A proposed entertainment venue and restaurant at a major gateway to Wayne County has some space issues causing Livonia leaders concern.
The proposal, which includes space for a restaurant and stage for performances such as music and comedy acts, would have seen the middle of the building at 27494 Grand River transform and see new life in a place that’s been largely vacant for years. It would also have an outdoor dining patio.
But the Livonia Planning Commission had second thoughts on the proposal, including issues with how much parking was available for the proposed capacity.
The plan is deficient of several dozen parking spaces per the city’s ordinance, said Mark Taormina, the city’s planning and economic development director.
Southfield resident Johnny Adams brought the concept to the city’s planning commission during its regular meeting April 12 at Livonia City Hall. He said he’s spoken to several businesses in the area to try and reach an agreement to find additional parking to support the venue at the corner of Inkster and Eight Mile roads where Livonia, Redford Township, Farmington Hills and Southfield meet.
“That’s why I was trying to solicit to get extra parking,” he said. “I did my due diligence.”
But the planning commission recommended denial of the project, saying the issues of parking and other concerns were too great to overcome on the landlocked site.
“I understand your dream and I understand you have experience, but this is a very bad location and a very bad venue,” Planning Commissioner Carol Smiley said. “You don’t have anywhere to go.”
Both the waiver use and proposal to grant a liquor license at the site was unanimously turned down by the commission.
Adams said he looked exclusively at the site for opening such a venue, believing it was a perfect location.
But with those issues, the planning commissioners said it wouldn’t fit. Planning Commission Chair Ian Wilshaw said talks of expanding such a venue to several hundred spaces would even further not conform to parking requirements.
“If you’re looking to have 300 or 400 seats, which we didn’t even evaluate that for parking requirements, you’re not even meeting the parking requirements for the 130 some seats,” he said.
While the planning commission unanimously recommended denial, it doesn’t necessarily mean the project won’t happen: Adams can appeal the denial to the city council, which could consider Adams’ proposal and potentially approve the waiver use and liquor license.
Contact reporter David Veselenak at email@example.com or 734-678-6728. Follow him on Twitter @davidveselenak.