Real Estate, Retail, and Small Business & Startups

Clothing store opening in suburb

December 26, 2017
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2166 Wealthy St.
2166 Wealthy St. SE, center, in East Grand Rapids. Courtesy NAI Wisinski of West Michigan

A new clothing retailer will make its home in a Grand Rapids suburb.

BlackBird East, a men’s and women’s clothing store, is set to open in early March in East Grand Rapids' Gaslight Village, at 2166 Wealthy St. SE.

Husband-and-wife owners Mike McGonigal and Debbi McGonigal said they wanted to open in Gaslight Village because of the “strong sense of neighborhood, school spirit, social activity and great restaurants.”

“We are huge believers in being part of the community and look forward to supporting school events, 5ks (races) and other activities,” Debbi McGonigal said.

Mike McGonigal said the store’s name “comes from a belief that the flight of a blackbird is symbolic of the quest for higher knowledge, a valiant journey that always leaves us better off than when we started.”

Renovations are currently being made to transform the 2,744-square-foot space from a gym to the retail shop.

“We are working hard to give the exterior a sense of returning to when it was built by putting up awnings, window grids and lanterns," Debbi McGonigal said. "We are focusing on making the space less modern, more traditional and in line with the pride and tradition of East Grand Rapids."

Bill Tyson of NAI Wisinski West Michigan represented the building’s owner, Joel Cohodes, in the transaction.

The McGonigals were represented by Dave Kwekel of Dave Kwekel Development.

“We looked at multiple areas, where to put this concept, and it settled down to East Grand Rapids,” Kwekel said. “Being within walking distance of a lot of residents, being part of a community — it all made sense. I think they’re going to be a great addition to that area.”

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