New project hopes to breathe new life into Creston Neighborhood

Posted at 1:02 PM, Oct 22, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-22 13:25:39-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Apartments and retail space are being added in Grand Rapids’ Creston neighborhood, an effort that’s looking to breathe new life into the city’s northeast side.

616 Development announced Wednesday it would be building a $6 million mixed-use project, which will include 40 market-rate apartments and 2,600 square feet of retail space.

A groundbreaking is expected to take place within the coming weeks.

The apartment complex will take the place of The Break Room, a former billiards hall.

For many of the businesses in the district, the growth has been 10 years in the making.

Red Ball Jet Cafe, part of the Gilmore Collection; Stone’s Throw, a furniture retailer; and Creston Market have all been members of the community for at least a decade, serving as anchors to future development.

Greg Gilmore told FOX 17 he is reviving plans to develop the rooftop of Red Ball Jet into a patio and live garden. The project was first unveiled about 10  years ago, but Gilmore said it was too “risky  and expensive.” Gilmore was also quick to add that any changes will not take place in the near future, but could happen in the next two years.

Sun Title Agency, a real estate title and development company, which owns Creston Market, told FOX 17 the grocer will be an anchor to this development. A major reason why it’s undergoing an overhaul itself.

“We’re under utilizing the space, we’re not representing the product mix that we need to service the surrounding community, not withstanding the growth that’s gonna hit,” said Tom Cronkright, CEO and co-founder of Sun Title Agency.

He is optimistic about what 616 Development is bringing to the neighborhood.

“I describe it as lighting a beacon for the district now,” Cronkright said. “A lot of us, the main stakeholders, have been building our businesses. We’ve been committed to the neighborhood and the cause of what it could be.”