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Downtown Traverse City Development / Businesses on the Move

Retail Shops On The Move, 4Front Expanding

February 18, 2016
Retail Shops On The Move, 4Front Expanding

4Front Credit Union is opening a new branch in downtown Traverse City, national children’s resale franchise Once Upon A Child is coming to the area and several other stores are on the move in The Ticker’s latest look at local business openings and closings.

4Front Credit Union
Following a decision this month by law firm Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge to “consolidate our workspace footprint and move our offices entirely to the second floor” of the 101 North Park building, 4Front Credit Union President Andy Kempf confirms his company will open a new branch in the vacated ground floor this spring.

“This will be our fifth branch in the community,” Kempf tells The Ticker. “We’ve been looking to get downtown for convenience’s sake for our customers. This will give us a better presence…and also allow us to focus on business development.”

Kempf says 4Front will begin renovations within the next month to convert the first floor into a full-service branch with an ATM. The credit union – which also maintains locations on West Front Street, Hastings Street, South Airport Road and US-31 – hopes to open the downtown branch in May or June, Kempf says.

Once Upon A Child
The country’s largest children’s resale franchise is opening its first northern Michigan location this summer at 2751 N. US-31 South next to Red Lobster.

Franchise owner Jen O’Brien will begin a build-out this weekend in the 5,200 square-foot future home of Once Upon A Child, which specializes in the buying and selling of gently used kids’ clothing, shoes, toys and baby gear. “We’ll be open in April to begin buying (merchandise) for eight weeks, then we’ll have a grand opening hopefully in early June,” O’Brien says.

Once Upon A Child – which is owned by the same company behind Plato’s Closet and Play It Again Sports – differentiates itself by only paying cash for items (no store credit or consignment), buying seasonal items year-round and offering bigger store footprints and inventory selection, O’Brien says.

“When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do (in retail), this is what I heard from friends and family they wished was here,” says O’Brien, a Traverse City native and retail industry veteran who’s moving back to open the store. “Right now, Grand Rapids is the closest location.”

Other Businesses On The Move
Clothing, furniture and housewares consignment shop Evergreen Consignment – which opened last summer on Cherry Bend Road in the Grand Traverse Regional Arts Campus – is moving to 720 West Front Street. According to owner Jaffe Rae Davis, the store will “reopen sometime during the month of April” in the former Edany BLT space. The company is hosting a moving sale on Saturday, February 27; the Cherry Bend Road location will remain open through mid-March.

Also on West Front Street, stylist Chad Smarsty has opened The Hair Code Salon at 901 West Front (Suite B) behind Impres Salon Spa. Smartsy launched his full-service salon February 1, which offers haircuts, coloring, highlights and ombres, as well as house calls.

Around the corner, Brandon Larabee, D.C. opened new chiropractic practice Pathways Chiropractic at 1001 Bay Street (Suite C) Monday. 

On the other end of downtown, owner Rex Rector has closed his Blue Heart Tattoo shop at 441 East Front Street and reopened the business at a new location at 508 Munson Avenue next to Terrace Shopper. The company will host a grand opening party for the new shop on Saturday, March 12.

Finally, two well-known local businesses are on the hunt for new owners. Matt Hunter has put his Dockside Party Store – which operates two locations on West Bay Shore Drive and N. US-31 South – up for sale. The stores will remain open as Hunter looks for a buyer, according to real estate agent Tom Krause.

House of Doggs owner Nick McAllister has also put his Grand Traverse Mall food court location up for sale as a turnkey operation. The listing includes all restaurant equipment and is priced at $145,000. McAllister is selling the company to pursue “a new career opportunity,” according to the listing.

Pictured above: 101 North Park

Posted: Thursday, February 18, 2016 3:35 PM by Jon Becker

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