Downtown Ferndale makes space for 11 new businesses

A small, empty storefront? Not in downtown
Ferndale. Not for long, anyway.

The inner-ring suburb has had a
banner summer, business-wise, with four new businesses opening, another
seven coming, and several more in lease negotiations.

“Especially
given the economy, it’s showing that all the years of working to
establish a stronger business base for the economy, getting all the
wheels in motion, is helping us continue to grow despite a down
economy,” says Cristina Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the Ferndale Downtown Development
Authority
. “We’re in a position
where we’re still viable, there’s still growth happening.”

The
new businesses include Rouge,
a quirky nail and makeup salon; Visions of Canada, offering
what it bills as the world’s thinnest glasses; business and information
technology consultants Ardent Cause; and
Hybrid
Moments
, a used vinyl and clothing store.

A bakehouse and
microcreamery, a painting shop, an espresso bar, and a vodka distillery
are yet to come. The range of products and services “follows our mantra
of being entrepreneurs and creative business owners,” Sheppard-Decius
says.

She said a good two-thirds of the people who patronize
Ferndale businesses are from outside of the area, mostly those who live
up and down the Woodward or I-696 corridors. “It’s pulling in a very
diverse economy of people,” she says. “They’re finding something
unique.”

Also, it’s the smaller retail spaces that are going
fast, sometimes being leased again within a couple of weeks. That’s also
a reflection of how small firms are flourishing: “There are a lot of
creative minds out there,” she says.

Source: Cristina
Sheppard-Decius, executive director of the Ferndale Downtown Development
Authority

Writer: Kristin Lukowski