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New owners of Jackson's more than 120-year-old Bloomfield Building looking to bring the spark back

Bloomfield Building
Posted at 4:06 PM, Sep 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-06 17:23:23-04

JACKSON, Mich. — Jackson’s Bloomfield Building has been here since 1898. After name changes and different uses, it has laid dormant for a while, but that could change.

Those involved with the building say it has had a rich history.

“The history, the architecture. You can kind of feel it when you’re in here. It’s been something cool to be part of its life now because it’s had so many lives over the last 100 years in such a big part of Jackson’s history,” Brokerage House co-owner Jenifer Scanlon said.

It was originally a live theater, then saw life as a public library as well as a small college. It was then used privately until this past April before it was taken over by new owners Simcha and Zevi Bennet.

Bloomfield Building
Bloomfield Building lobby

“When we bought the building, I met a 70-year-old man who told me he was so excited,” Simcha said. “When it was a theater when he was a kid, he said that he bought a ticket here. There was a guy selling popcorn right where we’re standing and from that door behind us, they were going inside the theater. He was very excited and also emotional that we are keeping the building and not knocking it down and making something more modern looking.”

The East Coast-based father and son duo saw an opportunity in Jackson they couldn’t pass up and purchased the building in April.

“We were investing in Michigan already for a couple of years, and while we’re looking for more place to invest to grow our portfolio, we came across this town, which is a beautiful place, lovely people, and we met a very good and amazing real estate broker that she came across this building, and as you can say, the rest is history,” Bennet said.

Plans call for the three-story building at the corner of Mechanic and Washington streets to have three apartments on the top floor in at least 1,500 square feet of space with panoramic views.

Bloomfield Building
Apartment on top floor of Bloomfield Building. Owners plan to redevelop for affordable housing.

On the second floor, they hope to add five apartments that will each just be under 1,000 square feet of space with tall ceilings and open spaces.

On the main floor, there’s 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

“If you’re looking for 1,000-square-foot office space for your small business we’ve got you covered,” Scanlon said. “If you’re a larger company and you want the entire 5,000 square feet, we can make that happen as well. For upstairs, we’re probably 12 to 18 months away.”

They have already gotten requests for things that people want to see downtown.

“The number one request is a market,” Scanlon said. “Some type of fresh market, grocery store, deli. Everybody is also really hoping for a wine bar in downtown Jackson. This would be a great spot with the corner. A med spa has also been a hot ticket here in town as well as a walk-in health clinic.”

The best features of the building?

“Location, location, location, right?” Scanlon said. “We have a couple of things that nobody else has. Probably the premier corner in downtown Jackson with significant flow both on Mechanic and Washington. We also have our secret weapon, which is designated parking that is included. We not only have the spots directly behind the building but we also own the lot directly across the street.”

Up next will be to focus on the foundation, the roof and doing an exterior touch-up. They hope to have tenants in the office spaces within a few months, and then, people living there sometime next year.

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