Downtown Kalamazoo to get micro-grocery store COURTESY IMAGE

Downtown Kalamazoo to get micro-grocery store

BY Friday, December 28, 2018 09:45am

KALAMAZOO — A market aims to “fill the void of groceries” for those living in downtown Kalamazoo.

Market on Michigan Ave (MoMA) announced Thursday it planned occupy the last commercial space at the historic Metropolitan Center downtown development, located at 119 E. Michigan Ave. and 121 E. Michigan Ave., formerly a Biggby Coffee.

The “urban micro-grocery” aims to serve people living and/or working downtown, offering a variety of fresh and dry goods, a deli, beer and wine selection and basic home needs.

Owners Jess and Josh Marunde — also the owners of Kalamazoo Strength and Conditioning-CrossFit 269 — and Zach King, owner of Mill’s Grocery in Union, Mich., near the Indiana border, will place emphasis on sourcing local and sustainably-farmed foods, according to a statement.

The mixed-use Metropolitan Center development was completed in 2012. The project included the renovation of four 140-year-old buildings, and the addition of 24 apartment units and ground-floor commercial space.

MoMA will join other tenants including PNC Bank and Subway in the facility.

Downtown Kalamazoo has been growing, with additional multiple large-scale developments in the works. Among them is a $70 million seven-story, mixed-use project from Catalyst Development Co. LLC at the southwest corner of North Edwards Street and Water Street. The 290,000-square-foot development includes two floors of residential housing, four floors of Class A office space and more than 300 parking spaces within a multi-level parking deck.

In total, about 300 residential units are expected to come online in downtown Kalamazoo next year, according to the Kalamazoo Downtown Partnership.

The announcement of MoMA comes after developers in the city have cited the need for more retail options in the downtown district.

Patti Owens, managing director and vice president of Catalyst Development, previously told MiBiz the new downtown workers and residents could spark more retail to come online in 2019, including a grocery store and other amenities within walking distance to residents.

“We’ve got a great concentration of food and entertainment downtown, but what we don’t have are a lot of the retail that would support people that actually live downtown,” Owens said at the time. “But I envision that as we get a concentration of these downtown residents, somebody’s going to open a grocery store that’s within walking distance.”

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