Busy Bee Hardware owner tears down building next door to create parking lot
The owner of Busy Bee Hardware near Eastern Market has bulldozed the building on Russell Street next to the store to make room for a new parking lot.
"The city of Detroit has made parking so hard for our customers," said Busy Bee owner Sandra Novak. "Most of the meters don't work, we've been asking to have them fixed for years. But nothing has happened, so we're helping ourselves."
Novak said that when customers would park at meters that didn't work, they'd quickly find themselves with $30 tickets. She said this has caused the business to lose several customers.
Novak said that once the lot is fully operational, Busy Bee will provide free parking to customers and charge others who want to use it. The store hopes to complete initial construction of the lot by Saturday in time for the 46th annual Flower Day on Sunday at Eastern Market. According to the market's website, more than 200,000 attend Flower Day every year, making it the market's largest event.
While Novak didn't disclose the cost of tearing the building down and installing a parking lot, she said it was costly but made possible by saving money for five years.
Novak said she and her husband purchased the now-demolished warehouse in the mid-'80s with plans to tear it down to build an automotive lock-and-key service center. Instead, they used the warehouse as extra storage until two weeks ago.
The family-run hardware store, which features items such as pickle crocks and canning jars, has been in business since 1918.