Stores in the spotlight

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BJ’s Wholesale Club joined Menards in Trader’s Pointe development

BJ’s Wholesale Club became the second big-box retailer to open in the Trader’s Pointe development at Eureka Road and I-75, joining the anchor store, Menards. BJ’s opened last month to long lines of happy customers lined up around its building and vehicles waiting to turn into its parking lot, which was full. Before the store even opened, BJ’s sold 18,000 memberships.

“It’s a tremendous facility, just what shoppers in this region are seeking,” said Mayor Rick Sollars. “It adds jobs to Taylor, giving customers what they seek, adding to our tax base and quality of life.”

BJ’s built its nearly 100,000-square-foot Taylor location on a large parcel directly north of the Menards’ site, which is located in the southern portion of the development. BJ’s backs directly to Racho Road along the west side of Trader’s Pointe. Plans call for another large big-box retailer to eventually build in Trader’s Pointe. Smaller retailers and restaurant are planned closer to Eureka Road.

Earlier this fall, BJ’s opened its first Michigan location in Madison Heights. Taylor is its second site in the state, with a third planned in the Chesterfield Town Center sometime in 2020. BJ’s is a membership-based wholesaler along the lines of Costco and Sam’s Club. Based in Westborough, Mass., it has over 200 stores with the large majority on the East Coast.

In a shopping comparison of membership-based wholesalers, “frugal shopping expert” Laurn Greutman wrote for CNBC that she would highly recommend BJ’s for products like baby supplies, coffee, dairy products, fresh meat, laundry detergent, propane, paper products, spices and baking supplies. BJ’s also offers a large fueling station in its out lot, and online shoppers stated that drivers could save up to 40 cents per gallon there.

With $12.7 billion in annual sales, BJ's is part of a $225.5 billion warehouse club industry, according to the 2019 U.S. Warehouse Club Industry Guide by Research and Markets.

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Hilton Home2Suites opens on Pardee Road, across from Target

Also opening last month was Hilton Home2Suites (14300 Pardee Road). The four-story, 96-room Hilton is a popular extended stay brand throughout the U.S. and Canada. This is its first location in Michigan (the closest other site is in the Maumee-Toledo area).

Home2Suites promotes an assortment of stylish suites, in-suite kitchens and free breakfasts in a pet friendly environment. Also offered as extended stay perks (involving seven-plus nights; business center; free Wi-Fi; patios and grills; pool and outdoor fire pit; fitness and laundry areas; and Home2MKT onsite grocery-type stores. The Home2Suite brand is also part of the “Hilton Honors” program.

The Memphis, Tennessee-based hotel brand offers an affordable price point within the extended-stay segment, targeting both business and leisure travelers. Launched in January 2009, Home2 Suites by Hilton was the first new brand introduced by Hilton Worldwide in two decades. By December 2018, it had 290 properties with over 30,000 rooms.

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Marriott Hotels planned on old Ramada site near Eureka and I-75

Preparations continue for two new Marriott Hotels – a Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites – on the vacant location of the former Ramada Inn on Eureka Road, just east of I-75. The plans call for two, four-story hotels. The Fairfield Inn will have 100 rooms; the TownePlace Suites will have 116.

The Fairfield Inn & TownePlace Suites are two of a dozen hotel versions that Marriott offers. The Fairfield Inn series is included in its “select service” category. Courtyard by Marriott and SpringHill Suites by Marriott are two other brands that fall into that “select service” class.

The TownePlace Suites line is part of an “extended stay” series, built for the traveler. These properties feature modern spacious suites with full kitchens, free Wi-Fi and breakfast. Others that fall into that same class are Residence Inn and Marriott Executive Apartments.

Other classes offered by Marriott include luxury (i.e. Ritz-Carlton); lifestyle collection (Renaissance Hotels); signature (Marriott Hotels & Resorts); and destination entertainment (Gaylord Hotels).

The Ramada Inn complex was torn down in 2015 when a new developer acquired the site. Plans for a hotel, or more than one hotel, had surfaced from time to time. The developer owned both the old Ramada site and the former Taylor Tool location on the northern side of Eureka Road.

A new strip mall was eventually built on the abandoned Taylor Tool location and is anchored by La-Z-Boy. Tropical Smoothies and Detroit Wing Co. are also in that center, which is directly across from Trader’s Pointe.

For a lengthy period of time, Taylor featured only a single hotel location, Comfort Inn & Suites on Telegraph Road north of I-94. But soon it will have three – Fairfield Inn, TownePlace Suites and Hilton Home2Suites, on Pardee Road across from Southland Center and Target.