A new Meijer in Lafayette Park, near downtown Detroit, is going to be a thing. But the development is going to be more than just a grocery store.
After heading out to the official announcement at a prime piece of real estate on East Jefferson Avenue between Rivard and Riopelle, here’s what you need to know.
1. It Will Be A Fresh Grocery Market
Although there are grocery store options nearby (Harbortown and Lafayette Foods come to mind), this store, operated by Meijer is going to be focused on groceries. At the announcement, city council member Mary Sheffield talked about how much Detroiters wanted a chain store in the city.
2. It’ll Be A “Small Format” Grocery Store, But Bigger Than Whole Foods
Coming in at 42,339 square feet, it’s going to be a little less than double the size of the Whole Foods in Midtown (that’s 21,600 square feet).
2. It’s A $60 Million Project
In total, we’re looking at 220,000 square feet of development, and aims to open in 2019.
3. There Will Be 213 apartments
20% of the apartments will be affordable, and 80% market rate. There will be studios, one bedrooms and two bedrooms. There is no word on what the units will cost.
Sidebar: We need to remember that in general right now in the city of Detroit, not just with this development, “affordable” means targeted at middle-class and lower-middle class folks as defined by the Detroit region’s median income. Not “low income.” That is the status is most of the households of the city of Detroit. “Affordable” doesn’t look to be a program for basic housing needs, but a program intended to make sure that not all the units end up being occupied by high-end or luxury tenants.
4. There’s A Familiar Name Behind The Deal
The son of former mayor Dennis Archer, Dennis Archer Jr., is the principal of the development group, East Jefferson Development Co., LLC.
100 Construction jobs, and about 70 ongoing jobs at the new grocery store.
6. Transit And Parking
They mention in their press materials about a possible QLINE extension — more tea leaves that we’re going to see an expansion of the streetcar, and possibly soon — and they also mention 120 retail parking spaces to go with 221 underground spaces for the residential units. At 221 spaces, that’s one car per unit.
7. Walkability, Bikeability
That last number leads into another theme of the presentation. Mayor Mike Duggan’s 20 minute neighborhoods. The Motor City is quickly moving away from car-focused development, putting in more bike lanes, and trying to design neighborhoods that everything is walkable or bikeable in 20 minutes. Bold for a city that is hostage the car, but a high percentage of the residents don’t actually own one.
8. Park Improvements
There’s going to be an investment made into the neighboring “Greening of Detroit” park. Renderings of that weren’t made available.
9. Here Is Where It Is Located
10. Much More May Be Coming
According to development officials there, and press materials, the combined Rivertown/Lafayette Park area has a current unmet demand of 10,000 housing units. This is 213. So, quick math, they’re saying there’s demand for more than 45 of these sized residential projects.