Trader Joe’s signs lease in West Michigan market


Trader Joe’s, which sells a number of specialty store brand items, describes itself as “your neighborhood grocery store.” Photo via

It’s a done deal: Trader Joe’s is officially coming to town.

A lease was signed on Dec. 22, 2014 between representatives of Trader Joe's East Inc. and Grand Rapids-based CWD Real Estate Investment, leasing Trader Joe’s space in Kentwood — just across from Centerpointe Mall on 28th Street, according to Kent County records.

In the memorandum of lease, a 12,500-square-foot space “located in the 3600 block of 28th St. SE, Kentwood” is signed over to Needham, Mass.-based Trader Joe’s East for the next 10 years.

Trader Joe’s East is a subsidiary of Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe's Company, which operates a chain of grocery stores across the U.S. and was founded in 1958, according to

The landlord of the space is Jade Pig Ventures, which is managed by Scott Wierda, CWD principal and managing partner.

“Tenant shall have the right to open for business in the premises and operate therein as a retail grocery market, selling items compatible with the items offered for sale (or retail) in other retail grocery outlets operated by tenant now or in the future,” the lease says.

In 2013, Colliers International West Michigan Principal Mike Murray said that Trader Joe’s was looking to develop a location in West Michigan.

For this deal, however, Colliers was not involved, said Earl Clements, Colliers principal.

Clements, who was recently named Business Journal Newsmaker of the Year in the retail category, said he doesn’t believe Colliers was involved with this deal, although he was aware of it and that it was “hush-hush.”

“It’s fabulous,” Clements said. “They’ve been looking for several years. It’s great that they’ve finally landed. Hopefully, they’ll do phenomenal and open more stores.”


The Trader Joe’s will fill the vacant property at 3684 28th St. SE that once housed Ruby Tuesday, a property Wierda’s been holding on to since 1994, Wierda said.

Trader Joe’s said today that the Kentwood store is scheduled to open late this year or in early 2016.

The store will be about 10,000 square feet.

Triangle Associates in Grand Rapids will begin the construction on the shell of the store for CWD within the next couple of weeks, a Triangle spokesperson said.

That work should be completed in June, when the project will be turned back to the tenant, which has a team that will complete the space.

Triangle Associates is also doing construction work on the Dave and Buster’s behind the Trader Joe’s location.

Wierda said CWD has been working with Trader Joe’s for years to find a suitable West Michigan location. Finally getting Trader Joe’s here is great news for the market, he said.

“It speaks volumes to our community. (Trader Joe’s) appears to take their time when making decisions on marketplaces, and we’re glad we were able to help bring them here,” he said.

“I think it’s cool for Grand Rapids. It’s fun for us as a landlord, but I think we also understand its significance for our marketplace. It says we’ve got a cool, diverse market, and it says a lot about our education level.”

Trader Joe’s operates stores across Michigan: Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Grosse Pointe, Northville, Rochester Hills and Royal Oak, according to its website.

Trader Joe’s said that its stores carry “an extensive array" of domestic and imported foods and beverages: artisan breads, Arabica bean coffees, international frozen entrées, 100-percent juices, fresh crop nuts, deli items, vitamins and more.

The chain sells a number of specialty store brand items.

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