New grocery store proposed for downtown Grand Rapids

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A new grocery store is in  the process of being developed in downtown Grand Rapids.

Shark Market is a product of Jeff Vandeberg, who currently co-owns two other downtown businesses: Pyramid Scheme and Meanwhile Bar. The market is planned for 38 Commerce SW.

Vandeberg and his partners will seek permission to begin construction and also sell alcohol at Shark Market during a planning commission meeting on May 12. The application says that the proposed store will be a full-service neighborhood grocery with Michigan craft beer and wine. The application also says that they plan to be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. daily.

Shark Market Floor PlansShark Market expects to compete with Lucky’s, which is a block away at 24 S. Division Ave. , the Downtown Market at 436 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Central Market  at 57 Monroe Center NW. and Z’s Party Store located at 168 Louis Campau.

The plans are to appeal to the younger night-life crowd and the late-night worker, with the additional intention to cater to the 2,000 housing units in development and new businesses based in the downtown area.

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1 Comment

  • Frank

    Sounds more like a convenience store than an actual grocery store to me. Will he have a lot of fresh produce? Even if he does, given the incredibly tight margins in the grocery industry, along with the high rent and taxes of the area (not to mention the manpower needed to staff a grocery store from 10am-2am), it will be very interesting to see how he manages to make this work without having to price himself out of consideration for all but the most desperate customer.

    The other issues that he is going to face are:
    1) Competition with the newly arriving grocery delivery services
    2) The post 12am clientele in downtown is still hardly what I would call conducive to operating a grocery store…especially one that is going to be selling alcohol.
    3) Product delivery logistics. For a grocery store especially, that means large amounts of semi-truck deliveries on a daily basis. Even smaller grocery outlets will need at least two dock bays, or else the semis will be parking in the streets blocking traffic.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think that downtown is long overdue for a grocery store. But not a “boutique” like this. A full fledged regular chain grocery store so that the people who live downtown don’t have to drive out of downtown to get their groceries like they do now. The alternative is the grocery delivery services, which are finally starting to show up in GR, and which realistically are a much better solution for a downtown with an overly taxed infrastructure like we have. I wish the guy luck, but I don’t see how it can possibly be anything like what he is claiming it will be and remain financially viable.