Leonard St Developments (2024)

Is 2024 the year of Leonard St? As the [re]development of Wealthy St and Bridge St corridors have continued at a steady pace the [re]development of other corridors has been more uneven. But now the Leonard St corridor seems to be rolling; if all the projects come to fruition the corridor will have between 700 and 850 new residential units within five (5) years. Having between eight hundred and a thousand new neighbors would have a significant impact on the vitality of the corridor which is already seeing a growing number of open store front businesses; including Furn On Leonard to Nature's ReLeaf. These new shops have joined legacy businesses like The Shade Shop, Ralph's Food Market, Wengers Bowling Center, and Northwestern Home Furnishings which have endured all the economic twists and turns of the last century, as well as the long slow catastrophe that is American Urban Planning. While a significant amount of vacancy remains - meanwhile the Wealthy St corridor flirts with zero vacancy - the direction of the Leonard St corridor is heavy with promise.

This corridor provides the city of Grand Rapids another chance at excellence. So far the city has tucked its tail regarding bicycle infrastructure west of Alpine due to a cabal of business owner's concern for street parking, yet has also continued to fund the Dash and is proceeding with a north-south connection from Leonard to Ann (see below). Hopefully some learning has occurred and the city can do a better job of getting in line with development rather than the dithering we've seen on Bridge St - where the city has invested nothing for pedestrians, cyclists, or public transit. Density is an environmental, economic, and cultural good; but it can be done with excellence, or it can be done ... "American". Mark Washington, Grand Rapids' City Manager, has remarked several times on his frustration at the continued lack of high density development in the city. However, the city has not demonstrated its commitment to doing even mid-rise density all that well. As these corridors grow and re-fill there is no better time to make the investments in mobility infrastructure which supports the best experience of a dense urban environment.

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805 & 825 Leonard St NE

Status: Approved

Type: Residential Rehabilitation Facility

Year: 2025 ?

Transit: Rapid#15

Previous Use: Office Space, Medical (Blodgett St. John's)

385 Leonard St NE

Status: Proposed / Approved

Type: Residential (118 units), mixed-use with a very small potential commercial space. Includes both micro-units and four-bedroom units.

Year: 2025 ?

Transit: Rapid#11, Rapid#15

Current Use: vacant

~50 Leonard St NE

This project is actually 1340 Monroe Ave NW, but being a significant [potential] development only a block off of Leonard this seems like it should be included.

Status: Proposed / Unknown

Type: Mixed-Use Residential (260 - 526 units)

Year: 2025 ?

Transit: Rapid#11, DASH

Current Status: abandoned industrial

Brownfield tax credits to support the first phase of the development have been approved, however there has been no activity on the site. The plan is for the entirety of the existing site to be demolished and cleared.

Trail Project

Type: Path / Greenway

Year: 2024 (?) - 2025

Transit: Rapid#11, DASH

Current: Abandoned railroad right-of-way; the tracks have been absent for at least a decade.

While the city has made no progress on creating an east-west right-of-way for cyclists and pedestrians the progression of the north-south connectivity is more promising. It is possible that some construction could begin yet this year. The Grand River Edge East path will close the gap between Monroe North / Canal Park and the White Pine Trail.

260 Leonard St NW

Status: Discussed / Defunct?

Type: Residential, Mixed-Use

Year: ?

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

This project was discussed prior to the rezoning of this area from Transitional City Center to City Center by the City Commission in January of 2024. This rezoning was performed at the request of unnamed developers regarding an unknown number of inquiries. The rezoning allows for greater height and eliminates parking requirements.

401 Leonard St NW

Status: Discussed / Unknown?

Type: Residential, Mixed-Use, ~100 apartments

Year: ?

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

This is the corner of Leonard & Turner, the former Brann's restaurant. A ~100 unit development has been discussed with no specificity as to the scale or timeline. The Brann's owners were also the owner of the 415 Leonard St NW property discussed next.

415 Leonard St NW

Status: Operational

Type: Office

Year: 2020

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

Previous Use: vacant, three structures were demolished

433 Leonard St NW

Status: Construction

Type: Retail & Venue

Previous Use: Restaurant (Lanning's)

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

Year: 2024 -

Site of the former Lanning's restaurant, which has been demolished. The new building is the future home of Devries Jewelers who will vacate their current retail space. The new facility will include a second floor venue area.

450 Leonard St NW

Status: Operational

Type: Restaurant

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

Website: https://www.bagelkitchengr.com/

Year: 2024

The newly renovated home of Bagel Kitchen's second location; the first location is in Gaslight Village (East Grand Rapids). Bagel Kitchen joins this revitalized retail block which is also the home of Furn On Leonard, Captain Bizzaro's Treasure World, and the More Or Less NA bottle shop.

510 Leonard St NW

Status: Approved

Type: Residential (3 units)

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

Year: 2024

Image is from Google Maps streetview and thus may not be current.

This is a renovation of an existing structure into three (3) residential units.

555 Leonard St NW

Status: Discussed / Unknown?

Type: Residential, Mixed-Used (four stories, 28 units)

Year: 2025 - 2026 ?

Transit: Rapid#7, DASH

Current Use: vacant lot

This lot is current used as a [gravel] parking lot, located next to Long Road Distillery. There is a transit shelter for the south / in-bound Rapid #7 located across Leonard next to Two Scott's BBQ.

Site Elevation

662 Leonard St NW

Status: Construction

Type: Recreational, Venue

Year: 2024 - 2025

Transit: Rapid#7, Rapid#9, DASH

Previous Use: vacant, formerly a grocery market.

The Pickle 'N Pin recreational venue, with indoor pickle ball courts and golf simulator.

730 Leonard St NW

Status: Operational

Type: Residential Mixed-user (18 units)

Website: https://www.730leonard.com/

Year: 2020 - 2022

Before After

754 Leonard St NW

Status: Operational

Type: Residential (36 units), Mixed-Use

Year: 2016 - 2018

Transit: Rapid#7, Rapid#9

Name: Leo & Al

Website: https://www.leoandal.com/

This is the grand daddy of all modern Leonard St developments; it - way back in 2016 - was the first multi-story mixed-use development on the Leonard St corridor. It sat alone for four long years, until the redevelopment of its near neighbor at 730 Leonard St NW in 2020.

851 Leonard St NW

Status: Approved / Defunct?

Type: Residential (55 senior living units)

Transit: Rapid#7, Rapid#9

Year: 2025 ?

Transit: Rapid#7, Rapid#9

Previous Use: Funeral Home (Van't Hof Chapel)

LIHTC affordable housing credits were approved in August of 2023. There has been no demolition activity on the site.

900 Leonard St NW

Status: Operational

Type: Residential Mixed-Use (120 units)

Year: 2023 - 2024

Transit: Rapid#7, Rapid#9

Name: Victory On Leonard

Previous Use: The site of The Geek Group, which had taken over the defunct West Side YMCA facility.

Website: https://www.victoryonleonard.com/

A transit shelter has been installed for Rapid#7 users.