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Blight to community market?

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:54 PM

After dinner, you browse local art, then rent a hand-crafted kayak for a 45-minute paddle down the Grand River. After your journey, you buy some fresh fruits and vegetables at the indoor farmers market and schedule an appointment for a yoga class the next morning.

This and more could all be available in a blighted factory building on South Cutler Street in Spring Lake, adjacent to Mill Point Park.

Commercial developer/investor Vince Labozzetta hopes to present plans to turn the 70,000-square-foot building into a multi-use community market to village officials as early as next month.

The venue could include working artist space, a distillery, brew pub, restaurant, live music, food trucks, kayak and bike rental vendors, and more.

Labozzetta envisions community space similar to the Grand Rapids Market, but more affordable.

“It's a pretty big vision with artists and craftsmen,” he said. “It's like a low-budget Grand Rapids deal. I want to create the same things, but make it more economical for the everyday person.”

The property is currently zoned industrial and part of the space is being used as such. But the village's Master Plan designates the land's future zoning as commercial/market district.

“The community is broken up a little bit,” said Labozzetta, who owns commercial property in Norton Shores. “We don't really have a district or area like Grand Rapids has Monroe Mall. That's what I see creating — a downtown district.”

The developer wouldn't divulge names, but said he has talked to several breweries about occupying some of the space, and the interest seemed mutual.

Labozzetta said he already has commitments from several artists and health and wellness practitioners to rent office space there. A kayak builder has also expressed interest in leasing space, as has a Grand Rapids bar owner.

He said there's also plenty of space for a performing arts/event area.

“But it would be a little bit edgier than what might be for the business-suit crowd,” Labozzetta said.

Read the complete story in Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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