Real Estate and Retail

Breton South attracts upscale national retailer

February 10, 2016
| By Pat Evans |
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Sur La Table
Seattle-based Sur La Table has more than 120 locations. Courtesy Sur La Table

A culinary-focused retailer that’s new to West Michigan will be setting up shop in Grand Rapids.

Seattle-based Sur La Table signed a lease with CWD Real Estate Investment for a location in the Breton South Village Development, according to the real estate firm.

Construction on the building should be finished by the end of the month, allowing the retailer to begin its build-out this spring.

The product line includes items for the kitchen, bar and dining room, as well as one of the largest cooking class programs in the nation. Sur La Table’s Breton South Village will have classes led by a classically-trained resident chef.

Sur La Table offers complementary items to other stores that have recently settled into the development at Breton Village, which is across Burton Street from Breton South Village. Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is set to open next week as the anchor of Breton South Village.

As more national retailers settle in near the corner of Breton Avenue and Burton, the hope is to draw shoppers from across the region, from Traverse City to Kalamazoo, said Scott Wierda, CWD managing partner and co-owner of Breton Village and Breton South Village.

Wierda said there are a nice complement of local and national retailers in the Breton Village area, including Leigh’s, Fitzgeralds, West Elm, lululemon and Anthropologie.

“When you look at a lot of bigger cities, they have fashion and specialty shopping districts,” Wierda said. "In Grand Rapids, we’ve never really had one. This is very quickly becoming that area”

Sur La Table has other Michigan locations in Ann Arbor, Troy and Novi. The business was started in 1972 by Shirley Collins at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

The company now has more than 120 stores and is owned by Invescorp.

“We made sure it was fundamentally where it should be and it’s a wonderful company,” Wierda said of Sur La Table. “I have no doubt they’ll be entrenched in our community for a long time.”

Breton Village area

Wierda owns Breton South Village with CWD Real Estate Investment partners Sam Cummings and Dan DeVos, along with Jade Pig Ventures partner Brian DeVries.

CWD also serves as the leasing and property manager for the 85,000-square-foot Breton South Village and 220,000-square-foot Breton Village complex. With Fresh Thyme and Sur La Table, about 38,000 of the zoned 85,000 square feet has been developed at Breton South Village.

DeVries and Wierda bought Breton Village in the early 2000s and have helped reinvigorate the area.

“I wouldn’t say it’s been an explosive comeback, but it’s been a real nice steady incline,” Wierda said. “It’s really doing well and I expect it to continue.”

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