DETROIT (WJBK) - After Ford announced it was expanding to Corktown, other businesses are doing the same. However, one business that wants to turn a historic firehouse into a restaurant is being met with resistance.
Many of the neighbors living near Detroit's historic Corktown neighborhood have been there for decades. The idea of new owners moving in and changing the landscape isn't going over very well.
"This isn't just any neighborhood this has been designated as trying to maintain piece of what it was years ago," Darcy Brandel said.
Part of the history is at 1201 Bagley, on the corner near 6th Street, where an old firehouse sits. It's most recently been used as office space and, according to Detroit's Board of Zoning appeals, this could be transformed into a restaurant.
The board is letting neighbors know of the proposed plan that would turn the roughly 7800 square foot building from a non-conforming office permit to a non-conforming restaurant, with a liquor license. Alos included in the remodel would be four residential units on the upper levels.
"It'll help (the neighborhood)," Pattie Hubble said. "You gotta switch it up sometimes, gotta take a chance."
"Everyone here that I know of is interested in business development in Corktown. I don't think anyone here is saying we don't want to have any businesses come," Brandel said.
Neighbors worry the restaurant would bring a lot of traffic to the cozy neighborhood. They also worry about space for garbage and deliveries, along with exhaust coming from the restaurant. Beyond all of that, the biggest concern is noise.
"Particularly the immediate neighbors. The houses and lofts around the building are saying it's going to impact quality of life," Brandel said. "It feels over here -- it's a nice, quiet little pocket. I think a restaurant, in particular, would change that."
Records show the old building is owned by Byzantine Holdings, which is represented by Intersection Consulting Group. FOX 2 reached out to Intersection Consulting multiple times Tuesday, with no response.
Tuesday morning, neighbors attended a meeting and feel they can reach an agreement that everyone will be happy with.