Hurwitz Family Building Upscale Retail Center

May 6, 2002
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GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP — The Hurwitz family will break ground for a stylish, new, multi-million dollar retail center this week on nine acres on near I-96 at 1100 East Paris Ave.

The 54,000-square-foot complex will be called Terrazzo, or “terrace” in Italian, and will cater to discriminating consumers through a dozen fine shops, distinctive dining, chic goods and upscale services.

The Hurwitzes are hoping that a high-end specialty-clothing store, a gourmet grocery, a top-tier restaurant, an exclusive jeweler, a leading home-furnishings store and other first-rate shops will mark Terrazzo as an “occasion” destination.

“We intend to create a retail mix that will appeal to the upscale shopper who actively seeks our items that are unique, with a certain flair, someone who likes to entertain and also enjoys a night on the town,” said Dan Hurwitz, whose family is the lead investor in the project.

“The Italian theme really just came out to reflect the terrace property. The land slopes beautifully, and the name really reflects that more than the building. It’s a beautiful site, a beautiful location,” he added.

The area’s demographics also interested them in the suburban site, which is near Ada, Cascade and Grand Rapids townships and East Grand Rapids. Forty-seven thousand people live within a three-mile radius of where Terrazzo is going up and they have an average household income of $113,000. Within five-miles, there are 165,000 residents with $80,000 in yearly household earnings.

Hurwitz said his family would operate Terrazzo and the specialty-clothing store, which will feature designer names, contemporary fashions and the latest accessories. A name for the new shop will be released soon. D&W Food Centers Inc. will own and operate the other anchor attraction, the gourmet grocery.

“Shoppers will be able to find exactly what they need, whether they’re planning a dinner party for 12 or a romantic picnic lunch for two,” said Ron Cox, D&W vice president of marketing.

Integrated Architecture designed Terrazzo with a European touch that includes a multi-level brick-and-limestone façade, plenty of glass, and heated walkways accented by canopies.

“It’s going to be a long way from the typical West Michigan retail setting, which can be more about parking your car and just getting into the store. Terrazzo will be different,” said Michael Corby, Integrated’s lead architect for the project.

Triangle Associates will direct the construction, while Commerce Realty and Management Co. is finalizing the tenant leases for Terrazzo.

The Hurwitzes became sole owners of Rogers in February when they bought the shares that were held by the daughters of Hy and Greta Berkowitz, the founders of the store and grandparents to Dan Hurwitz. Rogers is a specialty clothing and accessories store at 1001 28th St. SW that has been operating since 1955.

Actual construction of the retail center and tenant build-out will take about a year, and Terrazzo should open for business in spring 2003. But the concept has been on the drawing board for a lot longer. Dan Hurwitz said he first spoke with his grandfather about the idea years ago when Berkowitz was thinking about expanding Rogers.

“We talked about the specialty side of our business, high service and high quality for the east side of town, and we looked at locations many years ago. But at that point we decided to renovate the store,” said Hurwitz.

They took an option on the property in January 1999, just two months before Berkowitz passed away. Then Hurwitz contacted D&W CEO Jeff Gietzen about 18 months ago, and the grocer agreed to come aboard.

“I told him what my vision was and I think he felt at that point there was a mutual vision for something real special that Grand Rapids deserved,” said Hurwitz.

The Hurwitz family bought the Terrazzo property two years ago in January.

“I think Grand Rapids is entitled to a first-class shopping experience, and a first-class environment to serve a wonderful customer base,” said Hurwitz.

“When a customer comes to the center and finds the food, the clothing, the personal needs and gifts we will have, they really won’t have anywhere else to go for goods at that level. I think Grand Rapids will be pleased with the result.”           

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