October 1919

The directors of the Lakewood Market House Company completed negotiations Tuesday for the purchase of the Bomgarden property on Hird avenue, in the rear of the Homestead theatre building, permitting a most important and profitable change in the building plans for the company. The land that has been bought, for a consideration said to be in the vicinity of $10,000, has a frontage of 56 feet on Hird avenue, adjacent to a twelve-foot driveway in the rear of the theatre, at a distance of 90 feet from the street, the Bomgarden property widens out to 112 feet.

The new purchase adjoins the site of the proposed market house property on the west. The company bought the Louis Houaser property at 11814 Detroit avenue a year ago for the purpose of erecting a market house thereon. This site had a frontage of 100 feet on Detroit avenue and an unusual depth, running back almost to the Nickel Plate railroad, so that direct switching facilities could be secured at the rear of the market. As originally designed, there was space for 112 market stalls with several stores fronting on Detroit avenue. In order to provide a driveway into the property a space of ten feet on the east side and ten feet on the west side of the market house was to be left on Detroit av-

As Detroit avenue frontage has a very high value, it cost the company $250 a front foot last year, and is estimated to be worth from $350 to $400 a foot at the present, the use of twenty feet for driveways on Detroit avenue was seen to be excessively expensive. By the purchase of the property on Hird avenue, so as to provide the driveways to the east side of the building, the entire frontage on Detroit avenue will be given over to the market building. By widening the building, space is provided for 32 additional stalls, increasing the estimated rentals from stalls approximately $800 a month.

Every stall in the market house has already been rented, according to the first arrangement of the building, so the 32 new stalls to be added will, it is expected, be signed up long before the building is completed next year.

Another feature of local Lakewood interest is that the acquisition of the additional land and the frontage of Hird avenue disposes of a question that has long been perplexing the managers, the disposition of the fine sixteen room dwelling on the site that must be moved off in several weeks, so that excavation work on the market house can be started. For two weeks a conspicuous sign has been attached to the front of the house announcing that the building was for sale and asking for bids, the condition being that the dwelling must be moved or wrecked at once. It is stated that at least fifty inquiries from real estate men, lot owners and speculators have resulted from this sign that has been seen by drivers along Detroit avenue and by hundreds of passengers on the street cars.

It is one of the largest and finest dwellings in the city, but its size and the densely built up property in the immediate neighborhood made it a gamble what could be done with such a building. It will now be moved to the Hird avenue frontage intact and after a new cellar is constructed the old Houser dwelling will be converted into the largest rooming house in the city. It is stated that accommodations can be provided for nearly 20 couples and as the property is most conveniently located in the business heart of the city, adjacent to the new market and within a stone's throw of scores of business men and clerks and office men at the 117th street corners, the new house will prove an appreciable addition to the housing facilities in that eastern section of the city. It is possible that by establishing a moderate priced restaurant and eating quarters in the large dining room and convenient kitchen, several hundred people can be fed there daily and forty to fifty people be housed permanently under its roof.


Permit Issued and New $365,000 Project is Really Started

The Lakewood building department this week issued a permit for the erection of the much discussed Lakewood Market House at 11826 Detroit avenue.

Promoters of the Market House state that construction work will be started at once and pushed to completion. When finished, this market house will improve greatly the trading center at the corner of Detroit and Highland avenues.

Messrs. W.R. Powell and W.M. Martin, representing the Market House, were present at the session of Lakewood council Monday evening to determine whether or not anticipated council action for widening Detroit avenue would interfere with their plans for the building. It developed that the building is planned to go to the sidewalk line, and if set back ten feet, as would be necessary under street widening provisions, the rear wall of the Market House would come too near the rear lot line to conform to the zoning ordinance's provisions concerning space at the the rear of buildings, which requires three inches of rear yard to each foot of building height.

The council members assured the promoters that the street widening provision would probably not be enacted into law, but there would be no objection to their setting back their building if they so desired to get display space on the sidewalk front.

The new market house, according to Messrs. Powell and Martin, when entirely completed, cold storage plant and all, will cost over $350,000. Contracts involving expenditures in excess of $245,000 have already been awarded, they say, and excavation is to start at once.

The location is on the north side of Detroit, between Hird and Fry avenues, and will have a side entrance on Hird as well as front entrances on Fry. It will have 117 stalls, with a cold storage plant in the basement. There will be an arcade entrance with stores and offices. The structure will be three stories in height and four stores fronts will face Detroit avenue.


Local Growers Plan Big Event for Pre-Thanksgiving Sale of Produce


Farmers who have brought produce to the growers market on Warren road, during the summer, are "saving up their ammunition" for a big Thanksgiving display for poultry and vegetables and flowers, according to Miss Elva C. Malling, permit clerk of the Lakewood city hall.

"The season is about over, as far as regular marketing is concerned. There will be only about two or three more good Saturdays, probably, and the supply of foodstuffs is becoming more limited, from the production standpoint. So the pre-Thanksgiving market day will be the last big market event of the year."

Many of the farmers have signified their intention of coming in with apples, potatoes, poultry, and flowers to supply the Thanksgiving trade. There may be another large market day just before Christmas, although the weather will be a deciding factor in that case.

"One stall at the market was occupied during all of last winter," said Miss Malling, "Winter vegetables, particularly potatoes, sold all winter. There is no reason why the market should not be occupied the year 'round, as the permits cover a twelve months period."

The market has been in the limelight, this year, more than any other year, owing to charges which were brought to council's attention, that "price fixing" was a common occurrence. The Committee on Living Costs of the Lakewood League of Women Voters made an investigation of the charges, and found that they were untrue, but that basis for the allegations was an attempt on the part of one market occupant to keep prices up to standard newspaper quotations.

The same committee has engaged in a check of the farmers, location of their farms, and source of their produce, in order to prevent commission merchants from gaining a foothold, and to keep farmers from supplying commission house produce. There are three cases, the committee reported, where a suspicion was raised, but proof has not been obtained.

There have been twelve applications for space in the market for next year, Miss Malling stated.

A record of the total revenue which has come to the city from the market will be made in the near future.