GRAND RAPIDS — Gordon Food Service Inc. plans to open a retail store along the burgeoning Michigan Street corridor, MiBiz has learned.
The Wyoming, Mich.-based foodservice distributor and retailer has signed a lease to open the store in the Diamond Place development along Michigan Street between Fuller and Diamond Avenues, east of downtown Grand Rapids, according to multiple sources familiar with the plans.
The store is expected to offer a deli, bakery and other grocery options, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal had not yet been made public.
GFS last month posted a job opening for a co-manager for the new store.
Grand Rapids-based Third Coast Development LLC is developing Diamond Place, which contains 165 mixed-income apartments and ground-floor retail space.
The developer needed to secure a grocery tenant as part of its use of the New Market Tax Credits at the facility, as MiBiz has previously reported.
Max Benedict, a Third Coast principal, declined to comment for this report. GFS executives did not respond to requests for comment.
An official announcement is expected on Tuesday morning, sources said.
GFS has been in the process of overhauling its retailing operation to offer a fuller grocery experience as well as continuing its business as a wholesale food distributor for restaurant operations. The company highlighted the new blended strategy as it opened a newly renovated store in Cascade Township earlier this year.
“A small intimate setting is what people want to shop today. We think we have perfected the box to have everything you are going to need on a Tuesday or Wednesday night,” said Tim Grabar, President of Gordon Food Service Stores, according to a report on MLive.com at the time. “We’re not going to be your stock up store. But if you are talking about fresh food and meals tonight, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
Grocery giant Meijer Inc. also is experimenting with its retail operations for urban settings. The Walker-based supercenter grocer is in the process of unveiling smaller-format, urban stores.
Bridge Street Market, the first of those stores, is set to open on Bridge Street later this summer, about two miles directly west of the proposed GFS store.