EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated from its original version to clarify that the co-op has not reached an agreement with developer ICCF. As well, the co-op needs to secure additional members before it will go ahead with plans for the store at Tapestry Square.
GRAND RAPIDS — A co-op hopes to open a grocery store as part of a larger mixed-use project just south of downtown.
The Grand Rapids Food Co-op announced Thursday the location of its proposed grocery store, at the southeast corner of South Division Avenue and Wealthy Street. If the co-op secures the necessary members, it would then move forward with the proposed 10,000-square-foot store at the Tapestry Square project, a mixed-use development by the Inner City Christian Federation, a Grand Rapids-based nonprofit housing developer.
“It’s in an area of limited food access, with different income level neighborhoods around it, so it will bring these communities together,” co-op President Linda Jones told MiBiz. “It’ll strengthen the food web of the Grand Rapids area, stocking as much local food as possible.”
According to a spokesperson for ICCF, the organization has yet to reach any agreement with the co-op for the space at Tapestry Square, which it will continue to market to other possible tenants.
The location would be the first brick-and-mortar store for the co-op, Jones said.
The co-op hopes to open with the completion of Tapestry Square, which will be developed on a currently vacant lot. The co-op partners hope to begin construction in 2020 and conclude the same year. To do that, the co-op will need to grow from 150 owners currently to at least 1,000 owners by the end of 2019, according to its website.
The grocery store will fill needs in the community, including “improved access to healthy and affordable foods, increased support of local farms, educational opportunities surrounding health and fitness and neighborhood solidarity,” according to a statement.
Households can become owners of the co-op by making a one-time investment in an ownership share. The $250 share can be paid in full or in installments over a 10-month period. Low-income and fixed-income memberships also are available.
The Tapestry Square area consists of four blocks of southeast Grand Rapids within boundaries of Wealthy, Division, Buckley and LaGrave. Its anchor will be a seven-story independent senior living facility with 84 housing units, 50 of which will be reserved as affordable housing units.
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority in December awarded $1.5 million low-income housing tax credits for the project, as MiBiz previously reported.
The Tapestry Square project is estimated at $15 million overall.