New businesses are flocking to Ferndale, and existing ones are expanding. This boomlet is in no small part because of the city’s treatment of businesses as customers, according to Ferndale Mayor David Coulter.
“Three years after Michelle Lewis opened her first Painting with a Twist franchise in downtown Ferndale, business was so good that she needed to double the studio’s size to 5,000 square feet on West Nine Mile Road.
Lewis’ story isn’t an aberration downtown, where 14 businesses have expanded into larger space during the last two years or are opening this year, according to Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of theFerndale Downtown Development Authority.
In 2000, vacancy in downtown Ferndale was well over 30 percent, she said. Today, the core downtown is just 2 percent vacant, and the outskirts of the downtown are just 4 percent vacant.”