Grocers making their own investments to far exceed matching grant requirements
Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s Green Grocer Project (GGP) has approved applications from 16 grocers to receive matching grants to improve the appearance of their stores. GGP is contributing $500,000 toward a total of $5.3 million that is expected to be spent on the façade improvements at the 16 stores.
“We had remarkable participation from Detroit’s independent grocers, who are investing far more in these facelifts than we anticipated,” said Mimi Pledl, program manager for the Green Grocer Project. “Store owners are excited about the renewed interest in shopping close to home at neighborhood stores, and we are happy to help them.”
The program required a one-to-one match for every grant dollar provided by GGP, but the average for all participating grocers averaged more than nine-to-one.
“Several years ago we made significant improvements inside the store, but the outside still had the hard look of concrete slabs and high security that was common 30 or 40 years ago,” said Suhel Kizi, an owner of Family Fair Foods at 700 Chene Street in Lafayette Park. “The $200,000 renovation to the entrance will create an open, welcoming appearance that our customers expect and deserve.”
Other stores that have signed contracts with work beginning include:
- Kit Kat Market, 8330 Harper Ave.
- E&L Supermarket, 6000 W. Vernor Hwy.
- Food Farm Supermarket, 11550 Dexter Ave.
- Farmer John, 9731 Harper Ave.
- University Foods, 1131 W. Warren Ave.
- Food Town, 7811 Gratiot Ave.
- Garden Fresh MarketPlace, 6680 Michigan Ave.
- 7 Mile Foods, 8139 E. 7 Mile Rd.
- Indian Village Market, 8415 E. Jefferson Ave.
Among the improvements being made are:
- replacing older facades with attractive exterior materials
- seasonal landscaping
- inviting signage and awnings
- interesting windows and displays
- improved lighting
- repaved parking lots
The Green Grocer Project aims to improve the quality of Detroit’s grocery sector by assisting grocers in addressing operational and store development needs to ensure the highest quality fresh affordable food in local stores. The work of the GGP is supported by the generosity of Detroit’s philanthropic community, with grants from the Hudson Webber Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.
GGP technical assistance grants help grocers improve their stores’ appearance, operations and marketing efforts, with a goal of improving the overall quality of Detroiters’ grocery shopping experiences and access to fresh food.
Detroit Economic Growth Association is a non-profit economic development organization administered by Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC). DEGC serves as the lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development initiatives in the city of Detroit. DEGC is led by a 60-member board comprised of business, civic, labor and community leaders. Its 40 professionals provide staff services for key public authorities that offer tax credits and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs or economic activity to the city. Among them: the Downtown Development Authority (DDA), Detroit Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (DBRA), Economic Development Corporation (EDC), Neighborhood Development Corporation (NDC), Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA), and Tax Increment Finance Authority (TIFA). DEGC also provides planning, project management and other services under contract to the City of Detroit.