The city recently approved a licensing agreement with Teresa Patteuw, who plans to install and operate a “pop-up” retail store in the space known as “Sherwood Forest.” The shop would sell souvenir art products.
“It’s going to be a seasonal thing, from May until Labor Day,” Assistant to the City Manager Vester Davis said. “They’ll be out of there by Sept. 16.”
A pop-up store is a short-term sales space that makes use of vacant or underutilized places. The structure would be similar in size to the Santa House, which is placed in that same downtown location each December.
“It’d be a shed-like structure that would be there throughout the summer,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.
The move is the result of an agreement dating back to Dec. 1, 2014, between the city and Fifth Third, which owns the property. The agreement allows the small lot to be used for retail businesses.
After approving the agreement, the city deferred to the Grand Haven Main Street Downtown Development Authority (DDA) to see the project through; however, the authority declined the opportunity in 2015. City Council re-approved a one-year agreement with Fifth Third in April of this year.
“My board does support the concept for this year to see how it goes,” DDA Director Diane Sheridan said, who noted that her board took no formal action on the project.
Sheridan said the initial concerns that the DDA had about the idea included duplicating businesses that already exist in the downtown, such as a coffee shop stand located next to an existing coffee shop.
While there are art galleries, Sheridan said there is nothing downtown that offers a similar product as was being proposed for this year’s shack.
“That type of souvenir art product is not offered at other venues downtown,” she said.
The vendor will be charged a rent fee of $975 for use of the space for the season. The rent money will be deposited to the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation Catwalk Fund.
“It’s sort of a win-win for the city, interested business owners and the Catwalk Fund,” Davis said.