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Central District Cyclery brings bike shop convenience downtown

"Spinfully good" new bike shop offers maintenance and rentals as well as ordinary and custom build bikes to downtown cyclists.
Inside Central District Cyclery.

Inside Central District Cyclery. /Courtesy of Emma Higgins

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Inside Central District Cyclery.

Inside Central District Cyclery. /Courtesy of Emma Higgins

/Courtesy of Emma Higgins

52 Monroe Center NW has recently seen the addition of a brand new bike shop. Central District Cyclery officially opened on the 15th of March and owner Nate Phelps says the shop has already proved popular. “We’ve been overwhelmed so far: maintenance is booming; sales are doing well.”  The shop features frames from local company “616” as well as stylish offerings from Linus, All-City Cycles and others. Phelps is currently working out the logistics, but hopes he will soon be able to rent bikes of “all varieties.”

Phelps is the former president of the Michigan Mountain Biking Association and has wanted to open a bike shop in the city for some time. He says it was “the location coupled with the bicycle infrastructure improvements” that made setting up Central District Cyclery seem like perfect timing. He originally envisioned his demographic being predominantly youth based but has been pleasantly surprised by the additional patronage of “a more mature crowd.”

Grand Rapids based artists Dylan Gunnett and Adam Foster of The Nice Gallery were pleased to lend a hand with some of the design aspects regarding the shop, personally getting in touch with Phelps when they heard about his plans. Mainly involved with the “branding and interior” of Central District Cyclery, the duo say that after the Division Avenue based bike shop Commute closed in 2011 it “just didn’t make sense to not have a downtown bike shop.” They predict the shop will remain popular with continued adjustments. “Grand Rapids has a giant new young demographic taking over," explained Gunnett. "Just six months will shape what the shop will be,” added Foster.

Monroe Center has seen popularity soar in the past year, with pop up collectives like Modiv helping to shape the downtown area into a viable shopping destination. The Downtown Development Authority has been focusing on a number of incentive programs to help new business owners set up shop in the downtown area, including a recent announcement that they are to invest $83,000 to the cause in 2012.



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