Meijer Grocery Breaks Ground at Detroit’s Gateway Marketplace

Ground breaking at the landmark gateway location of 8 Mile and Woodward Avenue, Gateway Marketplace provides a link between the City of Detroit and its suburban neighbors in Ferndale, Hazel Park, Pleasant Ridge, Oak Park and Royal Oak. (Photo by Thomas Richardson/Tell Us Detroit)

By Karen Hudson Samuels/Tell Us Detroit

DETROIT (Tell Us Det) – The long absence of major grocery chains in Detroit has a painted a bleak picture of the city as a food desert, those days may be coming to an end.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Gateway Marketplace with Michigan based Meijer Grocery Store as the anchor tenant was held Thursday; it is the second time this week that a national grocery chain broke ground in Detroit, earlier Whole Foods Market celebrated plans to open a store in Midtown by 2013.

Business partners, city of Detroit officials and Governor Rick Snyder, joined Hank Meijer, cochairman and CEO in speaking about the promise of the Gateway Marketplace as a bridge between city and suburban residents looking for shopping, dining and entertainment.

Marshalls, K&G Fashion Superstore, Dots, McDonald’s and PNC Bank are confirmed occupants with other tenants expected to be named.

Meijer said perseverance and collaboration among all parties helped overcome stumbles along the way of bringing the Gateway project together. “This is such a fantastic feat, metro Detroit is our most important market.” Meijer went on to say he appreciated all the Detroiters who shopped at stores in Southfield and Livonia, waiting for this day.

The Lansing based chain was the first to combine a department and grocery store under one roof. Meijer told Tell Us Detroit, that the new Gateway store will be the first to place the grocery store at the front store.

The 350,000 square foot center will be located on prime real estate, at the southeast corner of 8 mile and Woodward, making it Detroit’s largest shopping center in 50 years. Some 65,000 households are in a 3 mile radius of the Gateway center and over 118,000 cars pass the site every day.

When the center opens in 2013 it will bring 900 jobs and be a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. A $28 million dollar investment by the city’s General Retirement Fund provides financing for the center.
Marvin Beatty, a partner in the development the Gateway Park Mal said the vision of solving the food desert problem is being resolved and promised a safe, comfortable shopping experience for families — from across 8 mile and beyond.

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