Kmart Alpine Twin Getting A New Look

    GRAND RAPIDS — Ground has been broken and construction soon will begin on the former Kmart site on Alpine Avenue.

    Geenen DeKock Properties of Holland is undertaking the $11 million renovation, which includes the site of a former Penske building and the Alpine Twin Theater, both of which are no longer standing.

    The group purchased the property after Kmart closed and broke its lease with the former property owner. The store was the first Kmart in the area, built in 1963.

    Chuck Geenen said the 17-acre site would be redeveloped into a 169,000-square-foot shopping center with two new restaurants to be built on the frontage of Alpine Avenue. The restaurants are T.G.I. Friday’s and Logan’s Roadhouse.

    Plans call for renovating the 118,000-square-foot Kmart building and adding additional retail space to the north. Retailers planning to inhabit the space include Linens ’N Things, Marshall’s, Schuler Books and Petco. Geenen said there is still space available for additional tenants. When completed, there will be eight retailers ranging in size from 8,000 square feet to 32,000 square feet.

    “We are willing to work with the prototype of what the retailers need,” Geenen said. “Depending on what type and how much space they need, we can make something work.”

    The former Alpine Twin site will be used for parking, and Geenen said more spots will be added to the property’s existing lot.

    “The theater was built kind of on the middle of the property, with parking in the front and back. We are going to put the addition on to the Kmart building all the way to the back of the property, therefore allowing parking in the front of the shopping center,” Geenen explained.

    He added that the firm is working with the City of Walker to purchase a home site on Coventry Drive that will be used to connect the public road to the development. The driveway will give access to a traffic signal to make northbound turns onto Alpine Avenue.

    “There is also a light on Alpine in front of the property that we are able to take advantage of, as well,” he said.

    Geenan said the new retail-and-restaurant combination should be right at home on Alpine as the area continues to grow and develop. It will join neighbors such as Olive Garden, Star Theatres, Target, OfficeMax and Cracker Barrel.

    Construction and renovations have begun and work will continue throughout the year. Geenen said the retail center could see the first one or two stores open in the fall with the remaining opening in spring 2003.

    “Our work load is laid out and we are set to start building the center up,” Geenen said. “We are right on schedule and this time next year this area will have a different look.” 

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