Asian-themed Project Sakura Novi Adding Korean Steakhouse, 117 Apartments

Sakura Novi, Michigan’s first Asian-themed, mixed-use real estate development, today announced a lease has been executed for The Dancing Pine Korean Steakhouse, while a joint venture agreement has been executed with Robertson Brothers Homes to build 117 townhouse apartments.
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A rendering of the Sakura Novi development. // Courtesy of Sakura Novi
A rendering of the Sakura Novi development. // Courtesy of Sakura Novi

Sakura Novi, Michigan’s first Asian-themed, mixed-use real estate development, today announced a lease has been executed for The Dancing Pine Korean Steakhouse, while a joint venture agreement has been executed with Robertson Brothers Homes to build 117 townhouse apartments.

The development, located at Grand River Avenue and Town Center Drive in Novi, will include a collection of Asian-themed restaurants, high-end lifestyle retail shops and services, townhome apartments, office space, and, at the center, a Japanese-themed garden path, an existing pond, and a public plaza for community events.

Novi is located in Oakland County, the ninth-wealthiest county in the United States with a population of more than 1 million people. According to the development team, 290,000 Asians and Asian-Americans live within 50 miles of the project, while the average household income is $119,999 within a three-mile radius of the site.

The Dancing Pine will be a high-end steakhouse brought to market by Seven York Inc., owner of several restaurants in metro Detroit, including Kimchi Box, Dae Jang Keum, Tomo Sushi, The Seoul, Blue Fish Asian Cuisine, and Mama Satto.

According to Owner Min Kyu Kim, “The Sakura Novi project has a lot of energy and excitement. It was the perfect partnership to bring a modern Korean BBQ experience into Michigan. The Dancing Pine project will be a new and approachable luxury concept for customers.”

The Dancing Pine will be the anchor tenant at Sakura Novi. Cindy Ciura, principal of CC Consulting, a multi-faceted real estate services firm in Bloomfield Hills, played a critical role in bringing the restaurant to the development.

Other restaurants planned for Sakura Novi will bring different flavors from various Asian cuisines to the community, including cuisine from Korea, Japan, Hawaii, Mongolia, and China, among others. Menu items will include steaks, hot pots, poke, sushi, baked goods, and other selections.

The Residences at Sakura Novi, another central project anchor, will offer a unique, walkable lifestyle in downtown Novi. The apartments are expected to be popular with, among others, international business executives that settle in Michigan for short-term stays.

Robertson Brothers Homes in Bloomfield Hills, historically a builder of for-sale condominiums and homes in metro Detroit, will bring its first apartment community to the public.

“These new townhome apartments will feature private entrances, one and two car attached garages, first floor offices, and two- or three-bedroom layouts,” says Jim Clarke, president of Robertson Brothers Homes. “We’re very excited to be helping create this new mixed-use community in the heart of Novi.”

The demolition of the buildings on the site, including a cinder-block car wash, took place in fall 2022. Before this, the project was caught up in the pre-development process for multiple years.

The support of a broad array of area leaders has enabled the developers to bring the project to fruition, including the late Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson and his team, the current Japanese Consul General Yusuke Shindo, and Novi leaders such as Mayor Bob Gatt and Mayor Pro Tem David Staudt.

“Working on Sakura Novi has been, alternatively, a humbling and an exhilarating experience,” says Scott Aikens, developer of Sakura Novi, an affiliate of Robert B. Aikens & Associates in Birmingham. “All of us are now just thrilled to get shovels in the ground as soon as winter conditions end this spring.”

For more information, visit sakuranovi.com.