Meijer Plans Grocery Retail Project for Lafayette Park/Rivertown Neighborhoods

Grand Rapids-based Meijer, the City of Detroit, and RDG Rivertown Market LLC have joined forces to build a new grocery retail development on East Jefferson Avenue.
Rivertown Market
Rivertown Market will open in Detroit as part of an agreement between Meijer, the city, and RDG Rivertown Market. // Rendering courtesy of Meijer

Grand Rapids-based Meijer, the City of Detroit, and RDG Rivertown Market LLC have joined forces to build a new grocery retail development on East Jefferson Avenue.

Located in the East Jefferson Corridor, which has been designated by the city as the next area of focus for redevelopment, the store is expected to create approximately 60 jobs.

The 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 in Royal Oak, and Capital City Market opened this month 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,” says Rick Keyes, president and CEO of Meijer. “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.”

Rivertown Market, at 1475 East Jefferson Ave., will feature a vast assortment of fresh food; artisan groceries; and Meijer and national brand products. Keyes says, the adjacent historic districts — Lafayette Park and Rivertown — that are rich in history and feature beautiful architectural design, will be visually integrated throughout the new development.

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

“I aspired in my 20s to be a contributor to Detroit’s business community and I am proud to be doing so, just blocks away from my childhood home,” says Dennis Archer Jr., a partner with RDG Rivertown Market. “We are pleased to play a small role in Detroit’s story, providing quality, affordable grocery retail to this amazing neighborhood.”

Mike VanGessel, CEO of Rockford Construction, says, “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 southeast Michigan for 30 years with an office in the heart of Detroit, this is an important project for Rockford, too.”

The city of Detroit 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.

To celebrate the groundbreaking, Vik Srinivasan, senior vice president of Properties and Real Estate for Meijer, VanGessel, and city officials are conducting a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday 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.