GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The new year means new development in the Grand Rapids area.
A wine bar, Amazon fulfillment center and brewery are among the places planning to open their doors this year.
Here are 20 start-ups you will see open this year, if projects progress as expected. Click on the links below to jump to each section.
Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge | 106 Pearl Street NW
Targeted opening: Late January
Crews have been working to transform the former home of Raggs to Riches into a more open modern lounge space while keeping its historic feel intact. The plans call for a mural by local artist Jamari Taylor “that will pay homage to the Grand Rapids community.”
Ambiance GR Kitchen & Lounge is one of the first businesses to be awarded a $45,000 grant to help cover rent from the Grand Rapids’ Downtown Development Authority.
The cocktail bar will feature live music performances and a menu of Cajun-infused American cuisine, including some vegan options.
Demolition began June 27. Owners anticipate the business will open late this month.
Art Caribbean Fusion Cuisine | 55 Monroe Center NW
Targeted opening: Late January
Based on the success of their El Caribe food truck, Dominican Republic immigrants Gilma and Edward De La Cruz decided to expand their Caribbean cuisine to a brick and mortar restaurant in downtown Grand Rapids.
“I want to be a part of the community and I want to share that diversity,” Gilma DeLaCruz told the DDA shortly before it awarded the owners a $36,000 grant to help cover rent.
The pair is renovating the deli side of Grand Central Market and working with local artists to curate displays, particularly from Caribbean and Latin cultures.
In a note posted to its door, Grand Central Market says its sandwich service would move to its store next door at 57 Monroe beginning Jan. 6.
If all goes well, Art Carribbean will open late this month. Gilma De La Cruz says they’ll continue to operate their food truck.
Arvon Brewing Co. | 1006 Division Ave. S.
Targeted opening: First quarter of 2020
Co-founder Brett Bristol says Arvon Brewing Co. decided to make the move to Grand Rapids after outgrowing its 700-square-foot production facility in Grandville.
Arvon Brewing Co.’s new home on Division Avenue between Franklin and Hall streets is about seven times larger, allowing for more production, a taproom that seats 55 people and an outdoor beer garden, which will be open in the summer months.
The new taproom will have a dozen rotating taps featuring Arvon Brewing Co.’s beers, which include New England style IPAs, fruited sours and imperial stouts. Arvon Brewing Company also plans to partner with food trucks and other local food vendors to provide “unique and intriguing” pairings with their craft beers.
While business hours are still being finalized, Bristol said Arvon Brewing Co. will be open for limited hours Wednesday through Friday as well as Saturday and Sunday.
Canopy by Hilton | 131 Ionia Ave. SW
Targeted opening: June 2020
Celebration Cinema President J.D. Loeks said the 164-room hotel will be one of the first of its kind in the world, focusing on the uniquely local culture in its design and features.
Canopy by Hilton Grand Rapids Downtown will include a bistro, a bar serving locally brewed beer, meeting space and a rooftop bar overlooking Studio Park’s piazza, which will host events throughout the year.
Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse | 122 Oakes Street SW, Suite 120
Opening Jan. 11
An employee of Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse said this fourth studio is about the same size as the company’s Forest Hills and Holland locations.
The one-room studio fits about 50 students and is located in downtown Grand Rapids’ Studio Park development at the corner of Ionia Avenue and Oakes Street SW.
Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse’s downtown studio also includes showers and 45-minute classes for people who may want to squeeze in a hot yoga session on their lunch break.
Rates range based on session type and membership, from $20 for a single drop-in class for non-members to $109 a month for an unlimited membership.
Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse will mark its soft opening Jan. 6 with $10 drop-in session specials all week. Its grand opening celebration will take place Jan. 11 with live music spun by DJ Adrian Butler during morning sessions.
GR Noir Wine & Jazz Room | 35 Division Ave. S.
Targeted opening: Spring 2020
With a focus on offering a meeting space and representation for minorities, Nadia and Shatawn Brigham’s bar will offer jazz every day with live performances two to three times a week.
GR Noir will take over the corner of Division Avenue and Weston Street SE, which sat as an empty lot for several years.
The wine and jazz bar will offer an array of wines with a focus on promoting wine produced by black winemakers, who account for less than 2% of the industry, according to the Brighams. The owners of GR Noir ultimately want to label their own wines.
Their goal is to open in April, which is Jazz Appreciation Month.
The Inner City Christian Federation headquarters | 415 Franklin Street SE
Targeted opening: November 2020
The $19 million project will transform the former Grand Rapids Christian High School into ICCF’s new headquarters, a new campus for Madison Square Church, an early childhood education center and 41 much-needed affordable housing units in southeast Grand Rapids.
>>PDF: Development renderings
A local developer donated the long-vacant building at 415 Franklin Street SE to Madison Square Church in 2015, but the building was too big for the church. That’s why they partnered with ICCF to utilize the space.
Officials marked the start of demolition with a sledgehammer ceremony in October 2019. The project is expected to be finished in November.
Küsterer Brauhaus | 642 Bridge Street NW
Targeted opening: Late 2020
Named for German immigrant and late brewery owner Christoph Kusterer, Cedar Springs Brewing Company’s German beer hall will stand on Bridge Street NW between Gold and Lexington avenues, across from Harmony Hall and down the street from New Holland Brewing’s Knickerbocker.
The West Side beer hall will feature a three-barrel brewery producing signature Küsterer Bier, Bavarian beers and Cedar Springs brews.
The Meat Up Gastropub | 11 Ionia Ave. SW
Targeted opening: March 2020
Restaurant owners Elizabeth and Andy Rosario plan to transform the longtime home of J. Gardella’s Tavern into a three-floor lounge-style restaurant.
The owners said they’ve teamed up with Trimell Hawkins, executive chef for Forty Acres Soul Kitchen, to create a menu with a focus on Argentinian cuts of meat, ceviche, fusion dishes and vegan “meats.” Alcoholic drinks will also be on the menu: The Meat Up Gastropub expects to retain J. Gardella’s liquor license with the building sale.
Since the Gardella’s building is one of the oldest storefronts in a historic district of Grand Rapids, the new restaurant won’t look too different on the outside. But if The Meat Up succeeds, its owners plan to eventually add an elevator and rooftop patio.
Michigan Meadows | 2233 Michigan Street NE
Targeted opening: May/June 2020
Located just east of Medical Mile in Grand Rapids’ Michigan Oaks neighborhood, Michigan Meadows promises 87 townhouse units located in 23 buildings. The 20-acre development also includes acres of designated green space.
The two and three-bedroom units come with a variety of floor plans with a basement option. Every unit includes an attached garage, gas fireplace, custom kitchen, extra storage and upscale amenities.
The entire project is slated to be complete in May or June, but PURE Real Estate Management is already leasing units in the first building. Rent for a two-bedroom town home is about $1,800 a month, according to Jason Wheeler of Wheeler Development Group.
The Morton boutique hotel | 55 Ionia Ave. NW
Targeted opening: Sometime this year
The owners of the 13-story, 85-unit building at the corner of Ionia Avenue and Monroe Center plan to convert three floors into 32 high-end hotel units for extended stay guests.
“We believe there is strong demand for this niche offering in the Grand Rapids market,” owner 55 Ionia Partners LLC said in a statement to News 8.
The Morton’s owners believe changing over some of the empty apartments and condominiums into boutique hotel rooms will also make the ground floor commercial space more marketable.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation signed off on the transformation in December. A spokesperson for 55 Ionia Partners said while they work to finalize more project details, they can only give a targeted opening date of 2020.
Pinktail Poke, High Tide Soda | 435 Ionia Ave. SW
Grand opening: First half of 2020
Fish Lads and Carvers owner Jeff Butzow is behind both businesses joining the mix at Downtown Market Grand Rapids.
High Tide Soda is located across from Dorothy & Tony’s Popcorn on the east side of Market Hall. The store offers more than 500 types of craft soda and mixers by the bottle, pack or case, as well as kegs for catering.
Pinktail Poke promises poke dishes made from fresh seafood and “purposefully-sourced produce.” Butzow says he plans to tap into the connections he’s built through Fish Lads to find the best quality seafood for each dish. Orders can be customized for diets and tastes.
While High Tide Soda opened in late December, its official grand opening will coincide with Pinktail Poke’s opening, which is expected in the first few months of 2020.
Planet Fitness | 234 Market Ave. SW
Targeted opening: Late spring
Northville-based PF Michigan Group, one of the nation’s largest Planet Fitness franchisees, is leasing a 24,797-square-foot space in the mixed-use development dubbed 234 Market.
Maplegrove Property Management, LLC says Planet Fitness will serve as the main tenant of the 31,000-square-foot commercial space inside the building.
Like other Planet Fitness locations, the gym is expected to include numerous cardio and strength machines and the PF Black Card lounge featuring tanning, hydromassage and massage chairs.
Planet Fitness plans to offer special deals on memberships before and around the facility’s grand opening. A precise date for that opening is not yet set.
Pux Cider tasting room | 311 Fuller Ave. NE
Targeted opening: First quarter of 2020
Schaefer Cider Company’s tasting room will open across from Fuller Park.
The plans call for a retail space in addition to the tasting area, with seating for 47 people.
Pux Cider’s tasting room will also feature a 720-square-foot outdoor wooden patio area that can accommodate 48 people.
Residence Inn by Marriott | 10 Ionia Ave. NW
Targeted opening: Fall 2020
The 13-story triangular tower at the corner of Ionia Avenue and West Fulton Street will house 146 hotel rooms with 5,555 square feet on the ground floor for businesses to set up shop.
The plans also call for a walkway over Louis Street connecting the hotel to the parking ramp at 30 Ionia Avenue SW.
Speciation Artisan Ales | 928 Wealthy Street SE
Targeted opening: Summer of 2020
After three years of business in Comstock Park, Speciation Artisan Ales is ready to join Beer City USA.
Speciation Artisan Ales is known for its barrel-aged sour beer and natural wine. The business also produces some cider and seltzers.
As long as all the necessary licenses are approved, the brewery and winery will first move its taproom to 928 Wealthy St. SE, a building set back from the street that’s sandwiched between Eastern and Diamond avenues.
The business intends to gradually move all of its production to the new site within the next 18 months.
Co-owner Mitch Ermatinger says he picked the spot because he once lived in the area and loved the energy and business synergy of the Wealthy-Cherry street area, as well as the walkability.
The plans call for a 49-seat taproom that resembles an old carriage house, but with an industrial twist. The white, minimalist interior will showcase Speciation Artisan Ale’s barrels. The company also plans to dress up the site with a mural by artist Dayna Walton, who owns Solstice Handmade. The roll-up door in the front of the facility will open in nice weather to allow in natural light.
Speciation Artisan Ales plans to team up with 2nd Kitchen to pair its drinks with dishes from area restaurants. Customers can order from the integrated menu and the restaurant will deliver its food. The brewery and winery will also continue to allow people to bring in their own food.
If all goes well, Ermatinger says Speciation Artisan Ales new taproom will open as early as this summer.
Tupelo Honey Southern Kitchen & Bar | 140 Ottawa Ave. NW
Targeted opening: Spring 2020
Located in the ground floor of the Hyatt Place, this restaurant will serve up southern food and drinks, including its trademark spiced fried chicken finished with “honey dust,” buttermilk biscuits with blueberry compote and whipped butter, fried green tomatoes and low country catfish.
Grand Rapids is the first city in the Great Lakes region to get a Tupelo Honey restaurant. The plans call for patio or sidewalk seating.
Wise Men Distillery tasting room | 146 Monroe Center NW
Targeted opening: First quarter of 2020
If approved by the planning commission in February, the Kentwood-based distillery plans to fast-track the transformation of the former Tanaz salon in McKay Tower into a 700 square-foot cocktail tasting room.
“One of our goals was always to have a tasting room downtown and this was a perfect opportunity for us,” co-owner Zack VanDyke said.
The site overlooking Monroe Center will feature a bar with all of Wise Men Distillery’s traditional spirits, but VanDyke says they’ll also serve up drinks with a nod to downtown Grand Rapids’ culture.
The tasting room will seat 20 to 25 people.
In a note posted on the storefront, Tanaz says its moving to 5751 28th St. SE in Cascade Township.
BEYOND GRAND RAPIDS
Amazon distribution center | 4500 68th Street SE, Gaines Township
Targeted opening: Sometime in 2020
The $150 million fulfillment center is Amazon’s first in West Michigan, but the fourth in the state. The two-story facility contains more than a million square feet of warehouse and office space to handle shipping, receiving and assembling products sold on the massive online marketplace.
Amazon’s newest distribution center sits on a 97-acre site formerly owned by Steelcase at the southwest corner of 68th Street and Patterson Avenue, near the M-6/East Beltline interchange.
Amazon tells Gaines Township officials they’re planning on opening the warehouse in 2020, but said they commonly adjust launch dates “based on capacity needs across the network.”
Pay for the 1,000 jobs expected to be filled starts at $15 an hour with benefits.
The Pack Indoor Dog Park | 5205 West River Drive NE, Plainfield Township
Targeted opening: Summer 2020
Billed as Michigan’s first indoor off-leash dog park, The Pack will be located off West River Drive NE near Jupiter Avenue in Plainfield Township.
The facility plans call for TV monitors, a workspace for pet owners and an enclosed patio and café with limited food and beverages. The dog park has also applied for a liquor license with the township.
The Pack plans to offer dog daycare for $30 a day with package discounts available. The dog park fee will be $30 for five visits or unlimited yearly access for $200.
Owners Joelle Wrona and Raechel Macqueen expect crews to break ground on the indoor dog park this winter. If all goes well, the new pet venue will open in summer.
Know of a project that’s not on our list? Send us information by emailing ReportIt@woodtv.com or Christa.Ferguson@woodtv.com.