Mall vendors expand for holiday shopping

Midland also welcomes new urgent care, COVID testing site


1:18 pm EST, Thursday, November 19, 2020

As the construction cones on Eastman Avenue were removed, Midland Mall Manager Lori Snyder exerted a sigh of relief.

She said during the few months of construction on the busy roadway in front of the mall, mall traffic was down. She said the construction caused added hardship for the mall vendors, who already suffered months of shutdowns earlier this year due to the pandemic.

However, now, they are all excited to see the roadway fully opened again.

“With no traffic and having no business, it was really sad and we cannot wait – we are so excited to have them out of our way,” she said.

And, there are some new businesses welcomed inside the mall. Orion Sports just opened next to Cultivate Coffee & Tea and Hallmark, offering axe throwing and combat archery.

In addition, Fantastic Finds, a high-end second hand shop in the former Yonker space is going strong and will be expanding into other storefronts. Owned by Lisa Hignite, the shop currently hosts 28 vendors who sell anything from clothes and home decor to furniture and kitchenware, including a large, temporary, Christmas section.

“It’s stuff you won’t find at the box stores,” Hignite said. “You’re not going to find hardly anything that we have at our store at any of the chains.”

Hignite said they will open another storefront in the former Kay Jewelers as a stocking stuffer and Christmas gift shop. In addition, they will host a vendor in the former Fred Meyers Jewelers space with just crystals, gems and stones.

Those shops will open mid-November. Currently, Fantastic Finds is closed on Monday and Tuesdays. However, Hignite said between Black Friday, Nov. 27, and Christmas she will be open seven days a week. During that time, there will also be an indoor flea market throughout the mall.

Snyder said also coming soon to the Midland Mall is a new clothing store and an appliance maintenance store.

While new stores open in the mall, Snyder said she was unsure whether Santa Claus will make his annual appearance for photo ops this year. Snyder said she might just set up a photo background, omitting Santa, due to safety reasons amid the pandemic. However, she said she is currently undecided on the plan and will release further details when possible.

New urgent care, business locations

Despite the pandemic, Midland has seen some business activity with the opening of new stores, while others move locations.

Frick’s Sports Bar in Midland is currently for sale, listed for $975,000 by Midland Realtors. Located at 4408 N. Saginaw Road next to Pizza Dude and Code Breakers, the bar has been a family-owned staple since 1948. According to the listing, the building was built in 1926 and is 6070 square-feet.

Craft Hemp Company, which recently celebrated its one-year anniversary, is now located downtown Midland. The shop, which sells CBD and hemp products, is now located at 134 W. Main St. next to Ways to Wellness.

The space was formerly Dive & Glide, which moved to 600 Cambridge St. earlier this year.

Right next to Dive & Glide, in Suite 1, is a new facility called Midland Express Urgent and Family Care. The walk-in urgent care opened in late October and offers COVID testing. Owner John Roberts, who is a physician assistant and Midland native, said he didn’t plan to originally offer COVID testing, but felt it was his duty to do so after seeing the increased need.

He said he sees about 50-70 patients a day for COVID-19 tests.

“Everybody really needs to be safe because the threat is real; it really is,” Roberts said. “And to people who don’t believe it – come work with me for a day and you’ll see. It’s scary.”

The urgent care is not open on weekends but has open hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesdays. Currently, it is just Roberts and another employee who will offer more aesthetic services, such as Botox, when appropriate.

“I look forward to serving the needs of Midland County residents,” he said.

The Modern Explorers Guild, a new hobby shop and gaming space, also opened earlier this month at 4011 Jefferson Ave, where Collector’s Corner was next to LaLonde’s Market.

Creation Coffee just opened a coffee shop at 5023 Eastman Ave., adjacent to the company’s new 5,000 square-foot plus headquarters, and Costco finally had its grand opening in Midland.

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