Rumors Generate Controversy As McDonald's Considers Move

When the Detroit Theater closed its doors over three months ago, many individuals shared both their memories of the theater as well as their hopes for the future of the building. Over the past few weeks, the prospects of the building in which the classic theater is located has become an increasingly hot topic of conversation. Indeed, the owners of the Sloane McDonalds have been looking at the building. Dru Siley, Planning and Development Department, confirmed that the owners are looking for a new property for their franchise. Dru explained, “They are looking for a location west of Warren Rd. The Detroit Theater building fits this requirement and is for sale, so they are looking at it as an option. However, we have yet to receive a proposal from McDonald's at this time.”

Clearly, a McDonald's would mean big changes for the Detroit block between Woodward and Wagar. Opinions range from distressed neighbors on Woodward who abhor the idea of seeing the fast food giant at the end of their street, to sentimental Lakewood natives who are still mourning the loss of the iconic Detroit Theater, to optimistic individuals focusing on the restaurant’s potential for positive economic development. Regardless of which side of the issue they come down on, this is definitely a topic that is not being taken lightly by Lakewoodites young and old.

Mayor Summers offered his own take on the potential development, which falls squarely in the economic development camp. Although McDonald’s is still sizing up properties on Detroit to determine whether or not they are sufficient in size, Mayor Summers described the possible McDonald’s move from Sloane to Detroit as, “An opportunity to re-commission an existing asset back into the community.” He explained that McDonald’s goes through intensive studies before placing each franchise and this case would be no different. “The studies are so thorough that a new McDonald’s in the area is a signal to the rest of the business community that this is a viable area to do business in,” explained the Mayor. “This happens all over the country and I would see the move as a strong vote of confidence for the area, should McDonald’s choose to relocate on Detroit.”

So what impact would a McDonald’s have on the surrounding residential neighborhood- what about the business community in the area? What would happen to the existing building and what would the new development look like? Although these conversations are currently just speculation, a thorough examination of all sides of the issue by the residents of the community is a crucial step in the right direction for any major development project.

All of these questions and more are being weighed in on online in the Observation Deck: QR Code

Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 11:52 AM, 05.03.2011