Commercial art gallery

Big changes coming to Front Street: Cherry Republic will take over Arcade Building

Big changes are coming to Front Street in downtown Traverse City, with Cherry Republic planning to vacate its nearly 10,000 square foot space next year and renovate and move into the Arcade building on the same block. The move will allow Cherry Republic landlords to become co-owners instead of renting out their building, bring to market a sprawling, prime retail space on Front Street, and require most of Arcade’s current tenants to find new homes by September – many having already secured or eyeing new locations.

As part of the deal, current Arcade building owner Terry Beia will retain 50% ownership of the building under his Traverse City Development LLC, while Cherry Republic owner Bob Sutherland will own 42.5%. and Cherry Republic CEO Todd Ciolek will own 7.5%. “At the time we moved into the Whiting (building) the owners were interested in selling, but over the years and as we fixed it up they decided to keep it,” Sutherland said of Cherry Republic’s current space. . “We are proud of the investments we have made as a tenant. And proud to leave owners well positioned with plenty of time to fill that valuable space.

Cherry Republic will fully renovate the Arcade space and then sign a long-term triple net lease for approximately 14,000 of the building’s 16,000 square feet, according to Beia. The company is targeting a spring 2023 move to the new space. A new real estate listing for current Cherry Republic space notes that the company’s lease expires in March 2023, with the owners seeking a tenant after that time for “perhaps the strongest retail location in Northern Michigan.” The space includes nearly 10,000 square feet on the ground floor plus a full basement and is listed at $20,798 per month. The listing says a single tenant is preferred, but the landlord “will dispense with subdividing the space for small users.”

Sutherland says Cherry Republic is “thrilled to have a permanent space in Traverse City,” something he says the company has been working on for nearly two decades. “We are thrilled to be able to fully express our brand in a permanent space, and where our investment turns into capital, as we did in Glen Arbor,” he said. “Our goal has always been to pack our cherries in Northern Michigan essence. To capture the farmers, the history, the nature of this exceptional region. Put cherries in a cathedral. The Arcade is a great building for achieving these goals. Sutherland adds that Traverse City has become the “biggest location” in the company’s portfolio, a flagship that “gets more traffic than any other storefront” and hosted the bulk of the company’s 430 employees at Christmas. “More and more of our main offices and key employees would like to work in Traverse City,” says Sutherland. “We have become a network in the TC workforce which, of course, is much larger than the Glen Arbor workforce.”

Beia says the decision to sell half of the Arcade was “bittersweet” and “not taken lightly”, noting that the building was his company’s first downtown acquisition in the 1990s (Traverse City Development now owns five buildings and two vacant lots in the downtown area). The building has served as an important “incubator for small retailers for the past 50+ years,” says Beia. “Many well-known successful companies got their start in space. The building provided an affordable option for mom-and-pop store owners to test out their designs and gain exposure downtown.

So what will happen to those Arcade tenants now? Beia says The Flying Noodle has a lease with options through 2030 and will “remain at the current location”. The other tenants, however, have month-to-month leases and have until September 7 to move out. “I wanted to give them another round of summer sales before they had to move,” says Beia. The list of tenants includes Art & Soul Gallery, 2nd Level Goods, Studio Anatomy, Bayfront Scooters, Yellow Umbrella Vintage and Black Candle Tattoo.

Two tenants – Yellow Umbrella Vintage and Art & Soul Gallery – are moving to Savannah, Georgia. Yellow Umbrella Vintage will leave the Arcade at the end of April, while Art & Soul gallery owner Amy Staffan-Hess said it will stay open all summer and move in September. The move comes as Art & Soul Gallery celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with Staffan-Hess calling the moment “a blessing in disguise”. At 54, she isn’t ready to retire yet, but says rents in downtown Traverse City have risen more than 60%, making the gallery’s move to a city more attractive. forward thinking with nearly 15 million annual visitors and 12 months of heat – time shoppers are trying to afford another space on Front Street.

“There were a few tears from the artists, but it’s an art metropolis out there (in Savannah)…and I’ll bring a lot of them with me and expose them to a new market and a new culture there,” Staffan-Hess said. . She adds that the gallery is also working with My Secret Stash to transfer the representation of several artists to the Union Street store. Staffan-Hess will also manage the Art & Soul Gallery’s website and social media accounts so Traverse City customers can stay connected, she says.

Other tenants are also planning their next steps. Bayfront Scooters received approval from the Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Commission last week to move from the Arcade to a new rental, retail and concession center at the Civic Center, just south from the skate park. Co-owners Charles Lakritz and Shaun Quinn will erect a 16’x52′ building at the east end of the park and operate the space from spring through fall in 2022, 2023 and 2024, to begin with. As part of the deal, Bayfront Scooters will provide on-site bike and e-bike rentals; accessories and repairs for bicycles, electric bicycles, scooters and skates; e-bike tours for groups of up to nine people; and take-out concessions like bottled water, sports drinks, and packaged snacks. In addition to on-site staff, Bayfront also plans to bring in dedicated local skaters and riders to act as ambassadors, helping to ensure the skate park remains clean and safe. Ambassadors will be rewarded with “Bayfront Bucks” which they can use to purchase goods and rentals from the on-site shop.

Studio Anatomy/Eugene’s Record Co-op owner Brian Chamberlain says he’s “super disappointed” to have to leave the Arcade, noting that he “has spent the past ten years building this small community of artists underground with the music room for all ages, art studio workspaces, and recording studio. 300 to 500 people, a search that now includes finding space for his own businesses He recently contacted the Cherryland Center leasing agent “to find out if they would accept the idea of ​​using the old space of the Younkers department store as a large performance center and also to incorporate an artist studio group, an audio production studio, an art gallery space, a record store as well as a small venue that we could use to organize events for all ages and local art receptions,” he says.

According to Chamberlain, Cherryland Center management is “very willing to make this business model work in the Younkers space.” He is also reaching out to Garfield Township to see if his vision for the property would be supported. “This new location would provide us with a huge space to build a large performance art room and expand on what I have already established at Studio Anatomy on Front Street,” he says. “I’m reaching out to other local businesses who might be interested in collaborating and renting portions of the nearly 50,000 square feet of retail space. I would also like to incorporate an additional craft brewery production facility (from an already established local brewery), bar, pizzeria, and skateboard shop into the space. It would be wonderful to bring traffic back to Cherryland Mall with a focus on local, quirky art and music for the urbanites, creatives, and working class individuals who call Traverse City their full-time home.

Also in downtown Traverse City…
The changes aren’t just for Cherry Republic and Downtown Arcade. Cousin Jenny’s is moving to a new location further east on State Street, the Cali building is up for sale on Front Street and West Bay Handmade has put its business up for sale on East Front. For more details on these stories, click here.