SOUTH HAVEN — It looks like new life will be breathed into a former grocery store building that has sat vacant in town since 2015.
Locker & Locker Properties of South Haven proposes to renovate the former 12,000-square-foot Save-a-Lot building at 237 Broadway Ave. into a strip mall. A portion of the building is currently being rented to Crossfit Current, a fitness and wellness center, but by the time Locker & Locker renovates the entire building, it envisions a strip mall that will be home to five businesses.
“The vision is to have an updated building for retail and/or office space,” said Adam Locker, co-manager for the project. “We anticipate this project will provide not only more retail and office space but jobs for over 50 people.”
Locker hopes the renovation can begin sometime this spring. “We’d like to be ready (to open) by late summer or fall,” he said.
Before the project can proceed, the developer had to obtain a special land use permit from the South Haven Planning Commission. Planners met Thursday to discuss the proposal and ended up approving the site plan and granting the special use permit with several stipulations.
• Provide landscaping near the entrance to the 56-vehicle parking lot and to the rear of the building.
• Plant a hedge or shrub screen to separate the building from the neighboring First Hebrew Congregation synagogue.
• Install or use existing fencing to prevent pedestrians from trespassing on private properties to access the shopping center.
• Do not provide additional doors or windows to the south wall of the building (which overlooks two residential homes) unless they are required to meet fire or other safety codes.
The latest development proposal by Locker & Locker is one of several projects the company has undertaken in the South Haven area over the years.
In 2002, Randy Locker, who formed the development company, built Locker Plaza on Phoenix Road near Walmart. It houses six businesses. Several years later, the company tore down the former South Haven Police Station at the corner of Broadway and Quaker Street to create a strip mall that is occupied by five businesses.
Two years ago, Locker & Locker turned its attention to purchasing the former MacDonald Drug Store, which is downtown. The building’s interior has since been renovated and now is home to Gravity Wine Bar and Harbor Light Brewery.