Detroit— Nearly one year ago upscale grocer Whole debuted its first store in Detroit amid mass glee — hundreds jammed the Midtown store the minute it opened and city leaders raved a national grocer had actually set up shop in the city limits.
By comparison, the new Parkway Foods in an empty strip mall on East Jefferson opened with little fanfare, but it has support from one key group: funders. State and city economic officials believe the independent grocer could be another vital step in erasing the city’s image as a “ desert.”
More than $1.2 million in grants and have been awarded to the owners of the grocery and retail center it anchors.
The strip is called the Shops at Jefferson Village, 11250 East Jefferson Ave.
The retail center is mainly empty now but Parkway Foods is expected to revive the development.
.....The state economic development agency has supported a number of other grocery stores and fresh food projects in Detroit, including:
■June 2013: A $1 million incentive to Eastern Market Corporation for the renovation of Shed 5 and the addition of a community kitchen.
■June 2012: A $1 million grant to aid construction of the Whole Foods on Mack.
■December 2011: A brownfield tax credit valued at up to $6.1 million and local and school tax capture valued at $10.75 million for Gateway Marketplace.