Hills firm buys historic downtown Farmington property

The iconic Village Mall, which occupies the southeast corner of Farmington Road and Grand River in downtown Farmington, has sold to a Farmington Hills-based wealth management firm.

The property includes the historic Farmington State Savings Bank building, as well as three adjacent buildings.

Village Mall
This map was included in a promotional brochure created to market the Village Mall redevelopment opportunity.

New owner GLP Financial Group has engaged the services of Biddison Architecture of Birmingham to transform the property into their company headquarters, according to a Farmington Downtown Development Authority (DDA) press release. GLP will occupy the original bank building, at 33335 Grand River, with plans to renovate outlying buildings.

Built in 1921 by the family of Michigan Governor Fred M. Warner, the building and original bank were sold in the 1950s to NBD, now Chase Bank. After Chase Bank moved to its current location on Farmington Road and Alta Loma, the property sat vacant for years until the Warner family repurchased and rehabbed it in the 1970s.

Vintage Point: Village Mall
These photos, part of Preservation Farmington’s “Vintage Point” series, shows historic and current views of the Village Mall property.

“Farmington Holding Company took over management in 1975, and became a partner in 1985 after purchasing interests of Fred M. Warner (the late governor’s grandson) and other small partners,” said David Cornwell, managing partner for Farmington Holding Company. “Until about 10 years ago, the principal partners were five other grandchildren of Governor Warner, all but one of whom have since passed on.”

The Warner family is thrilled about the sale, Cornwell added, and “optimistic that the proposed redevelopment of the property will be as positive for downtown Farmington as the original development was nearly 100 years ago.”

Kate Knight, Farmington DDA Executive Director, said GLP Financial Group intends to “enhance the bank building’s 1920’s character while upgrading functionality and retaining a residential and retail mix with their flagship headquarters. The schematic designs they’ve developed thus far are exciting, and we should start to see work in 2020.”

According to the company website, GLP Financial Group was founded more than 50 years ago. Located at the corner of 12 Mile and Halsted Roads in Farmington Hills, the company offers wealth management, retirement planning, asset protection, and insurance services.

The GLP Foundation provides scholarships and grants to educators and students across the U.S.