EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated with additional information from the Grand Rapids Fire Department.
Construction crews began demolishing the long-vacant former Lannings restaurant on Grand Rapids’ west side Thursday morning to make way for the new DeVries Jewelry Store Inc. showroom.
A fifth-generation, family-owned jewelry store located on Leonard Street since 1901. 433 Leonard St. The long-planned new location at Lanning’s at NW is the retailer’s 411 Leonard St. NW. DeVries, which was packed with customers after the holiday the first week of 2024, outgrew the location years ago, said Dave DeVries, who owns the business with his brother, Dan DeVries.
“It was a long time coming to finally pull the trigger and do it,” Dave DeVries said. “Of course we needed a place.”
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DeVries said the family jumped at the chance to buy the old restaurant’s site when it became available.
However, crews from the Grand Rapids Fire Department were dispatched to the scene shortly after the demolition began to extinguish a small fire that started outside the building on the second floor. An official of the Fire Department said that the crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly.
Known for its fried chicken, Lanning’s closed in 2008 when father-and-son owners Dave and Jon Hartger cited slow business and moved the restaurant to 28th Street. Site. The building has been vacant for more than 15 years, and the DeVries bought the property in 2006 for $525,000.
Plans for the site call for a two-story, 6,000-square-foot jewelry store and 80 surface parking spaces on the Leonard Street corridor that could be used by DeVries and other businesses. The goal is to have construction completed by September or October of this year, DeVries said.
Pinnacle Construction Group and Venture Engineering PLLC are the contractors for the DeVries Jewelers project.
DeVries said the store’s square footage will more than double in the new space, providing much-needed additional space for customers, product displays, in-house jewelry services and possibly some smaller events on the second floor of the new building. .
“It’s a bit boring here,” he said. “We still want that intimate feel, but (the new building) will be a little more expansive and provide more space for everyone.”
Earlier versions of the site plan that DeVries reviewed included two additional floors to the building for apartments, though those plans were scrapped. DeVries said the property still has some room for possible future additions to the development, such as adding apartments, but for now they plan to lease space in the parking lot to other nearby businesses.
“We’re working to keep (the business) going for a few more years,” he said. “It’s a good step for us to grow a little bit and have a little more space.”
DeVries added that the company has no plans for the current storefront, which they own, once the new location is complete.
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