Thursday, October 27, 2022

Business may ‘blossom’ in former Gardner White

The huge empty building on Ford Road near Home Depot may soon blossom into a children's play center next summer.

The 26,000 square-foot building, which formerly housed a Gardner White Furniture store, is being considered as a third location for a children's center that specializes in care for special needs children.

Anna Holmes, president of clinical operations for Blossom Children's Center, appeared before members of the Canton Township Planning Commission to request a special land permit use for the building. The site is currently zoned as a corporate park overlay district, so any commercial or non-residential use requires a special land use permit.

Planning commissioners unanimously approved the application during their Sept. 12 meeting.  The request for the special land use permit will be sent to the members of the Canton Township Board of Trustees for consideration.

The organization, previously called Blossom Behavioral Wellness Center, provides services like applied behavior analysis, speech-language therapy, physical and occupational therapy, art therapy and more to children from 18 months to 8-years-old, including those with autism, according to the website.

The center also provides services for caretakers, Holmes told the commissioners, noting that the stress of caring for a child with special needs has unique challenges. 

The center, she told the commissioners, provides a place where parents and families can meet others in similar situations. The center also organizes support groups for siblings and parents.

Holmes estimated that the center would employ about 100 people. If approved, the center could open next summer, officials said.