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Posted on Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 2:33 p.m.

Village Corner owner: Ann Arbor liquor store isn't closing, but relocation for 601 Forest is closer

By Paula Gardner


Dick Scheer, owner of Village Corner, is negotiating an early end to his lease so that 601 Forest developers can proceed. He says the store will relocate and isn't closing. files

Village Corner owner Dick Scheer wants Ann Arbor to know his store isn't closing, contrary to reports on some social networking sites this week.

However, he said, the campus liquor store — known for its extensive wine collection — is close to resolving a lease buy-out that will allow the developer of 601 Forest to demolish the building on South University and start constructing the student high-rise.

That could mean the store will move in a matter of weeks.

“We’re trying to iron out this thing,” Scheer said this afternoon. “By next week, we’ll have a better picture.”

But he emphasized: “The rumor we’re closing is … false. VC will go on at a different location.”


Village Corner sells beer, wine and liquor, but is known for its extensive wine collection. files

Village Corner has been at the location on the edge of the University of Michigan campus for 40 years as of July. In addition to the retail location, VC generates both phone and online sales.

“We’ll definitely want to keep that continuity,” Scheer said.

Scheer said he’s known he’d be negotiating a move since 601 Forest developer Ron Hughes got city approvals to build on the corner. The project was on hold as the economy and some partnership issues were resolved, but now Hughes has applied for permits to do some site work.

Scheer said 601 Forest appears to be on track for a fall 2012 opening.

In the meantime, he needs to finalize negotiations for the lease buy-out and come up with a location for the new store. It may be temporary, but eventually “we’ll have a bright, new spot with parking,” Sheer said.

Forging ahead with a speedy resolution comes with concerns, Scheer said. The beer and wine license should transfer easily, but the liquor license transfer typically takes months instead of weeks, he said.

Scheer said he’s been looking at potential new locations but hasn’t changed his inventory, despite what seems like an imminent move.

The timing makes that difficult, he said: “I’m going into high season here,” with U-M football games, Halloween and the winter holidays in the coming months.

Once there’s resolution, he said, “we’ll know to scale back the inventory so the move is simplified.

“And have some sales, of course.”

Paula Gardner is Business News Director of Contact her at 734-623-2586 or by email. Sign up for the weekly Business Review newsletter, distributed every Thursday, here.



Thu, Sep 30, 2010 : 9:07 a.m.

Aren't the owners of White Market looking to retire or something? Although that space is probably too small. What about the American Apparel location? That company looks to be going bankrupt. MAybe they can rebuild something (eventually) in the old Pinball Pete's location. Just some ideas...

Marshall Applewhite

Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 8:06 p.m.

The VC block of S. University has been somewhat of an eyesore for many years now. I've been a big fan of the store, but change is a good thing in this particular situation. Hopefully it will be located nearby.


Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 6:28 p.m.

@yeahyouknow please cite your source(s) where you have found "University Towers, Zaragon Place, and the 411 Lofts" are half empty. I personally know this to not be the case at all with at least 2 of these locations, in fact they are mostly full above 90%. We need MORE high quality & high density housing within the city. Then perhaps some of the rented homes may be fixed up and able return to their former lives (being a home).


Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 6:22 p.m.

@yeahyouknow It will all be good in the end. VC may or may not survive, but each generation sees the landmarks of their youth disappear. I remember the Campus Theater, Campus Pinball, Miller's Ice Cream, Orange Julius, Drake's, Kresge's, Sears on Main St., Goodyear department store... I could go on and on, change is okay, but keep your memories as long as you can. We had to have film developed, but you can click away ad nauseum. Go wild!

Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 4:50 p.m.

Hope they don't move too far!

arrow saarinen

Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 3:04 p.m.

Glad to hear the project is moving ahead, even though I still think parking is an issue. Hope the hands on front guy Dan Ketlar got his pay up to date, he worked very hard to get this project approved.


Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 2:29 p.m.

As silly as it sounds, VC is an Ann Arbor institution. It's sad to see it go from such a convenient part of town to be replaced by another student high rise that will remain half empty like University Towers, Zaragon Place, and the 411 Lofts. A privately owned student residence hall? Who wants to live with an R.A. outside of dormitories? It's sad to see VC leave this location.


Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 2:17 p.m.

I'm very sad to hear this - not because of VC, but because of the part of the building barely visible among the trees to the left. The attached old deli is one of the most awesome pieces of "public art" in this town, and I'll be sad when it's gone. Made no sense for it to sit empty all this time, and demolishing it is a waste. Didn't someone just do the exact same thing with the knobbly yellow brick building that used to stand on E. University? That one was fairly ugly, and ill-kept by its residents, but at least it was interesting to look at. Now there's a huge, boring, monolithic brown smooth thing. In the last couple of years, Ann Arbor has gained a) North Quad (a new University dorm), b) the aforementioned brickmonster now looming over East U., and c) another blocktastic student high-rise on Washington & Division. If we really need more of the same, please, please, at least make it weird.

Bob Needham

Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 2:13 p.m.

(Two comments removed due to personal attacks)


Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 2:02 p.m.

Please don't leave the campus area.


Wed, Sep 29, 2010 : 1:57 p.m.

If only they could move, yet completely recreate the layout of the old site, that would be awesome. Been walking into this store since I was 12 years old, can't imagine it any different.