BURTON, MI — A new business moving into a vacant commercial building in Burton could generate some growth for surrounding facilities.
Flint Township-based NorthGate was approved for a variance by the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals in November to use the former Lowe’s building, located at 4274 E. Court St., for light industrial use in a planned shopping center.
If the development takes place, the variance allows Northgate to develop the building for their purposes.
The warehousing, packaging and distribution company also recently purchased the former Lowe’s building in Flint Township, located at 2100 T A Mansour Boulevard.
Both former home improvement stores have sat vacant for nearly two years as part of a move by the company that shuttered more than 50 underperforming stores in the United States and Canada.
Related: Burton, Flint Township Lowe’s stores closing Sunday
There are many opportunities for new businesses to come and help Burton expand and attract new customers, according to city leaders and local businesses.
Burton Mayor Duane Haskins said the potential of the business bringing new life to the Lowe’s building would be great.
“To fill a vacated building and have a business in there with employment opportunities is obviously great, and of course if you have 80 employees or 100 employees that travel to and from work, and the restaurant district area with the mall and everything else that we have of course the more that we can build things up the better.”
Haskins recalled preliminary figures from NorthGate, which cited potentially hiring 80-100 people for the new site.
“The city of Burton, ever since I’ve been here, the whole thing has been growth, revitalization, attracting new businesses,” Haskins said.
Multiple requests by MLive-The Flint Journal for comment from NorthGate were not returned.
The business, headquartered at G-3367 Corunna Road, would become a neighbor to businesses such as the Courtland Center mall, Starlite Burger and Coney Shop and Bigfoot Wellness.
Brandi Gostlin, a budtender at Bigfoot Wellness, a cannabis dispensary on East Court Street, said the new business would be beneficial to the business.
“It seems like this area is a little slow sometimes, and I think if you increase business in this area, it’s definitely going to help traffic flow over in our area as well,” Gostlin said.
In the last seven years, a VG’s grocery store in the area closed and Courtland Center Mall has been sold twice in attempts to revitalize the longstanding facility which opened in 1969.
Related: Spartan Stores’ Burton VG’s will close, says notice sent to state
Gostlin said the five-year-old dispensary has been impacted by COVID-19, and at times business has been slow. The business has only offered curbside pick-up throughout the entire pandemic, she said.
“There’s like tons of vacant buildings and the mall over there is just really sad,” Gostlin said. “It’s kind of hard to see over there, so it would be nice to get it freshened up with a new business over there.”
Read more on MLive:
Flint Township approves NorthGate to expand at former Lowe’s, bringing jobs
Shop owner optimistic about Courtland Center’s future after mall sold for $6 million
Flint company Security Packaging changes name to NorthGate