Meijer Bringing Grocery-Focused Concept to Former Orion Kmart Site
(Lara Mossa, June 8, 2021)
ORION TOWNSHIP, MI – Meijer will tear down the abandoned Kmart store on Lapeer Road and build a first of its kind grocery-only store in its place. The Grand Rapids-based company has not set a date for the groundbreaking but has targeted next spring for opening.
“I’m really excited about it,” said Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett. “They’re going to fill a need that’s been really expressed by our residents over the last several years.”
The Kmart store, located on Lapeer Road near Clarkston Road, closed in 2018. Attached to a shopping plaza with Planet Fitness, Dairy Queen and other businesses, talks started on the project in January, Barnett said, adding that Meijer is still in the process of purchasing the building.
The 80,000-square-foot Kmart will be replaced with a 90,000-square-foot Meijer. Unlike traditional Meijer stores that have home goods and soft goods and typically are 200,000 square feet, the new venture will be a prototype store offering only groceries, Barnett said. The structure will have a large area one side of the building for online pickup orders.
The township residents have asked for another grocery store in community surveys since 2013, Barnett said. Besides Kroger, Orion Township used to have a Hollywood Market where the Planet Fitness is but that closed in 2019.
“The No. 1 answer by far every single year we’ve done this is more grocery options,” Barnett said, explaining that the survey started in 2013.
Even if sales at the new Meijer go well, Barnett said that he does not expect the company to expand the store and offer more goods, because there is not enough room on the site. Meijer plans to demolish the structure and clear the area by Labor Day, he added.
“I can confirm we are in the early stages of planning to put a store at that location, which would also include removing the old Kmart building,” Meijer spokesman Frank Guglielmi said in a statement. “However, it’s still very early in the process for us, and we’ll have much more information to share once we get close to the actual project start date.”
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