Meijer and Local Development Team Partner to Bring Grocery Retail Project to Lafayette Park/Rivertown Neighborhoods

DETROIT, Mich. – Meijer, the City of Detroit and RDG Rivertown Market, LLC are thrilled to announce a new, ground up grocery retail development at 1475 East Jefferson Ave., located in the East Jefferson Corridor, which has been designated by the City of Detroit as the next area of focus for redevelopment.

The new project will feature an estimated 42,000-square-foot standalone neighborhood market operated by Meijer, called Rivertown Market, and 100 surface parking spaces, set to serve the immediate historic districts of Lafayette Park and Rivertown. This will mark the retailer’s fourth small format store; Bridge Street Market opened in August 2018 in Grand Rapids, Woodward Corner Market opened in January 2020 in Royal Oak and Capital City Market opened in October 2020 in downtown Lansing.

“Meijer is committed to our communities, which is why we are so excited to continue our investment in the City of Detroit with the addition of Rivertown Market,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “After the success of our three other neighborhood markets, we look forward to providing new ways to serve our customers in this area of Detroit that has so much potential for growth.”

Much like the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer’s other small formats, Rivertown Market will focus on offering customers a unique shopping experience and feature a vast assortment of fresh food; artisan groceries; and Meijer and national brand products at low prices. It will create approximately 60 jobs, offering competitive wages, access to health benefits, as well as a 401(k) program with a company match.

The immediately adjacent historic districts – Lafayette Park and Rivertown – are rich in history and feature beautiful architectural design, which will be visually integrated throughout the new development. As it relates to the construction plans, competitive wages will be paid by Rockford Construction, the construction manager, to Construction Trade Contractors, including carpenters, laborers, operators, roofers, plumbers, electricians and landscapers. There will be approximately 250 full-time construction positions during the different phases of the 14-month construction period. Financing for the project is being provided by Gun Lake Investments and Mercantile Bank.

“For the past 27 years, Rockford Construction has served Meijer throughout Michigan and the Midwest. We’re proud to enhance this relationship as our teams continue to innovate and transform, bringing this unique market format to the Detroit community,” said Rockford Construction CEO Mike VanGessel.  “This project is an important one – city officials and Mayor Mike Duggan have worked diligently to ensure that this effort is brought to fruition,  and as a company working in SE Michigan for 30 years with an office in the heart of Detroit, this is an important project for Rockford, too.”

In addition, RDG Rivertown Market, LLC plans to make significant improvements to the adjacent “Greening of Detroit” Park. 

“I aspired in my twenties to be a contributor to Detroit’s business community and I am proud to be doing so, just blocks away from my childhood home,” said Dennis Archer Jr., a partner with RDG Rivertown Market, LLC. “We are pleased to play a small role in Detroit’s story, providing quality, affordable grocery retail to this amazing neighborhood.” 

Furthermore, the City recently released a master plan for the East Jefferson corridor, The East Riverfront Framework, which lays out a design and development plan for a multi-mile stretch of the historic avenue. A snapshot of the plan includes ways to reduce traffic speed, increase population density, and potentially incorporate a Q-line extension. In addition to the jobs created by the store and construction, the spinoff economic development will include jobs for local residents, such as grounds and park maintenance, insurance, building maintenance and bike share, and will build a strong community centerpiece for the Lafayette Park and Rivertown neighborhoods.

Meijer and Rockford, in cooperation with the City of Detroit, local unions and other entities will host a number of community engagement activities, such as informative gatherings to discuss the nature of the project, vendor  opportunities for local businesses, and job fairs to encourage and help people looking for work in the store and in the construction trades.

To celebrate this exciting groundbreaking, Vik Srinivasan, Senior Vice President of Properties and Real Estate for Meijer, Shane Napper, President of Construction for Rockford Construction and city officials are holding a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, October 29 to highlight the new project. Renderings of the concept can be found here and will be onsite for guests to explore and ask questions. The hosts are following all CDC guidelines to ensure a safe and welcoming event for guests; chairs will be 6 feet apart, masks will be required and provided onsite, social distancing will be in effect, and hand sanitizer will be readily available.

For further information: Lauren Clark, Ignition Media Group, lauren@ignitionmediagroup.com