Street Talk

Street Talk: West Side Meijer taking shape

Walk this way.

March 9, 2018
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Meijer’s Bridge Street Market has been a hot topic of discussion among the many developments on Grand Rapids’ West Side.

During the International Council of Shopping Centers’ 15th annual West Michigan P3 Retail Program, Meijer Vice President Mike Kinstle revealed some further details about the project.

Bridge Street Market was announced early in 2017 as part of a $55-million, 3.3-acre mixed-use development on Bridge Street and Seward Avenue. The development also includes market-rate apartments, office space and affordable housing units.

During a panel discussion, Kinstle said the market’s storefront, overlooking Bridge Street, will have a complete row of garage doors that can be opened during spring and summer allowing fresh air to enter the marketplace.

“That will go right into the produce area,” Kinstle said. “We’ll have the ability to merchandise product out on the sidewalk.”

The market also will feature a locally owned coffee shop. Kinstle said Meijer plans to partner with Mayan Buzz Café to operate a coffee shop in the market. Mayan Buzz already has a coffee shop on Grandville Avenue SW just down the street from Founders Brewing Co.

The parking setup for shoppers involves a three-level parking garage tied to the mixed-use development. The first level is exclusive to Bridge Street Market Shoppers.

Shoppers will be allowed one hour of free parking, enforced by a meter at the entrance to the parking deck. If individuals stay longer than an hour, they will be charged a fee that is yet to be determined.

“We didn’t want people obviously using our parking spaces to do things other than shopping at the Meijer store,” Kinstle said. “We think you can do a full shop at the Meijer, even hang out for a coffee if you want, and be out of there within an hour.”

Parking rules could be adjusted depending on their level of success, he added.

The remaining two levels of the garage deck will be tied to the residential and office aspects of the development.

Kinstle also revealed Meijer intends to open about a half-dozen Bridge Street-type markets in the coming years. The company intends to open one in downtown Detroit in 2019, with groundbreaking scheduled for this coming summer.

Completion of the Bridge Street Market and the rest of the development are scheduled for fall 2018.

One for all

One of the city’s most diverse and inclusive gatherings happened earlier this month with one goal in mind: economic equity.

The fourth annual Grand Rapids Neighborhood Summit was held at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus on March 3, bringing together organizations and residents from all over the city.

This year’s theme was “Beyond a Seat at the Table” and centered on the need for economic equity in neighborhoods, as well as the “intentional inclusion of residents’ wisdom” when making decisions that impact their lives and surroundings.

The event included 30 workshops, as well as a keynote address, an exhibition hall with booths staffed by neighborhood organizations and social service providers, and closing remarks by Bill Pink, president of Grand Rapids Community College.

Rasheda Weaver, assistant professor of community entrepreneurship at the University of Vermont, gave an inspirational keynote address called “How Believing in Yourself Can Transform Your Community.”

Weaver’s research on social problems and community development has taken her around the world, but she said she has never seen an event like the Grand Rapids Neighborhood Summit.

Weaver is working on building a website called Weaver’s Social Enterprise Directory designed to help social enterprises — whether nonprofit or for-profit — connect to financial resources and information.

Before Weaver’s address, Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss credited a host of volunteers and partners for making the event possible, including Grand Rapids’ Second Ward Commissioners Ruth Kelly and Joe Jones, Third Ward Commissioner David Allen and Kent County Commissioner Dave Bulkowski.

Bliss also thanked GVSU President Thomas Haas, who donated the use of the DeVos Center Complex on the Pew Campus for the summit, which fell during GVSU’s spring break.

Organizers planned several aspects of the summit to help make it as diverse and well attended as possible.

Free child care and a “Kids’ Summit” were offered. The complex was declared a “breastfeeding-friendly” zone. And a partnership between LINC UP, Westside Collaborative and several neighborhood associations provided free transportation to the event using Grand Rapids Public Schools buses.

“Our city would not be a great city without the 32 amazing neighborhoods we have,” Bliss said. “It’s about listening to one another, talking to one another, talking about best practices … and providing a space where we can come together and connect.”

Global designs

Kevin Budelmann, co-founder and president of design strategy firm Peopledsign, was promoted to Interaction Design Association (IxDA) global vice president at its most recent gathering in Lyon, France. Budelmann has been actively involved with the IxDA board for the past two years.

“IxDA fills a void in the world of design, focused on improving the human condition through experience design. The global community has caught on like wildfire,” Budelmann said. “Local groups have spawned everywhere.”

IxDA was started in 2003 to address the needs of the then-emergent field of interaction design. Over the past 15 years, the group has grown worldwide, encompassing more than 200 groups on six continents and representing more than 100,000 professionals in diverse locations from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Dublin and Seattle to Cape Town, Africa. Multinational events held in North America, Europe and Latin America draw thousands of attendees from around the world. IxDA also features specialized programming, including the Interaction Awards, Student Design Challenge and Interaction Design Education Summit. Collectively, these events are known as Interaction Week.

IxDA does not require formal membership or membership fees.

“The group is based more on community than infrastructure,” said Budelmann, crediting this model for the high participation rates. “Tech is becoming more and more of our daily lives. IxDA echoes the potential of talent and the spirit of innovation in business today.”

Step on up

The West Michigan Walking Challenge is returning for another year.

Terryberry, a 100-year-old locally based company that focuses on employee recognition, founded the business-to-business wellness competition last year.

Last year, more than 9,000 employees from 52 companies logged 1 billion steps in a six-week period.

This year, the six-week challenge begins April 16 and ends May 27.

Companies are encouraged to design custom walking programs to get employees out and about.

During the competition, each participant tracks his or her weekly steps, and the company reports the average number of steps based on all its participants.

The challenge concludes with an awards luncheon ceremony June 1 at Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

There will be prizes given for the company with the highest average number of steps, the individual with the highest average number of steps, the company with the highest participation ratio, the most improved company and the best social media post.

Registration runs through March 21. Register online at

The Walking Challenge Kick Off Meeting is 10:30-11:30 a.m. March 13 at Terryberry, 2033 Oak Industrial Drive NE, Grand Rapids. Another is scheduled at the same time and place March 27.

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