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Jenison's shopping losses are Grandville's gains | News

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Jenison's shopping losses are Grandville's gains

GRANDVILE, Mich. (WZZM) -- It's a tale of two communities and the different directions their shopping are headed -- Grandville's 44th Street/Rivertown Parkway corridor is booming, while Chicago Drive is losing more businesses.

Target opened its new supercenter at the corner of 44th Street and Ivanrest Avenue Tuesday, replacing an older store three miles away in Jenison. 

The new Target has new or larger sections for groceries and alcohol.  It also has triple the employees of the Georgetown Township store.

"Not only did we bring over nearly 100 employees from that store -- already trained team members -- we were able to hire 200 more people from the community," says Target team leader Rick Miller.

"Jobs, jobs, jobs -- that's what the chamber is looking for," says Sandy LeBlanc with the Grandville-Jenison Chamber of Commerce. "It's a good tax base for the city."

But the relocation of Target means a loss of jobs and tax revenue for Jenison, and adds another empty building to a growing list.

"It's like there is nothing over there anymore," says shopper Cara Vruggink.

"I'm speaking for everyone in Jenison," says Target customer Matt Brzozowski.  "It looks miserable."

The 44th Street corridor has RiverTown Crossings Mall, a Cabela's outdoor store coming soon and a large population nearby -- and it's a magnet for retailers.

"It's not about abandoning Chicago Drive," says Miller. "It's just a better site. It's busier by the mall traffic."

Community leaders say they are trying to attract new businesses to fill the empty stores on Chicago Drive.

"Our chamber has actually been working for a couple of years on filling up empty storefronts," says LeBlanc. "It has been a concern for a long time.

"Jenison has the lowest tax base in the community, as far as business.  There are 47,000 people that drive that corridor every day.  I think they might be able to make some headway."

The chamber of commerce is hoping to attract a Dave and Busters restaurant, bar and gaming complex to Chicago Drive.  There is also interest in a Peppino's sports bar and opening a senior citizens' center, but so far no deals are done.


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