Economic Development, Real Estate, and Retail

Partners plan upscale bistro, bakery and café

August 27, 2015
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Plainfield bakery cafe
The building that once housed D’Amico’s Food Mart could be home to a bistro, bakery and cafe. Photo by Mike Nichols

A bakery, café and full-service restaurant are in the works for a vacant building in the growing Plainfield Avenue corridor.

Where once there was a D’Amico’s Food Mart, there could soon be a new eatery in the approximately 9,575-square-foot, one-story building located at 1747 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids.

1747 Partners LLC purchased the property from VanderKooy Land Co. Ltd Partnership on July 9, according to city records. Local sources have said the new owners are part of L&B Portfolio, which also runs Logan’s Alley, Derby Station and Graydon’s Crossing.

According to the Grand Rapids City Commission minutes of Aug. 18, BA Café LLC at 1747 Plainfield Ave. NE was also approved for a Class C liquor license application. Additionally, 1747 Partners LLC also applied for an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate.

“1747 Partners LLC owns the property, which most recently operated as D’Amico’s food store. The building has been vacant for four years while the owners marketed the property for new tenants. BA Café LLC will be the operator and is planning to open a commercial bakery, a café, and a full service restaurant with alcohol sales at the property,” according to the city commission minutes.

“The operator proposes the multiple uses as a way of addressing the size of the building, which is too large for most single-use retail operations, but too small for a full-service grocery store.”

The building was inspected by the city assessor’s office, which determined that the structure is functionally obsolete for the proposed use based on design deficiencies; inadequate heating, mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems; energy inefficiencies; and lack of transparency throughout the building, the minutes read. That determination qualifies the property for exemption.

“The estimated investment in the rehabilitation is approximately $700,000, with an additional $310,000 to be spent on equipment,” the minutes read. “An estimated 26 new full-time jobs and 24 part-time jobs are expected to be created, with wages ranging from $10 per hour to $17.50 per hour to start. BA Café LLC has the option to become part of the real estate ownership entity over time.”

The minutes also noted that the project has received support from the Creston neighborhood and business associations.

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