Trotwood, GFS project deal to fill grocery void at $2.5 million

An estimated $2.5 million Gordon Food Service expansion to improve grocery options in Trotwood could be done by June, city officials said.

GFS and the city have agreed in principle on a deal which would package the business broadening its wholesale grocery model to include fresh retail options with improving traffic flow and access to the 5380 Salem Ave. location, officials said.

“We have not signed any documents,” Trotwood City Manager Quincy Pope said in an email.

But Trotwood Mayor Mary McDonald noted on Facebook recently “we are excited to let you know GFS is going to meet our grocery store need in Trotwood.”

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McDonald’s comments came after a local delegation on Friday went to Detroit, the site of one of a number of GFS stores that have tested the concept being discussed for Trotwood.

GFS Marketing Director Mark Dempsey has talked about the need in Trotwood for “a grocery solution” brought on by the September closing of the Foodtown store at 830 E. Main St.

The city, meanwhile, has discussed improving left turn access for vehicles to help GFS make the move. GFS has been working with the Trotwood’s planning and economic development department to coordinate that project, city officials have said.

McDonald indicated renovations could start in March and the company has said the work would take about 10 weeks once plans are approved by the city.

Dempsey has said the company moved the Trotwood renovation ahead of several others planned this year.

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Barring “unforeseen delays,” Pope said GFS estimates mid to the end of May for completion of the project.

Efforts by “a wholesale grocer to include a retail grocery model that will offer more fresh produce, vegetables, baked goods, meats, and fresh in store rotisserie and roasted chicken will significantly impact Trotwood residents, because of proximity and access to healthy foods, “ Pope said.

“Although, a significant portion of Trotwood residents own motor vehicles, for our seniors and those that rely on public transportation, there is the issue of limited access to affordable and nutritious foods,” he added.

GFS has also discussed offering on-line ordering with in-store pickup.

Pope said the city and GFS have talking about the estimated cost of the upgrades, the number of employees, and working with their engineers, architects, and planners on the feasibility of the traffic access upgrades.

In the coming weeks, Pope said, “we anticipate a more formal rollout of the project particulars.”

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