Grocery at the Neighborhood Scale: Large & Small

Greetings and Happy Chinese New Year! In this year of the goat (or alternatively ram or sheep), we hope 2015 heralds great things for all of our Urbane family, near and far.

The New Year brings with it a spirit of rejuvenation, one that was in full blossom last week as Urbane was hitting the pavement in one of its favorite cities, Detroit. The team was able to drop by two projects sponsored by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation’s (DEGC) Green Grocer Project (GGP), which Urbane helped design and develop, and continues to monitor and advise. Both the Banner Supermarket and City Market are great examples of how high quality retail experiences can be provided to Detroit consumers at any scale, whether large or small.

The Banner Supermarket is currently undergoing renovations that will double its size from 18K to 40K square feet. The extra square footage will accommodate over 80 linear feet of fresh produce, new fresh meat, dairy, and seafood departments, as well as a new prepared foods section.  This New Markets Tax Credit-funded project (via Capital Impact) is located in one of Detroit’s neighborhoods, demonstrating that significant investment is moving outside of the Downtown/Midtown core. GGP provided pre-development funding and matchmaking services with Banner and Capital Impact.

Not quite as large, but no less important, City Market is one of the newer model “alternative format” stores GGP is helping to promote.  The 5,000 square feet hybrid liquor/convenience store transformed into a full service grocery market with fresh produce, meat, dairy, and prepared foods, along with Detroit-owned small craft beers and spirits. We think this format has plenty of promise to increase the quality of food offerings in the hundreds of existing convenience stores throughout Detroit, as well as play a key role in new mixed-use development with ground floor retail. GGP provided technical assistance and pre-development funding to City Market.

We continue to be inspired and invigorated by the great work taking place in neighborhoods not only in Detroit, but around the country. Urbane is in the midst of a whirlwind stretch of travel, and will be traversing the nation in the next few months. As always, we hope to see you when we’re in your backyard, and please stay in touch and let us know what’s transpiring in your worlds.