How do you incentivize and assist grocers to offer a high quality experiences to its shoppers? The Green Grocer Project (GGP), which launched in May of 2010, supports existing full-service grocers operating in Detroit through financial, operational, and technical assistance, as well as attracting new grocery operators to the city of Detroit.
Detroit Economic Development Corporation (DEGC)
Program Design and Implementation
Grocer Technical Assistance
Urbane provided its expertise through the design and structuring of the GGP initiative to ensure the development of the program was tailored to the needs of the Detroit grocery community. The first phase of the initiative focused on the operational needs of existing supermarkets and grocery stores in Detroit. Urbane brought together a technical assistance team comprised of industry consultants and experts to support participating stores. Additionally, Green Grocer staff acted as a one-stop shop for supermarket and grocery owners, acting as a clearinghouse for information and resources.
In phase two, Urbane focused on facilitating the expansion and renovation of existing supermarkets and grocery stores in Detroit. Stores participating in the initiative were eligible for grant, loan, line-of-credit, and loan guarantee products in tandem with technical assistance. The third phase focused on the attraction and development of new supermarkets and grocery stores in Detroit. Urbane proposed flexible financing options for new construction projects, as well as technical assistance resources for the pre-development phase of the project. Urbane also proposed outreach to supermarket operators outside of Detroit through comprehensive marketing materials for grocery operators and developers to highlight opportunities within Detroit.
The final phase of the project targeted the retrofitting of existing liquor and convenience stores to accommodate the addition of fresh and perishable food items to their existing product offerings, including physical enhancements, such as cold storage, full kitchen design, and visual merchandising/display equipment. Store owners were also offered operational technical assistance, marketing support, and access to additional low-cost working capital.
- $27M in direct investment; $45M in additional leverage
- Attracted Whole Foods Market and Meijer Supermarkets to Detroit sites through Grocer Clearinghouse
- Issued and secured 27 deals for project financing
- Provided 19 technical assistance matching grants and direct assistance via the clearinghouse for 30+ grocers
- $6.3M in alternative model projects (co-ops, specialty markets, corner/liquor store conversions)
- $500k in façade improvement grants leveraging $5.3M of investment