Goodwill sees opposition to thrift store plan from yet another community
Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit is facing opposition to its first choice of location for an upscale thrift store from yet another local community.
The West Bloomfield Zoning Board of Approval Tuesday night denied Goodwill's request to put a store on Northwestern Highway at Orchard Lake Road in space that Witbeck Home Appliance Mart is vacating.
The decision came after the board tabled a vote on the project at its April 17 meeting to give its members more time to gather information on Goodwill's upscale thrift store model and the impact it would have on the community.
The zoning board did not agree with Goodwill that the proposed location was ideal, said Jeff Ukrainec, director of donated goods for Goodwill.
Goodwill has the option to propose a store at another location in West Bloomfield but doesn't have immediate plans to do so, he said.
"We've already heard from a number of other communities that are interested in creating jobs and supporting Goodwill's nonprofit mission of helping local people become trained, trusted and ready to work," Ukrainec said, adding that Goodwill is exploring sites in a number of local communities.
Like Dearborn, West Bloomfield considers secondhand stores a "restricted use." Because the location of the West Bloomfield site is within 500 feet of an area zoned as residential, Goodwill was required to get approval from the West Bloomfield zoning board.
After months of meetings to sway city officials and opposition from some local businesses and residents, Goodwill got approval from Dearborn officials to locate its second upscale thrift store on Newman Street near Michigan Avenue and Military in mid-April.