GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (Feb. 12,2014) — Signing on the dotted line last Thursday, the VanDyke siblings are official owners of the building that is former home to the Little Mexico Cafe on Stocking Avenue. It’s another sign of change on Grand Rapid’s West Side.
“There is a lot of activity going on,” said Jackson VanDyke. “It might not necessarily be obvious when you are driving down the street right there right now, but there is a lot of people working hard and have been working hard in the area for a long time.”
VanDyke and his two siblings have established businesses like Harmony Brewing Company in East Grand Rapids. But they are shifting their focus to Bridge Street, where they plan to build a Bavarian style brewery and restaurant.
“Everybody has just been like, “Yes duh, of course you should do that,” said Heather Vandyke-Titus.
The group hopes to preserve the German heritage of the building while improving the dining experience by replacing walls with glass so diners have a full view of the street.
Many other construction projects are in full swing in the area.
Orion Construction bought the Asland building in December for $2.5 million, hoping to complete Bob Israel’s original dream of a multiple-use apartment complex with balconies, before he lost it to the bank.
“This building has been vacant for, you know, several years,” said Cory Bixby with Orion Construction. The area is ripe for growth, he said.
Orion Construction plans to develop residential properties on the second and third floors, with commercial space and a restaurant on the street level. “It’s a shared vision between the people at Orion Construction, our respective partners, and, of course, planning with the city, making sure this fits with their plan, and of course with corresponding neighborhoods and communities around this West Side,” said Bixby.
Rockford Construction has revealed plans to add trees and pedestrian-friendly walkways in the area, as well as several housing developments.