After thirty years in the small blue building at Hoover and Greene, Jordan Lovell Picture Framing is closing for good. The announcement comes on the heels of Southfield-based development company REDICO’s application to re-zone, level, and redevelop the entire south-side block bordered by Hoover, Green, Davis, and Brown.
The proposal has yet to be approved, but owner Marsana Lovell told us that even before REDICO got involved, her landlord had already been planning a redevelopment on her side of the block. She decided to leave as soon as she heard the news.
“My husband passed away five years ago, and ever since then I’ve been toying with the idea of retiring,” she explains. “I just didn’t have a game plan. This was kind of like ‘here’s your sign.’ I’m sixty-six years old. It was just time. That was the sign to bow out gracefully.”
REDICO is proposing to build a four-story apartment complex covering the entire block, with just a smidgen of retail space on the ground floor. “It’s going to change, drastically, the look of that neighborhood,” says Lovell. “That’s what bothers me more than anything else, because I grew up there.” She lived just one block away from the store until she was twelve.
A frame shop in some form has been there since 1968, when it was Nourse Frame & Gallery. After a “succession of owners,” Lovell ended up working there part-time in 1986. She had a background in art and in framing her own works, and the then-manager offered her a job that worked well with her schedule as a mother. Over the years, Lovell became manager herself, followed by co-owner and finally sole owner.
When asked if the “Jordan,” in the name was her one-time partner, she laughs and explains that “Jordan Lovell” was actually her dog. “I used to bring him to work with me every day.” When she bought out her partner Ann Courtney in 2000, she needed a new name.
“My name is so strange I knew people would just butcher it, so my husband said ‘why don’t you just name it after the dog?’ I thought ‘yeah!’ I was waiting in line at city hall with my paperwork and I just put down ‘Jordan Lovell.'”
Lovell says she is looking forward to traveling and spending time with family and friends, but first she has to sell off her framing equipment. When we spoke in mid-February, she was still taking phone messages from those interested in buying the last few supplies, but hoping to be out of the building by the end of the month.
“It was a wonderful experience,” she says, “I really, really liked doing it. I met a ton of wonderful people over the years.”
Also leaving the building on Hoover and Greene is the small offshoot of Psarianos Violins, a Troy-based shop carrying new and antique violins. Its new appointment-only location will be at Varsity Dr. and Ellsworth.