by DREW HOWARD
Developers are looking to completely revamp the once empty Rochester Hills Winchester District with the construction of several new businesses on the lot. Scott Cope, Building Director with the city, confirmed this week that an ABC Warehouse and a newly-relocated Burger King will be the first to arrive.
Both ABC Warehouse and Burger King are tentatively opening “within a month,” Cope told the Gazette, though this could be subject to change. The new Burger King will replace the original building located just feet away in the same lot, while ABC Warehouse will fill one of three vacant spots to the west of the Winchester District.
The Winchester District has been the home of Sears and Kmart in the past, with each business failing to stay afloat in the mall. In January 2018, the Rochester Hills City Council approved several plans to reshape the future of the lot, including the addition of an Aldi and Art Van.
Cope doesn’t expect the Aldi to open anytime soon as the business has yet to receive a permit, he told the Gazette. And while the Art Van has yet to schedule an opening, Cope is confident it “won’t be too far behind” Burger King and ABC Warehouse.
Early plans for the Winchester District included the construction of an Art & Jakes, a sports bar and grill with locations in Shelby Township, Sterling Heights and Washington Township. Plans to develop the sports bar are no longer being pursued, according to Cope.
The Winchester District redevelopment has been long anticipated by both residents and city leadership. In January 2018, Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett described the lot as a “giant sea of asphalt.”
“Perhaps one of the most asked questions I’ve had in the past year is what’s coming to Kmart,” Barnett told councilmembers in 2018. “This will be much more attractive, creating jobs and investment in the area and certainly breathing some life into the corner.”
Developers have yet to fill one last vacancy located next to Art Van and ABC Warehouse, Cope said. Cope was unable to speculate as to what new business may arrive.
You can find more details about the Winchester District as well as other development projects in Rochester Hills at atlas.rochesterhills.org/developmentprojects/.