More in store

New retailers come to Big Rapids

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store and CareLinc Medical are moving into the old Kmart space in Big Rapids on Perry Avenue. Photo by: Abbey Good | Multimedia Editor

Members of the Big Rapids community will soon have two new stores to enjoy in town.

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store and CareLinc Medical, a medical supply store, are moving into the Ferris Commons retail strip located at 1250 Perry Ave., according to a press release by Colliers International, the real estate service coordinating the lease.

“We think bringing in brand-name retailers adds credibility to both the shopping center, as well as the community. Providing reliable quality shopping options and care options, in the case of CareLinc, enhances the overall area,” Colliers International Senior Research Analyst Jeff Hainer said.

According to the press release, the stores are sharing an 80,000 square-foot space that used to belong to Kmart. Jo-Ann will occupy 15,000 square feet, with CareLinc Medical occupying 10,000 square feet. This space is also taken by Planet Fitness and Family Farm and Home.

“It’s not always easy to fill a former big box like Kmart, so we are just thrilled that we were able to play a role in filling that, given the current retail climate,” Hainer said.

Many students believe the availability of these stores will provide great opportunities for Big Rapids residents. Ferris healthcare systems administration senior Jacqlyn Reynolds thinks the community will benefit from having CareLinc Medical in a convenient location.

“Big Rapids is a great community for CareLinc since there are individuals in every community that need home medical equipment and supplies,” Reynolds said.

These new retailers will also benefit RSOs. Ferris pre-pharmacy and biology senior Mykala Jeske said the opening of Jo-Ann will be of value to her RSO, Crafters Anonymous.

“I feel a craft store is something Big Rapids is missing,” Jeske said. “For Crafters Anonymous, we always struggle to get supplies for crafts that we want to do. We have trouble finding materials for more specific crafts and the amount of materials we would need for the whole organization to do the craft. With Jo-Ann Fabric coming to Big Rapids, I think it will allow the group to expand the range of crafts that we do together.” 

Hainer said that Jo-Ann began moving into the space in February, while CareLinc Medical is estimated to move in around July.

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