Mixed-use development approved for old Bally Fitness site in Warren – Macomb Daily
The building that formerly housed Ballys Total Fitness in Warren is slated to become a mixed-use development featuring apartments, retail, a restaurant and a landscaped common area. (Photo by Susan Smiley)
The former Bally Total Fitness building on Van Dyke Avenue is set to become a mixed-use development after the Warren City Council approved a site plan from Warren 12 Prop 3 LLC.
The company is owned by Nick Lavdas and Ivanovic Construction Inc. The building is located just south of North Civic Center Drive and is located between National Coney Island and Prestige Cadillac.
The city’s Planning Commission recommended approval of the plan, which the City Council unanimously supported. City Council President Patrick Green recused himself from the vote.
“Lavdas takes great pride in bringing the property back to pristine condition,” Mr. Dan Evanovich said during the council’s Sept. 12 meeting. “This property has been blighted for some time, and this project will make it aesthetically appealing so that it complements the civic center.”
Lavdas owns several businesses in Warren, including Lavdas Jewelers and Lavdas Limousines, and is a member of the city’s Downtown Development Authority. ,
The Van Dyke Avenue project is slated to include 10 one- and two-bedroom apartments, retail space and a restaurant with a drive-thru or curbside pickup area and outdoor patio seating. A common outdoor area separate from the restaurant’s outdoor seating area is also planned.
“We think the building will be very elegant and attractive and will serve the community very well,” Ivanovich said. “We are excited to bring this building back to life.”
The current building is 18,903 square feet and is located on a 1.46 lot with frontage on Van Dyke Street.
Resident Lori Harris expressed concern about having a car on the property and questioned how this type of restaurant would fit into plans for luxury apartments and high-end retail space.
Lavdas had to obtain a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to include drive-thru service in the site plan. He previously stated that he is not looking for a fast food restaurant to fill the space, but rather for a restaurant or café that does not open late in the evening. Ivanovich said in post-coronavirus times, many restaurants have retained the drive-thru and curbside delivery options they put in place during the pandemic, and they are now a vital part of many restaurants.
“Whether we like it or not, drive-thru is here to stay with all types of restaurants,” Ivanovich said.
No specific start date for the new project has been announced.