Scenes from Lowell: What’s Going Where Edition

There’s a lot of construction happening on and around Main Street right now. If you’re having trouble keeping all the new businesses straight, here’s a look at major projects that are planned or underway.

A hat tip goes to the reader who emailed us with this story idea.

We’ll start with the outlot in front of Meijer on Fulton Street. This property is being developed by Lowell Retail Management LLC, a subsidiary of Alrig USA. The company appeared before the Lowell Charter Township Planning Commission in January and received approval to  build a multi-tenant building.

Starbucks and WellNow Urgent Care have signed on as tenants in the building, according to a representative of Alrig USA. The representative tells Lowell’s First Look that the building space should be turned over to tenants by October 1, and they expect the businesses to be open before the end of the year. While the store layout has not been confirmed by Starbucks or the development firm, the township did give approval for the building to include a drive thru.

Heading east into town, we come to the first of several adult use marijuana businesses that are under construction or planned for W. Main Street. Joyology received approval last July to open a retail establishment in a building that was formerly used by the Todd Landman dealership, and work is now underway.

At the same meeting in which the Joyology application was approved, Five Lakes Farms received approval to build a marijuana grow and processing facility. There is no obvious activity at the site yet, which is located between Joyology and the First Baptist Church.

Across the street from the First Baptist Church, new construction is going in. This is the site of Rair which plans to open a recreational marijuana retail establishment. It received approval for its plans back in June 2020.

After sitting vacant for literally decades, a large lot next to Rite Aid will be home to not one, but two new businesses.

Construction is currently underway for a Jimmy John’s restaurant with a drive thru. Its plans were approved by the Lowell Planning Commission in March of this year.

Then, just this week, the city gave approval for a Culver’s restaurant with drive thru to be built next to Jimmy John’s. It will be built along Main Street in the green space that’s in the foreground of this picture.

Directly across the street in the old Good car dealership, Joyology is expected to build a retail dispensary and has expressed an interest in adding a marijuana grow and processing facility in the future. The application for the retail establishment was approved in April of this year. It is unclear if this business is related to the Joyology business being developed at the Todd Landman site.

The former Showboat Automotive building is being turned into a marijuana microbusiness by Premier Botonics. A microbusiness allows for marijuana to be grown, processed and sold at the same site. The business application was approved in November 2020.

There’s a new building on S. West Street, right behind Speedway. When the building was OK’d in October 2020, the owner indicated his plan was to use it for a marijuana business although it hasn’t been approved for that purpose yet.

However, two marijuana business applications are expected to be before the Planning Commission in July, although the names of the applicants haven’t been confirmed yet.

There’s not much to look at here yet, but eventually this space behind the used lot of Betten Baker GMC will be transformed as the dealership moves its new vehicle showroom and service bays to the south side of Main Street. The business received approval for its plans earlier this month.

As we head into the historic downtown, work seems to be steadily progressing for Ripple, a new Mexican restaurant that will be moving into the former Springrove Variety building.

Just a few steps away, a second Mexican restaurant is planned for the former Serenity Club building. Rio Plano Taqueria was originally announced early last year, but the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have waylaid the timeline for opening. However, the business did just receive approval to pursue a Downtown Redevelopment Liquor License so it appears the project is still a go.

Across the river, construction continues on the RiverView Flats condominium project at the site of the former Unity High School Building. Its first residents have already moved in.

Finally, Big Boiler Brewing is putting the finishing touches on an exterior deck and patio space which looks to be about ready to welcome diners.

Two notes on incoming businesses: There is another approved marijuana business that is not shown here. River City Cannabis was approved for a microbusiness in the Lowell City Mall in January of this year. There is also construction taking place on the west side of town at the former site of Pauley’s. We know the business moving in there, but they have asked us not to share their plans until they can notify existing customers. We want to honor that request so stayed tuned — we expect to have details to share later in the summer.

6 Comments

  1. >> Has anyone ever undertaken a study to examine market saturation for marijuana businesses?

    I don’t think the city ever bothers. They believe in ‘markets’, let the markets sort things out. That’s how we ended up with more pizza shops than gas stations a decade or two back. And auto parts stores. But with all of these weed shops going in, we now need TWICE as many pizza shops!!! 😀

  2. THanks! THis is a great summary that helps bring a bit more clarity to all the construction and planning going on.

    Has anyone ever undertaken a study to examine market saturation for marijuana businesses?

    • I would be embarrassed and ashamed to be a Lowell resident with all this marijuana market/growth establishments approved! No place to raise a family anymore.

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