GRAND RAPIDS — DeVries Jewelers plans to tear down the abandoned Lannings’ restaurant on Grand Rapids’ west side to make way for a new storefront for the fourth-generation, family-owned jewelry retailer.
Owner Dan DeVries filed plans with the city to tear down the dilapidated building at 433 Leonard St. NW. This would clear the way for a new DeVries Jewelers storefront as the business plans to relocate from its current space down the street at 411 Leonard St. NW.
DeVries reportedly first expressed an interest in moving onto the Lannings’ property in 2009, and the building has been vacant for more than 15 years. DeVries, who acquired the Lannings’ property in 2006 for $525,000, declined to comment on the redevelopment plan.
Site plans filed with the city call for demolishing the aging structure and constructing a two-story, 6,000-square-foot jewelry store and an 80-space surface parking lot that could be used by DeVries and other businesses on the Leonard Street corridor.
The Grand Rapids Planning Commission on March 23 will consider a special land use request for the proposed development because the number of parking spaces exceeds the zoning ordinance requirement by more than 20 percent. Currently, the entire site at 433 Leonard is paved, except for the portion with the Lannings’ building, according to plans filed with the city.
The project would join a wave of recent developments along the Leonard Street corridor. Most recently, Alt City NA Bottles and Beer LLC opened a storefront in December 2022 across Leonard Street from the Lanning’s building. The store serves the non-alcoholic beverage market with spirits alternatives, non-alcoholic beer and wine.
One of the biggest ongoing developments in the area is the Victory on Leonard project, a 120-unit mixed-used project that could wrap up this year. Victory Development Group LLC is working with Honor Construction to build apartments at the site of a former YMCA building that was demolished to make way for the project at 900 Leonard St. NW.
Planning documents show Pinnacle Construction Group and Venture Engineering PLLC are contractors on the DeVries Jewelers project.
Lannings’ restaurant closed in 2008 as father-and-son owners Dave and Jon Hartger cited slow business, according to an MLive report at the time. The Hartgers relocated the restaurant to Cascade Township on 28th Street in 2009, which has since closed. The restaurant, known for its fried chicken, opened in 1941.