First tenant in new retail spaces on Grand Rapids' Michigan St. opens Verizon store

Deborah Johnson Wood

Pradip Roy moved from India to the United States in the '60s to pursue a master's degree in engineering at Rutgers University. Now, some 40 years later, Roy is the first tenant to set up shop in one of two new retail spaces attached to Rylee's Ace Hardware, 1234 Michigan Street NE, where he opened a Verizon Wireless Zone store.

The 850-square-foot showroom is uncluttered and welcoming. The store carries the latest mobile phones and accessories, the sales team helps customers solve challenges with phone operations or their service plans and customers can pay their Verizon bills.

Roy, 65, spent his career in process engineering at companies like General Foods and Kellogg. After retiring last year, he finally had time to pursue a lifelong dream of owning a business. His wife, Ribha, works behind the scenes at the new store and son Ronjiv "Ron" Roy is sales manager. Daughter Brita is in a physician's residency program in Birmingham, Ala.

"I was looking on 28th Street for a location, but it was not being approved because the store on E. Beltline was too close," says Pradip Roy. "Verizon found this location and asked me if I was interested. I had given up when nothing was being approved, so I did some research on this location and I liked it."

Roy says the store's proximity to the Fulton Heights, Michigan Oaks and Midtown neighborhoods was a drawing card for him. And the location is close to downtown.

The Roys moved to Cascade in 1992 and had several opportunities to return to New Jersey and live.

"We really love Grand Rapids," says Roy. "We thought this was a fantastic place to raise a family. I always wanted to give people a chance to make a living, so that's kind of my motivation for opening the store."

Source: Pradip Roy, Verizon Wireless Zone

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Deborah Johnson Wood is development news editor for Rapid Growth Media. She can be contacted at [email protected] Development News tips can be sent to [email protected]
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