GRAND RAPIDS — For the first time in more than a few full moons, new retail is coming to MonroeCenter this week.
Angie Werkema and Gina VanGessel are christening An’gina’s in the PeckBuilding with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and fashion show on Wednesday and a grand opening sale on Saturday. Werkema and VanGessel call An’gina’s an “eclectic, cutting-edge clothier” that offers women big-city fashions and accessories in the small-town setting of MonroeCenter
“Now driving a half-hour to a crowded mall is a thing of the past. We offer the customer a setting where they can relax and socialize in surroundings that breathe style,” VanGessel said.
Werkema said An’gina’s — a combination of their first names — will hold private buying parties and offer custom buying for its clientele.
The co-owners have signed a five-year lease with the Rockford Development Group, which owns the PeckBuilding, for 1,800 square feet of space on the ground floor next to Little Bohemia. Independent Bank provided the financing for the new shop.
Rockford Development renovated the empty PeckBuilding five years ago. Today, the structure at Division and MonroeCenter has office space, retail shops and condominiums.
“When we first began developing this area, we had all these ideas about how we could really make the MonroeCenter neighborhood look and feel like a neighborhood. It needed living space and it needed retail,” said John Wheeler, Rockford CEO.
“Now we look around and see condominium projects to one side and a first-class boutique to the other,” he added. “Our vision and the city’s vision is coming together.”