Parking space

The Candied Yam to Convert South Division Horror into New Restaurant and Banquet Hall

GRAND RAPIDS – The owner of a southern style restaurant Candied Yam LLC is considering expansion with a new banquet hall and restaurant along South Division Avenue in Grand Rapids.

The Grand Rapids Planning Commission on Thursday approved the special land use request for a banquet hall that allows liquor service in the existing 7,000 square foot building located at 932 S. Division Ave. The space was previously occupied by Club Tequila.

“Over time and years things have changed and this building has become an eyesore to the community,” Jessica Ann Tyson, owner of Candied Yam, told the Planning Commission. “This is now a property where we can say we want to make a better place where the community can come, dine and create new memories.”

Concept plans call for a restaurant component in part of the building with an occupancy of approximately 96 people, as well as a banquet area that can accommodate 218 people. Plans also include improvements to the 73-space parking lot at the site.

The location would complement The Candied Yam’s existing restaurant at 2405 44th St. SE on the south side of Grand Rapids.

The Town Planning Commission granted a minimum parking space exemption under the special land use permit due to the restaurant’s proximity to public transport.

Alcohol would not be served in the restaurant. Events held in the banquet space that serve alcohol would be done through a licensed caterer. Plans call for events in the banquet hall to end at 11 p.m. and employees to vacate the premises by midnight.

Nearby owner Cynthia Hicks criticized the plan to allow alcohol in part of the building and called it a “slap in the face” for neighbors and community members.

During this time, Baptist Church of New Hope, United Methodist Community House and others submitted letters in support of the project.

“We have the support of the community,” Tyson said. “We couldn’t get to where we are now without the support of the community and without doing the right thing for the community. ”

The project would turn the currently vacant property into a source of community pride, Elliot Muller, sales associate at Ben M. Muller Realty Co. Inc. and co-owner of the project, said at the meeting of the planning commission.

“This property has been vacant or underutilized for over a decade now, and is ripe for use that fills a need in the neighborhood and allows the city to raise tax revenue and provide employment opportunities nearby. for the neighbors, ”Muller said.

Mull Trie LLC – which is registered in the name of the president of the real estate company, Mark Muller – acquired the property in November 2019 for $ 500,000, according to the city’s real estate records.

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John Smith

The author John Smith