping to have everything in place by next year.”
According to township assessing and state corporate records, Bacall created a corporation named Parkway Mall, LLC. It purchased the 12.7-acre, 151,000-square-foot plaza from developer Jim George for $3.1 million. The sale took place in phases over the years, and was completed last month, records show.
George had plans to revive the dilapidated shopping center into a facility with a new fitness center, retail outlets and a cannabis dispensary.
However, Clinton Township officials opted out of the medical and recreational marijuana markets, which left his project on hold. So he decided to sell Parkway Plaza and took his cannabis plan to neighboring Mount Clemens.
That stretch of Groesbeck is a hodgepodge of industrial shops, fast-food eateries, gas stations, and other businesses along the gritty, poorly-lit highway.
When Kroger moved out after three decades, the plaza was left with tenants that included a variety of retailers including T.J. Maxx, ACO Hardware, women’s clothing stores, a pizzeria, a toy store, a Hallmark cards and gift shop and a drug store.
But those have either moved out or let their leases expire.
Bacall, whose company specializes in the hotel industry, said it also has managed 2 million square feet of retail operations.
He has spent the past few months cleaning debris from the property, lining up tenants, and creating three new monument signs to identify and advertise the shopping center. Other tenants at Parkway include American Freight Furniture & Mattress, a sewing store, and a combines Dollar Tree and Family Dollar. The two parent companies merged in 2015
Bacall said Fun City conducted a demographics study of the area and found it was surprisingly resilient.
“I think it will create a fun environment where people can go to an indoor arcade or play some basketball and have a nice fun place to spend the day,” he said.