Photo: Lights, colour and pop up shops for entrepreneurs encompass Michael Hoppe’s vision for the Goyeau Street Parking Garage. Graphic courtesy of Michael Hoppe.
October 2018 Heard on the Street About the Goyeau Parking Garage
Major retailers Home Sense and Marshalls have been lined up to fill a large space at Tecumseh Mall, formerly occupied by Sobeys. Both are expected to open in the spring of 2019, according to the mall General Manager Colleen Conlin which is located at Tecumseh and Lauzon Roads in Windsor. “We’ve finally got all our outside-facing spaces filled,” says Conlin. “It’s a case of trying to find the right retail mix not just on our property, but in the east end in general.” The new tenants will join Giant Tiger and Pet Smart, the final two pieces of the puzzle that have filled the space formerly occupied by Zellers. “We’re just very encouraged by the fact that national retailers still believe that shoppers will continue to visit brick-and-mortar locations,” adds Conlin. Now that the outside spaces have been filled and shopping traffic will likely increase, Conlin believes it will be easier to fill a few remaining inside vacancies. “Our tenants are very happy about the mix we have here right now and we’re confident all will be successful,” she expresses.
Ska:na Family Learning Centres are building a new child-care centre in a former bingo hall at 1699 Northway Avenue on the city’s west side. The non-profit organization offers before, during and after-school care from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring safe play, self-exploration and skills development for children between the ages of three months and 12 years. Ska:na, which means “peace” in the Oneida language, also operates a centre at 1684 Ellrose Avenue in Windsor and two in Sarnia. In addition to housing Bingo Country 4, the building was once home to Border City Paintball. The building encompasses about 13,000 square feet with adjacent parking.Former Windsorite Michael Hoppe has submitted a design proposal to the City of Windsor, which could see the much-criticized Goyeau parking garage turned into a public enclave with pop-up shops and other spaces. The garage, in turn used for retail and parking, has been on the city’s redevelopment agenda for years, but nothing has really happened. But, Hoppe, now Creative Director for San Francisco-based Geopogo, believes the time is right to do something fresh, vibrant and creative. “Windsor is no stranger to young entrepreneurs and many just need an opportunity to showcase their products to an audience and pop-up shops provide just such an opportunity,” explains Hoppe. In San Francisco, for example, pop-up shop spaces can be rented by the hour, day, week or month for a nominal cost and allow consumers to see what young entrepreneurs are creating. Hoppe adds that entrepreneurship is a culture in Southern California and it’s not something you do at home, it’s something you do in public with an audience of consumers. “I’m hoping City Council and the Mayor take ideas such as mine and incorporate them into their vision for a vibrant downtown,” says Hoppe. Detroit’s Z Parking Garage (1234 Library Street), which features colourful local art and public exhibits, has been used by many supporters, including Hoppe, as a fine example of what can be done with otherwise utilitarian parking garages.
Windsor serial restaurant entrepreneur Vito Maggio, Owner of Vito’s Pizzeria at 1731 Wyandotte Street East and O’Maggio’s Kildare House at 1880 Wyandotte Street East in Walkerville, is planning another restaurant in a former CIBC bank building at the corner of Devonshire Road and Assumption Street. It’s expected that the new space, in a building dating back to the 1890s, will feature fine dining, beverages, a long bar, a rooftop patio and spaces for private parties and wine tastings. CIBC moved out of the building 18 months ago. When Biz X reached out to Maggio for details, he declined to give out any more information at this time. But, it’s safe to say it will likely be just as popular as his other two Walkerville ventures, which have helped transform the neighbourhood into a vibrant hospitality district.