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Heard on the Street – The Former Croatian Centre

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Heard on the Street – The Former Croatian Centre

A health and wellness centre and a multi-residential development is planned for the former Croatian Centre property at 5259 Tecumseh Road East in Windsor. Owner Bill Kobrosli, who also operates the Factory House directly across the street from the centre, plans to concentrate on his restaurant business and has put the centre up for sale for $1.2 million. Michael Di Meo, a Sales Representative with Royal LePage Binder Real Estate, informs Biz X that plans include a 13,500 square foot health and wellness centre in the former banquet hall building and 17 townhomes in a development on the existing parking lot behind the centre. “We’ve had some interest from prospective buyers as well as tenants and we are hopeful they will continue what we have started,” says Di Meo. “It’s an exciting project.” Di Meo comments that he expects Kobrosli to either sell the property, if a buyer can be found with a similar vision, or he will remain as a partner in the project. ADA Architects are handling the building’s transformation from a banquet hall to a health and wellness centre.

After 30 years of serving customers across the region, the owners of Windsor Beauty Supply are expanding their retail footprint by opening a new store at the corner of Howard Avenue and Cabana Road. It will replace a smaller store at Dougall Avenue and Cabana Road. Nancy George, whose parents Andy and Fay Zebooney founded the business, says it took almost three years to find the perfect combination of high visibility and ample parking for customers. “Our old location was highly congested plus we simply needed more space for our expanded product lines,” says George, who works alongside her sister Sylvia Zebooney. The new store covers 2,300 square feet compared to 1,700 square feet at the store that is closing. The company’s head office, warehouse and retail store at 6640 Tecumseh Road East, will continue operating as the flagship location of the business. The company also operates two stores in London and one each in Chatham, Leamington and Walled Lake, Michigan.

Nicole Demers, a veteran of Windsor’s hospitality industry, and musician Mark DeBlock have teamed up to establish Grill Twenty in the former United Grill building at 20 University Avenue East in downtown Windsor. DeBlock informs us they took over the building in early April and opened in early June, after spending two months on renovations. “We updated the look and feel of the place and it has a more modern, industrial look to it now,” says DeBlock. Demers has experience working and managing such businesses as Plunkett’s, Kilt and Fiddle and RockStar Music Hall, while DeBlock, a singer/guitarist, has played at many local bars and restaurants as well as Caesars Windsor. He’s currently in a Van Halen tribute band. DeBlock says Grill Twenty will be open for breakfast and lunch from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, serving staples such as burgers, fish and chips, shepherd’s pie and a variety of salads and breakfast items. “We believe our price points will enable us to take advantage of the growing student presence downtown,” says DeBlock. Local artists will also get a chance to display their work on a wall in the restaurant. There are plans for a takeout deli counter and a liquor licence in the future.

The value of building permits issued by the City of Windsor through the first seven months of this year, have fallen dramatically behind the pace set one year ago. So far this year, $170,403,853 in permits have been issued compared to $203,806,129 a year ago. Residential permits have fallen from $101.3 million to $79.9 million and government and institutional have dropped from $68.5 million to $41.1 million. Industrial permits have increased from $8.7 million to $14.2 million and commercial permits have increased from $25.2 million to $35.1 million. Major projects to come online in July include building classrooms for St. Clair College at 1 Riverside Drive West for $2.5 million; construction of an eight unit dwelling at 550 Sandison Road for $1.631 million; renovations to an existing industrial building at 3505 Rhodes Drive for $1.1 million; construction of a new Antonino’s pizza restaurant with a second-floor residential unit for $1 million at 4350 Howard Avenue; and renovations to an Indigo/Chapters store at Devonshire Mall for $1 million.

A new reception centre in Windsor for Families First (funeral home at 3260 Dougall Avenue) is expected to open on the site of the former Veteran Plumbing building at 3310 Dougall Avenue by winter of next year, according to Families First Owner Brian Parent. The centre will allow families and friends to celebrate the loss of a loved one with a reception at which food as well as alcohol can be served. It will also allow families a measure of privacy, which isn’t always possible at open venues such as bars, restaurants and banquet halls. The centre will also be available for other events on a rental basis. Phase two of the plan will include a commercial development on property immediately south of the reception centre along Dougall Avenue.

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