Spartan Decision To Anchor
Mall Ignites Marketing Program

March 21, 2002
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ZEELAND — The signing of Spartan Stores Inc. for a new grocery store provides the developers of a Zeeland-area shopping center with the anchor they need to start recruiting tenants.

Spartan’s Family Fare Supermarkets will occupy 46,000 square feet of the 77,000-square-foot retail development planned for acreage at 96th Street and Riley Street in Zeeland Township. The lease with Spartan gives the center’s developers, Pentatech Development, a solid name they can use in marketing the development to additional retailers, said Kent Bing, a principal in Pentatech Development.

The marketing of the property began with the signing of Spartan Stores, Bing said.

“It’s a huge credibility. By having that anchor there, it creates an environment of stability,” Bing said. “We’re hopeful and quite confident that anchor will make a difference.”

Construction on the Family Fare store and the remainder of the shopping center will begin in the early spring. Completion and occupancy is scheduled for late fall.

In addition to the Family Fare, the L-shaped shopping center will consist of 12 to 16 retail storefronts for smaller neighborhood retailers that complement the grocery store. Pentatech has letters of intent for two storefronts — a national restaurant chain and a hardware store — and expects to have a “large portion” of the shopping center leased by the time the Family Fare opens in November, Bing said

The rapid residential growth of the Zeeland area attracted the development group to take on the project. Even in the current recession, residential housing development has remained relatively strong in the area, providing a growing market for retailers locating in the development to tap.

“Just the number of rooftops in this area has been phenomenal,” Bing said. “People are moving into the area.”

High growth is what prompted Spartan Stores to plan the new location for the Zeeland area, the third store construction that the Grand Rapids-based grocery wholesaler and retailer has undertaken since moving into the retail side of the business in 1999 with the acquisition of 127 grocery stores and pharmacies in Michigan and Ohio, including the former Family Fare chain that was based in Hudsonville.

“Zeeland is a growing area, and we believe this new neighborhood supermarket will be a valued addition to this area,” Spartan Stores Chairman, President and CEO James Meyer said.

The new location will create 100 new permanent jobs and feature all of the amenities of a full-service grocery store, plus an in-store pharmacy with a drive-up window, a café and a “Food To Go” specialty market with prepared foods.

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