KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A Trader Joe’s grocery store is coming to the greater Grand Rapids area, developers confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 Wednesday.
The grocery chain has signed a 10-year lease agreement to put a store on 28th Street across from Centerpointe Mall, Sam Cummings, managing partner of CWD Real Estate, said.
The 10,000-square-foot store will be located at 3684 28th Street SE, according to a Trader Joe’s news release. CWD and Brian DeVries of Jade Pig Ventures have owned that property, where the recently demolished Ruby Tuesday’s once stood, since 1994.
The Trader Joe’s is scheduled to open around late 2015 or early 2016, the release said. Construction could begin in the next couple of weeks, according to Scott Wierda of CWD.
Kentwood Mayor Stephen Kepley put Trader Joe’s on his business wish list a few years ago and has been getting positive feedback all day.
“Within really seven minutes, it was crazy. Phone went off the hook, rang off the hook. It was just incredible to see,” Kepley said. “We’re really excited that Trader Joe’s has selected Kentwood.”
The secret to success for Trader Joe’s, which rather humbly calls itself a unique neighborhood grocery, is a level of brand loyalty from customers. Its reputation for quality and value is based on the success of over 3,000 private label items and is the envy of many food retailers. The privately-held company has grown to 430 stores in 39 states and pulls an estimated $8 billion each year in sales.
“Super stoked,” said Trader Joe’s enthusiast Dan Talley. “One, two-buck chuck, good wine. But two, just good solid organic food. You know, you can go there, they got the pre-made stuff, the basic staples. They got it all.”
Wierda said Trader Joe’s is exactly the type of business CWD looks to partner with.
“We tend to spend a lot of our time with unique tenants. That differentiates our portfolio, but also is good for the community. We find ourselves being a little bit like the Chamber of Commerce, where we have to sell our community and what all the attributes that we have,” Wierda said.
Could the Trader Joe’s news mean that a Whole Foods Market may also soon take up residence in West Michigan?
Wednesday night, a Facebook page to bring Whole Foods to Grand Rapids had more than five times that many likes as the page for Trader Joe’s.
According to a developer source, there are rumblings that Whole Foods is looking to come to the region, but hasn’t been able to settle on a location.
“My expectation is more businesses will come to that area because of the additional traffic,” Kepley said.
In a Thursday email, a Whole Foods spokesperson said that the grocer has plans to open a store in East Lansing sometime next year. The spokesperson made no mention of a possible West Michigan location.