Locus Development continues to set downtown GR table

May 5, 2009
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Locus Development LLC has brought two more tenants to downtown and both are restaurants. That makes three restaurants that the firm has delivered to the business district in less than three months.

LPD Investments LLC, an East Lansing firm, recently leased about 1,000 square feet in the Peacock Building, located on the corner of Fulton Street and Jefferson Avenue, for the One Stop Coney Shop. LPD Investments entered into a three-year lease for the space.

Locus Development, a partnership between John Green and Andy Winkel, bought the 12,000-square-foot, single-story Peacock a year ago because of the structure’s location in a growing high-traffic area.

“It’s a unique property that’s located in a key part of downtown Grand Rapids. With the development that is occurring east of Division (Avenue) and the new proposed Bus Rapid Transit that would run along Jefferson to Fulton, we identified this property as one that would fit in well with our portfolio,” said Green of his firm, which specializes in urban properties.

Another Locus Development property, the Flat Iron Building, recently picked up a Mexican food restaurant as a tenant. Cinco de Mayo will lease 2,800 square feet in the former Herkner Jewelers space at 114 Monroe Center, across the street from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.

Green said the restaurant plans to begin serving lunch and dinner this fall and will approach the Downtown Development Authority for a special downtown liquor license offered by the state to urban core business districts.

“We’re confident that this restaurant will be well received by the general public,” he said.

Locus Development is historically renovating the Flat Iron, a 36,000-square-foot, four-story building. The structure is 150 years old and is actually a combination of three buildings. Restoration work will begin this summer. A highlight of the project is that floors two through four across the three structures will be connected internally to provide up to 9,000 square feet of space on each level.

Cornerstone Architects is designing the renovation and Orion Construction is serving as the project’s general contractor. The $4.5 million project will seek LEED certification.

Locus Development announced earlier that Peppino’s Pizzeria Ristorante will develop a new sports bar and restaurant at 130 Ionia Ave. SW, near Van Andel Arena. Green said all the financing was in place for Peppino’s to move in, and a long-term lease would be signed when the restaurant gets a downtown liquor license. The DDA approved Peppino’s request for one in March.

“We’re looking to do a multi-dimensional type of restaurant. It’s been my dream to have a restaurant downtown,” said Joe DiLeonardo, son of the company’s founder, Carlos DiLeonardo. The firm operates a sports bar and restaurant in Allendale near Grand Valley State University, along with several other restaurants.

Green also said both parties would make significant investments to the building.

Locus Development bought the 11,000-square-foot, two-story building in February of last year. The structure was home to the EQ3 furniture store, which moved to Plainfield Avenue NE. An apartment is located on the second floor.

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