Daniels Is A Family Affair

April 18, 2003
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GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP — Daniel’s will make its debut this fall.

The long-awaited second retail operation from the Hurwitz family has a name and an opening date. Right after Labor Day, the Hurwitzes will premiere a stylish, contemporary clothing store called Daniel’s in a new, upscale shopping center they’ve developed called Terrazzo.

“Why Daniel’s? I think it’s important that a store have an identity,” said Dan Hurwitz.

Hurwitz is president of Daniel’s and Rogers Department Store, a specialty clothing and accessories store that was started by his grandfather, Hy Berkowitz, in 1955. Berkowitz, an icon in the local retail business, died four years ago.

“My grandfather, for many years, wanted to call the store Berk’s when we first started this store. He wasn’t able to because there was a Berg’s men and boys store in town and he felt we would be trading on their goodwill,” said Hurwitz.

“But as more and more of us thought about family names and other names, it really was determined that it should have an identity of who the store belongs to. It is really my vision, what we’re doing at the store, what our family is, and what experience we have as a retailer,” he added. “We are proud enough of it to put our name on it.”

Daniel’s will serve as an anchor for Terrazzo, which will include a gourmet grocery, a top-tier restaurant, an exclusive jeweler, a leading home-furnishings store and other unique shops on East Paris Avenue near the interchange of I-96 and Cascade Road.

The apparel store will feature fashions for men and women and many of the collections will be exclusive to Daniel’s in West Michigan. Armani, Collezioni, Canali, Burberry, Rene Lezard, Hugo Boss, Hickey Freeman, Marzotto Lab and Bobby Jones are just a few of the brands that Daniel’s will stock on its spacious floors.

The women’s fashions and accessories department will stretch across 10,000 square feet of Daniel’s, while the men’s tailored clothing and casual wear shop will be 5,000 square feet in size.

“It is going to be different from Rogers, smaller and more intimate,” said Hurwitz. “We’ll still have a tremendous selection. It will be a good-sized store of 15,000 square feet, which is still a large-size specialty store, but much smaller than what Rogers is today.

“It will be collection-driven and have much more of an open feel, a lot of the same service that we give, and I think we’ll actually have increased services there.”

Hurwitz said the overall environment of Daniel’s would go back to the roots of Rogers when it was a small independent business. He also felt that naming the new store Rogers would have been unfair to both stores. Doing that, he said, would suggest that Daniel’s would be a carbon copy of Rogers and it isn’t.

Integrated Architecture designed Daniel’s and Terrazzo, while Triangle Associates directed the construction. Hurwitz told the Business Journal last week that he was pleased with the European look the store and retail center will have when both open next fall.

“Absolutely. We came out with a plan that is open and fresh that can show great merchandise. It is inviting and will encourage customers to linger,” he said.

The Hurwitz family took an option on the nine acres in January 1999 and then invited D&W Food Centers CEO Jeff Gietzen to join them in the project. Hurwitz said D&W plans to open when Daniel’s does, as do the other shops that have come on board. As of last week, about 60 percent of the center’s 54,000 square feet had been leased.

“We have quite a bit of interest from restaurants, both local and national. We’re finalizing now who we want to put in there, what makes the best mix, and we have some stores from out of the area and some that are local,” said Hurwitz, who felt that Terrazzo will be the most exciting retail complex to open in West Michigan this year.

“I had the opportunity to pass on enough retailers to fill the location. But I have a desire for what the center is going to be, and I’m not willing to let down my standards,” he added.

Hurwitz has a grand opening celebration planned for Sept. 18, 19 and 20.

“I’m overjoyed. We’ve had the property under control for almost four-and-a-half years. My grandfather was alive when we controlled the property and the thrill is that he knew we were doing this, and now to see this come to fruition,” he said.

“His dream was to have a second store and I just think he would be even more overjoyed if he was here.”           

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