GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The heart of Grand Rapids’ business district will soon see two new shops open.

Courage and Soar, which showcases Michigan-centric clothing and local art, will celebrate its grand opening Thursday. Its Monroe Center neighbor, Gazelle Sports, will officially welcome shoppers in early May, a few days after a private ribbon cutting with city leaders.

(A photo from Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. shows Courage and Soar, located at 40 Monroe Center NW in Grand Rapids.)

“We’re excited to see those new businesses open,” Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. President and CEO Tim Kelly told the Downtown Development Authority last week.

Gazelle Sports plans to offer the public its first glimpse of the new Monroe Center store as it gears up for its first two race events with the She Runs Grand Rapids Expo on April 30.

(A rendering by 3 Dots Design shows what Gazelle Sports’ downtown Grand Rapids store may look like, from back to front.)

Gazelle Sports will host its first Kids Run in downtown Grand Rapids that same day. The 0.3-mile course will take children from Monroe Center to Rosa Parks Circle, finish at Division Avenue. The 9:30 a.m. event is open to children 8 years and younger. Runners can register online check in an hour before the race at 74 Monroe Center. The event is $5 and includes a race bib, snack and drink.

The next day is Gazelle Sports’ She Runs Grand Rapids half marathon, 10K and 5k events. The company is also challenging itself to make She Runs Grand Rapids a zero-waste event. A team of volunteers will oversee sorting, recycling and composting of all waste, and Gazelle Sports is using Hiccup’s reusable cup service.

Gazelle Sports’ sixth location was previously home to Ali Nicole Bridal, which moved out of the space in late February. Since then, contractors have been working to transform the 3,552-square-foot space into a store and hub for Gazelle Sports events.

Renderings shared with News 8 Wednesday show a “tech bar,” a “recovery zone” with a treadmill, a wall dedicated to athletic shoes and racks of athletic apparel.

In December, the Grand Rapids DDA approved a retail grant of up to $67,000 toward Gazelle Sports’ storefront lease, which lasts for three years with an option to renew the contract for two more years.
The company says the new store will employ up to 13 people.

Gazelle Sports was founded in Kalamazoo in 1985 and currently operates five stores statewide, including locations on 28th Street in Kentwood, West 8th Street in Holland and South Kalamazoo Mall in Kalamazoo.