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TenPoundHammer

A couple of obscure Grand Rapids malls

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I am looking for information on Grand Village Mall in Grandville, as well as Kentwood Village Mall on 44th in Kentwood.

I know that Grand Village had a Witmark's showroom and a Rite Aid at one point, and the whole building is now a huge church. I don't know anything about Kentwood Village Mall, except that some sort of health center now occupies it. I remember driving by it now and then when my dad lived in Kentwood. Someone once told me that Kentwood Village looked like it had a former Kroger and another anchor store that was never built.

If anyone could share info on these malls, I would appreciate it.

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I don't think they have functioned as indoor shopping centers for years, I remember a while ago the one in Grandville, but I don't remember the Kentwood one functioning as a retail outlet for well over a decade, in fact I dont remember there ever being a time when the kentwood one functioned as anything other than the jcpenney catalog center. ( That should show you the limited time I lived in Grand Rapids)

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Let's see...they were somewhat similar - small malls with local retailers.

Kentwood Village - Hallmark, Jody's Restaurant (same as in Rockford), Klumpps luggage, a Christian bookstore, Kentwood Village Apparel, a toy store, hair places, the anchor spot was originally a Kroger but became a bowling alley. That's about all I can remember...we would ride our bikes there quite a bit as kids. It was pretty full for a short time and then began a quick decline. There was (and maybe still is) a JC Penney call center in the back. Now it's all offices.

Grand Village - A little bigger, but not much different. Witmark (where the YMCA is now), Edmin's, Dutch Deli, a Baker Book House and various other places. A lot of the old storefronts are still the same as they were and it still houses the Y and a Playworld. The rest was sold to Mars Hill Bible Church for a pretty good price since it was declining very fast. The inside still is reminiscent of the old mall. One memory I had as a kid is that my family and I were bored one day and said, "Let's go somewhere new" and went to go check out Grand Village. It was so boring that we had a joke that went, "We're bored, can we go to GRANDVILLE!" (insert sarcastic tone)

I think Breton Village was cut from the same mold but of course, that's still a mall.

There you go...that's all I remember! :)

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I have always wanted to know what happened to the sculpture of the man holding the bird that was inside of North Kent Mall.

Witmark, oh the memories. I loved their GI Joe spreads in the catalogs.

The Witmark building oby the old North Kent Mall is still standing, signage and all.....it's been empty for years now. I wonder who owns that property and why it's never been filled....

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I don't think they have functioned as indoor shopping centers for years, I remember a while ago the one in Grandville, but I don't remember the Kentwood one functioning as a retail outlet for well over a decade, in fact I dont remember there ever being a time when the kentwood one functioned as anything other than the jcpenney catalog center. ( That should show you the limited time I lived in Grand Rapids)

Kentwood Village Mall still is the JC Penney catalog call center.

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I have always wanted to know what happened to the sculpture of the man holding the bird that was inside of North Kent Mall.

Witmark, oh the memories. I loved their GI Joe spreads in the catalogs.

The Witmark building oby the old North Kent Mall is still standing, signage and all.....it's been empty for years now. I wonder who owns that property and why it's never been filled....

North Kent, now there's another blast to the past... :)

Any memories of that one? It actually had a GAP and other national stores in it, didn't it?

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North Kent NEVER had a Gap, If it were nice enough to have a gap i doubt they would have bull dozed it and put a lowes in the malls place.

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North Kent NEVER had a Gap, If it were nice enough to have a gap i doubt they would have bull dozed it and put a lowes in the malls place.

North Kent Mall had a Gap. It was right in the middle, behind that central fountain. The major chain stores that I can recall: Walden Books, Radio Shack, Zales, CVS, J Riggins, Foot Locker, Claire's, Sbarros, McDonald's, Aladdin's Castle(classic arcade!), Payless Shoes, KayBee Toys (formerly Circus World), Pearle Vision...and last but not least, Orange Julius :)

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North Kent Mall had a Gap. It was right in the middle, behind that central fountain. The major chain stores that I can recall: Walden Books, Radio Shack, Zales, CVS, J Riggins, Foot Locker, Claire's, Sbarros, McDonald's, Aladdin's Castle(classic arcade!), Payless Shoes, KayBee Toys (formerly Circus World), Pearle Vision...and last but not least, Orange Julius :)

They also had a short-lived movie theatre, although it was detached from the rest of the mall. Whatever became of that? The last time I saw it it appeared to have been empty for years.

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They also had a short-lived movie theatre, although it was detached from the rest of the mall. Whatever became of that? The last time I saw it it appeared to have been empty for years.

The movie theater had a good long run actually as a "first run" theater (15 years or more?) prior to becoming a 99 cent cinema, like the Alpine Twin used to be. It's been empty for about as long as the Whitmark previously mentioned in this thread.

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it is empty along with half of the retailers that were big in the 80's back when Plainfield wasn't a creepy avenue.

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North Kent Mall had a Gap. It was right in the middle, behind that central fountain. The major chain stores that I can recall: Walden Books, Radio Shack, Zales, CVS, J Riggins, Foot Locker, Claire's, Sbarros, McDonald's, Aladdin's Castle(classic arcade!), Payless Shoes, KayBee Toys (formerly Circus World), Pearle Vision...and last but not least, Orange Julius :)

I don't remember the Gap either (or the Sbarros). I do remember the Orange Julius and the fountain when it was still functioning and filled with coins (I think I may have even thrown in a few.)

Mostly because of my age, I am more familiar with the mall when all that was left was the Walden Books, McDonald's, Bargain Books (which replaced one of he clothing stores), Joanne fabrics which I belive replaced a Casual Corners after the spot was emty for several years. Then of course there were the two anchors, Wards and KMart. The decline of both stores certainly didn't help the mall any.

...and near the end there were plenty of walkers (but very few shopers)

I never thought about what might have happened to the statues (both of them) until grandrollerz brought it up.

BTW, last time I was on Plainfield, the Wards building was being renovated for something. What moved in there?

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BTW, last time I was on Plainfield, the Wards building was being renovated for something. What moved in there?

Dunham's Sports and Dollar Tree occupy portions of the former Monkey Wards at North Kent. The mall itself has been replaced with a Lowe's. Kmart is still there as well, occupying what I'm told was once a JC Penney. (Strange switch if you ask me.)

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it is empty along with half of the retailers that were big in the 80's back when Plainfield wasn't a creepy avenue.

Poor poor plainfield.

The North Kent Mall was flanked by KMart, and Montgomery Wards. The free-standing movie theater is STILL there, but I think the auto dealership finally bought it ???? People are rumored to buy that place every other week it seems like. The North Kent Mall had a whole lot of big time chains in it, when I was a little kid, we used to beg to go "hang out" there, and then in my teen-aged years it really jumped the shark. The KMart is still there, the lowes is doing very well, and then on the other end there is a Dunhams, a dollar store, and i think a farm-tractor supply place is going on the very end.

The whole thing is flanked by two losers, the Whitmarks across Jupiter ave. has sat empty for more than a decade now, as has the Hot n' Now across plainfield from it.

On the other side, the ugly Meijer office building sits, all empty. A church bought it, but I don't know if the bought the whole building, just part, or what, and it seems like the renovations are going extremely slow on it.

They re-did the Wards auto-center, into the new Plainfield fire department, but I hate the looks of the building, and their training center. It just looks stupid, like a bunch of macho fire men sat around and put something on paper, and ended up getting it built.

The death of plainfield deserves its own thread.

I don't remember the Gap either (or the Sbarros). I do remember the Orange Julius and the fountain when

BTW, last time I was on Plainfield, the Wards building was being renovated for something. What moved in there?

Don't forget the pretzel peddler :)

And the Wards is now a Quality Farm and Fleet, or something like that type of store.

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The death of plainfield deserves its own thread.

The death of Plainfield Avenue is due, in large part, to the "re-birth" of Alpine Avenue.

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what about the Handy Andy place down the road. icky!

wait the re-birth of alpine, do you guys think that Alpine becoming a mega road, lead to the downturn of Plainfield?

Plainfield still handles alot of traffic, no where near the amount that Alpine does, but it is largely a commuter rd. now

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The death of Plainfield Avenue is due, in large part, to the "re-birth" of Alpine Avenue.

Was it ever a "re" birth? I don't think Alpine really every had any decline. Once the golf-course got the ax, things really started picking up, IMO.

what about the Handy Andy place down the road. icky!

Don't you mean Hills? :) (What was it before? I never got out on Plainfield that often. ;) )

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The death of Plainfield Avenue is due, in large part, to the "re-birth" of Alpine Avenue.

Darn sale of the Greenridge Country Club.

I live near plainfield still, and I shed a tear every time I drive down it.... Especially near the Taco Boy, where the HILLS was, then a Handy Andy, now nothing at all. The D &W food center near that is also leaving, so it'll be a billion sq feet of empty space, with a Van Ball's meat, a pool center, and Supercuts. :cry:

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maybe we should start a "Streets that were" topic, cause now i'm thinking about South Division, and how that must have been something back in the day, or SW 28th where studio is, because that's definately a dying area, heheheheh "downtown Wyoming".

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Darn sale of the Greenridge Country Club.

I live near plainfield still, and I shed a tear every time I drive down it.... Especially near the Taco Boy, where the HILLS was, then a Handy Andy, now nothing at all. The D &W food center near that is also leaving, so it'll be a billion sq feet of empty space, with a Van Ball's meat, a pool center, and Supercuts. :cry:

D&W's officially outta there. I drove there this morning to pick up some groceries, only to find an official "Closed" sign on the door, and another sign recommending the Family Fare on Northland.

At least there'll be plenty of parking to get plate tags at the Sec. of State's office :P

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I just thought of the plans for redevelopment of the North Kent Mall into an outlet mall (probably like Center Point or whatever it's called now). Those were in one of the empty storefronts for a year or so. They obviously never came to anything but might have helped Plainfield "hold on."

NorthEnder, what are "the HILLS?"

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And you can't redo north kent mall.... it's a lowes now.

Oh, I'm aware of that, It was just something I remember seeing several years ago. I thought the plan had a good design but apparently lacked feasability or something.

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Well I know Visser Bro's bought it when they bought Eastbrook, I know I know Centerpointe, but Im pretty sure the whole time the plan was to close the mall and redevelope the property, I'm also sure that the mall was helplessly unprofitable, by the time Visser Bros got a hold of it, the mall had gone into forclosure. VisserBro's sold both Centerpionte, and the North Kent Property to Lormax Stern in 00' which is about the time Lowes, decided to move in, (Lowes opened in '02). The outlot on North Kent, is privately owned, the theatre was leased thru a cinema mgmt company. I'm having trouble finding who own's the property currently, it's not the mall property owner.

Funny side note, Lormax-Stern, Hired General Growth Properties, to manage Centerpointe a couple of months ago, You should know that General Growth Owns Rivertown Crossings. Lormax will maintain ownership of the mall, but they will tap in to General Growths capital, when it comes to retailer connections. So we may see some new things pop up at centerpointe soon. There's an Mlive article about it, but I don't remember if I can get in trouble If provide links to that sort of thing and I dont wanna get in trouble. :)

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