Destination shopping on Division
by Sally Mitani
Published in November, 2008
Renaissance has brightened the uninspiring southeast corner of Division and Washington, formerly parking space for TCF Bank. Owner Roger Pothus regrets the loss of foot traffic he had in his former location on Main, but he says he's now free to concentrate on his main clientele, destination shoppers. They and any new drive-by customers can use a small parking lot off Washington (despite the scary signs about towing, anyone with business in McKinley Towne Centre can park there).
The Renaissance women's department is getting a makeover in the move. "We have a dedicated women's dressing room," Pothus says, showing off a small, chic space furnished with a marble-topped table. "I've got six pairs of shoes with two-and-a-half-to-three-inch heels, for trying on dress-up stuff that I'll be putting in there." And further changes are planned. Pothus says the store will be "carrying lines that are not quite as expensive as what people are used to here. For example, we'll be carrying [designer] Elie Tahari. We're trying to fill the slot between a Von Maur and the independent women's boutiques that are out there."
Pothus is filling his new space with the unexpected. Among the clever touches are an atrium at the back entrance that will be used as a walk-through display window, and a trompe l'oeil exterior mural painted by Sterling Heights artist Bill Bradley-a Tuscan scene with faux rust stains seeping down a brick wall.
Renaissance, 201 South Division (McKinley Towne Centre), 769-8511. Mon.-Wed. & Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Thurs. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. renaissanceannarbor.com.
[Originally published in November, 2008.]
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