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Demolition begins for Epicurean Village development

Marie Havenga • Jun 5, 2019 at 10:00 AM

SPRING LAKE — Kim VanKampen's Epicurean Village development was expected to bring excitement to downtown Spring Lake, but no one could have imagined what happened Tuesday afternoon.

During demolition work of the building at 110 W. Savidge St. — one of three buildings VanKampen plans to redevelop into a new blend of restaurant, retail and residential — sparks began to fly and fire broke out. Small crowds gathered outside of Spring Lake businesses to watch the fire erupt.

The site formerly housed Braak's Bakery, which itself was destroyed by fire in 1997. It was later the Phoenix Deli-Cafe, which closed more than a decade ago.

VanKampen plans to raze the building, along with the building immediately east of it, as part of her redevelopment plan. She plans to renovate the third building, which is immediately west of Village Hall.

The Village Planning Commission approved the site plan last fall. The plans call for 28,000 square feet of mixed use, with one restaurant, three retail spaces, a bakery, and five or six residences.

Van Kampen has said in the past that she envisions a high-end kitchen store, a bakery/coffee shop and a landmark restaurant. She plans to maintain the facade of the building immediately west of Village Hall, which most recently housed a consignment shop and, prior to that, Renegade River. That building will become a two-story restaurant with rooftop dining. She will build more modern-looking structures on the lots of the razed buildings that will likely house a cafe and retail, with condominiums above.

Because of proposed residential uses on the upper floors, the project requires the special use permit that planning commissioners approved last fall.

Van Kampen, a Florida resident whose family has owned summer homes on Spring Lake for more than six decades, has spent more than $3 million on property acquisition. She has also purchased the former Citgo gas station, Bilz Pool and Spas, and the Haight Building in Spring Lake. Those buildings are expected to be redeveloped or repurposed after the Epicuean Village development is completed, which is anticipated for 2020.

To view site project drawings and floor plans, visit www.epicureanvillage.com.

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