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Meijer teams with Rockford Construction on plans for neighborhood grocery on Grand Rapids' West Side MiBiz File Photo

Meijer teams with Rockford Construction on plans for neighborhood grocery on Grand Rapids' West Side

BY MiBiz Staff Monday, June 13, 2016 02:46pm

GRAND RAPIDS — Meijer Inc. could look to develop a neighborhood grocery concept as part of a mixed-use redevelopment in Grand Rapids’ West Side neighborhood.

In a joint statement with Rockford Construction Co. Inc., the Walker-based supermarket chain said it was “confident” it would be able to develop a neighborhood grocery store at the corner of Seward Avenue and Bridge Street, as part of a mixed-use project including additional ground-floor retail and upper-level residential and office space, according to a statement. The project would span the block to the northeast corner of Bridge Street and Stocking Avenue. 

A spokesperson for Rockford Construction said in a follow-up email that the partners have not determined the size of the store, nor had they established any development timeframe for the project.

In a statement, CEO Mike VanGessel said the company ”felt the time was right to introduce our initial partner as we work towards future approvals.” The company said it would work over the coming year to identify “additional tenant partners, available funding incentives, and more.”

“Development can be a long process — Rockford has been living, listening and learning in the West Side for the last three years,” VanGessel stated. “We know people are curious about the site and we are eager to engage in conversations with West Side businesses and residents to develop projects that are beautiful, accessible and complementary to the area.”

The proposed project is a block away from a long-time neighborhood grocery store operated by Duthler’s Family Foods at the southeast corner of Bridge Street and Gold Avenue. 

MiBiz first reported on Rockford’s plans to redevelop the adjacent former Stockbridge Pub site at the end of May. At the time, local business owners in the neighborhood said Rockford had showed plans for an “urban village” concept with housing and commercial components. Commercial real estate sources familiar with the matter told MiBiz at the time that they expected developers to present a proposal to the Grand Rapids Planning Commission in the coming weeks.

In August 2014, Rockford succeeded in getting the city of Grand Rapids to vacate Lexington Avenue, which separates the former Stockbridge Pub site from the proposed Meijer development site.

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