'Tire Kickers' Check Out Sam's Market
There has been lots of interest in the building on 11 Mile Road in Huntington Woods but no takers yet, the co-owner says.
There have been lots of "tire kickers," but the former Sam's Market on 11 Mile Road in Huntington Woods remains vacant nearly a year after its last tenant departed, inspiring nostalgia and dreams of what could be.
Van Karibian, who co-owns the building with his brother Al, said they meet every week with potential tenants.
"We're close, but no deal yet," Van Karibian said Monday.
His brother retired in 2008, and the last tenant departed in 2010, he said. The building has been vacant since September.
"You only can run it so long, and then you have to move on, and that's what we're doing," he said of the site that has been in their family since 1950.
Through the years, Sam's Market became a landmark in Huntington Woods, serving as the go-to spot to pick up a last-minute bottle of wine for family dinners or a snack and cold drink for a day at the park.
But it was more than a business — the family also participated in community events such as the annual Fourth of July celebration, Karibian said.
"Sam’s Market was a part of the history of Huntington Woods," Huntington Woods Zoning Administrator Hank Berry wrote in an email to Berkley Patch. "Any time there is change, there is natural concern by the surrounding neighborhood. It is our goal that a new business will have a similar long lasting positive impact on our community."
Sam's Market is so ingrained in the community's consciousness that it even came up in multiple cheeky responses during the Mr. Huntington Woods pageant leading up to this year's Fourth of July celebration.
- When contestants were asked, "If you were showing a newcomer around HW, what places would you be sure to feature?" Huntington Woods Men's Club Chairman Jay Qualman responded: "If this question would have been posed last year, I would have said Sam's Market, being that is where most (of) my visitors wound up going for whatever 'reason' ... but since Sam's has met its demise, I would say the HW Rec Center."
- When asked, "What opportunities do you look forward to during your reign if you are chosen as Mr. HW?" Runner-up Ted Olds responded, "If elected, I hope to use my office's budget to reopen Sam's Market as a social club."
That might have been an option if Olds had won.
"It would be ideal as a small destination business, professional use like offices for attorneys, doctors, dentists, architects, engineers, accountants, manufacturer representatives, secretarial services, insurance or real estate," Berry wrote. "But that doesn’t rule out other uses."
Berry added that there have been a lot of “tire kickers” looking at the building, which has 4,800 square feet, is equipped with coolers and is available for sale or lease.
"We would love to see it returned to a viable, quality use as soon as possible," Berry wrote.
Interested parties may call 586-997-2813 for more information.