Firm Plans Eastown Grocery Store

1201 Wealthy St. SE exterior rendering

A local firm hopes to bring a grocery store to a Grand Rapids neighborhood.

Jacey Ehmann, president and founder of Grand Rapids-based Metric Structures, has proposed a two-story, mixed-use building to be constructed on a vacant lot in Eastown, at 1201 Wealthy St. SE.

The plan is under review by the Grand Rapids Historic Preservation Commission, which held an advisory discussion with Ehmann last week.

The historic commission did not make a formal decision on the project.

While the project is still in the preliminary phase, Ehmann predicted construction would take six to eight months. She did not give an estimated cost to build.

Ehmann said she expects the project to fill a gap in the market in the Wealthy Street corridor.

The proposed 4,300-square-foot building would feature ground-floor retail for the type of small grocery store Ehmann wants to bring to the neighborhood. There is currently no specified use for the second floor, although part of it would also be used by the grocery tenant, Ehmann said.

The building would also feature an art-deco style exterior to reference the predominant style of the previous gas station sites along Wealthy Street. The site was previously home to a gas station.

A company named Ohio Oil received a building permit in 1960 to construct a single-story, two-bay service gas station at the site, according to city documents. The service station was gone by the late 1970s, and the parcel has remained vacant ever since.

Ehmann bought the property in March.

Photo: Courtesy Metric Structures.

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