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Retailers move into urban apartment project

December 3, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Developer opens $5.6M urban apartment project
Eastown Flats consists of 35 apartments in Grand Rapids' Eastown neighborhood. Photo via orionbuilt.com

A recently opened apartment development has an eclectic trio of new retail tenants.

Eastown Flats, a two building, 35-unit project that opened in June, saw Gaslight Barbershop and Mia’s on Wealthy, a dress boutique, open on the first floor this month at 1400 Wealthy St. SE.

The pair of shops join Sacred Expressions, a custom glass art and tattoo shop, at 1415 Wealthy St. SE, to fill out the three Eastown Flats retail spaces.

The development was developed by Orion Real Estate Solutions, a division of Grand Rapids-based Orion Construction in Grand Rapids, which served as the project's contractor. 

Integrated Architecture in Grand Rapids served as the project’s architect, and Nederveld served as the project’s civil engineer.

Mixed-use demand

The development was just going to be residential until the residents and neighborhood association requested retail space.

The retailers were brought to Eastown Flats by Mark Ansara, a broker with Colliers International | West Michigan.

“One of the things that we keep hearing and seeing is the demand by residents to live in buildings that provide great amenities and that also feature retail and shopping options within the building itself,” Ansara said. “Across Grand Rapids and West Michigan, developers are finding creative, innovative ways to re-define mixed-use buildings, with an eye toward future needs and growth.”

Barbershop

Gaslight Barbershop was established in 1959 and called East Grand Rapids home for more than half a century, but now calls a 376-square-foot space at Eastown Flats home.

“Gaslight Barbershop has been around a long time, serving three generations of loyal customers, and we’re excited we can now be in a location that represents the future of this community,” said Elwyn Griewahn, the third owner since the barbershop was established. “We’re honored we can continue to serve customers who are now bringing their children and grandchildren to Gaslight, and everyone we serve feels like family. We look forward to being in a growth area of Grand Rapids.”

Women's apparel

Mia’s on Wealthy is in a 900-square-foot space and sells dresses, accessories and other women’s apparel.

“Mia’s truly aims to meet the fashion needs of women for every occasion, and we’re really pleased we can open our store right here in a vibrant, growing neighborhood," said Lisa Henley, owner, Mia's. “We love this area, we love our neighbors and we’re thrilled we can embark on this business venture so close to home.”

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