Reconstruction begins for Wealthy St. jewelry store damaged by arson

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Demolition equipment is back at a Wealthy Street site where a fire destroyed one business and displaced another.

It has been more than four months since the fire at Tatum Bookbinding at the corner of Wealthy Street and Henry Avenue SE. Grand Rapids Fire Department Captain Bill Smith said investigators are still trying to identify a person of interest in the March 14 burglary and arson.

The vandals also attempted to break into the Dime and Regal Jewelery next door, smashing the front door glass. The ensuing fire damaged the jewelry store‘s east wall, forcing it to temporarily move one block west in Sable Candle Co. at 620 Wealthy St. SE.

Courtney Jones, co-owner of Dime and Regal, also owns the candle shop.

“It’s tight but it’s a lot better than the alternative. We made it work,” Jones said.

(A photo from Dime and Regal shows community members helping the jewelry store move into its new temporary location.)

Jones and co-owner Samantha McIntosh said moving down the street affected business. Jones said monthly sales have fallen by an average of about 20% since their emergency evacuation, but the strong rebound in weddings “has been huge” and the store is capitalizing on the emerging trend of claspless eternity bracelets, which are welded at the wrists.

The owners said neighbors and nearby businesses were also there to help them every step of the way.

“The staff at Donkey (Taqueria) and Winchester helped us move. People were reaching out. The community has been very supportive throughout the process,” Jones said.

Jones and McIntosh said the brothers who own Tatum Bookbinding even stopped by to say hello and check on how Dime and Regal are doing. The owners of Tatum Bookbinding would not speak to News 8.

Jones and MacIntosh told News 8 on Monday that the city’s permit delays had slowed the rebuilding process, but contractors were finally on hand to repair and rebuild everything from the east wall to the building’s trusses and ceiling.

(A photo from August 1, 2022 shows equipment on site at 666 Wealthy St. SE, which burned down on March 14, 2022.)

While arson and vandalism caused thousands of dollars in damage to Dime & Regal, its owners expect insurance to cover all costs. They said they were adding new security measures.

(A photo provided by Dime and Regal shows the progress of rebuilding the front of their Wealthy Street store.)

If all goes well, Dime & Regal will hold its grand reopening celebration in late October or early November, which will also mark the store’s fifth anniversary.

During this time, anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call the Grand Rapids Police Department at 616.456.3400 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.

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