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Posted on Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Gordon Food Service seeks to open marketplace store on Ann Arbor's West Stadium Boulevard

By Lizzy Alfs

Grand Rapids-based food service distributor Gordon Food Service is looking to open its second marketplace store in Washtenaw County, city records indicate.

The location: the long-vacant retail space at 2196 W. Stadium Blvd., formerly a CVS Pharmacy.

Ryan Sytsma, a real estate manager with Gordon Food Service, and Michael Sisskind, the current West Stadium Boulevard property owner, submitted an application to the city of Ann Arbor requesting amendments to a site plan that was approved when Lake Trust Credit Union was constructed last year.


Gordon Food Service submitted an application to the city of Ann Arbor to open a store on West Stadium Boulevard.

Photo from loopnet

The request also includes a land division to split the former CVS from the existing parcel, a 980-square-foot building addition for Gordon Food Service’s entry and loading area, an interior remodel, revised vehicle parking and modifications to the driveway off Stadium Boulevard.

The site, located on the southeast corner of Stadium and Liberty, currently contains a 23,000-square-foot building occupied by O’Reilly Auto Parts and Greenback Dollar Store.

The 10,000-square-foot former CVS space has been vacant for years. It’s listed with Howard Schwartz Commercial Real Estate for an annual $14 per square foot.

In 2010, Lake Trust Credit Union, also located on the property, divided and purchased its parcel from Sisskind for $600,000.

Now, plans call to divide and purchase the former CVS parcel to sell to Gordon Food Service, according to city documents.

Plans also call to widen the existing Stadium Boulevard Drive to provide an easier truck entrance and “safer interior site circulation,” the application says.

Gordon Food Service, which declined to comment on the plans, operates a GFS Marketplace store on Carpenter Road in Pittsfield Township. The stores supply foodservice products to restaurants, schools and other institutions, and customers can buy goods in bulk at the store.

The company was founded in 1897 and the first marketplace store opened in 1979. There currently are 151 GFS Marketplace stores in nine states, according to GFS spokesperson Mark Dempsey.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.



Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 10:47 a.m.

I hope so!!

music to my ear

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 10:36 p.m.

its great ,close to the stadium and alot of downtown eateries, I know it is a win ,win situation for the area.I will surely patronize Gordons if it goes in there .if the stadium runs out of hot dog buns just run to Gordens.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 9 p.m.

"Dear guests. Thank you for coming! I have bough, er, prepared each of you your very own lasagna! Dig in!"

Wystan Stevens

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 7:05 p.m.

1. National Food Store -- a supermarket -- built in the early 1950s. 2. Vescio's supermarket, a smaller Michigan chain, used the same building. 3. Then the old building was remodeled into a castle, with tower and battlements, and became Roma Hall (a branch of an outfit in Livonia), and was rented out for catered parties, weddings, etc. 4. Next, Chuck E. Cheese took over (a center for preteen pandemonium and pizza). There may have been some other configurations along the way, that I don't recall at the moment.

Wystan Stevens

Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

justcurious-- Stop and Shop was on South Main at Mosely, where the 7-11 is now. Chip Reed -- Yes, Wrigley's was the first occupant of the store where Hollywood Video recently bit the dust.


Wed, Nov 28, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

Hi Wystan! I remember Roma Hall, wasn't it this hideous shade of pink? I also remember Chuck E. sleaze, er, Cheese....we only took the girls there once.....while we were waiting in a line that stretched practically into infinity, there was some poor slob dressed in a mouse costume working the crowd. this person had varying degrees of success, as evidenced by either the laughter or the hysterically-crying-traumatized-kids-who-to-this-very-day-are-scared-witless-of-mice. the pizza wasn't all that good either. when one can see the overhead lights reflecting off the greasy lake on top of the pizza, it does not augur well.... Fondly, Madeleine a.k.a. "mady"

Chip Reed

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:50 p.m.

Or was Wrigley's where the video store was?

Chip Reed

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 11:34 a.m.

Was it Wrigley's, at one time?

Vivienne Armentrout

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:34 a.m.

When we first moved to Ann Arbor, there was this weird pink castle thing (closed) that I was very glad to see remodeled and converted into an Arbor Drugs. I don't remember the Chuck E. Cheese but I really liked the drugstore. It got bought up, perhaps by CVS.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

I remember a grocery store along Stadium (Maple) where my parents shopped in the 50's. Was it called Stop and Shop? They used to leave us in the car while they went in. I guess that would be child abuse today, lol.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

I remember all of those.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:57 p.m.

I am glad I wont have to drive so far when I need really cheap food for guests that I dont particularly like.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 8:41 p.m.

@clownfish, at least you called it like it is...


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

Sometimes referred to as "family".


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 7:08 p.m.

@Zhuk; why would you feed/entertain guests that you don't particularly like?


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

Welcome to town GFS!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:22 p.m.

I wondered recently how GFS's consumer businesses would do against nearby Costco stores. Apparently not too badly if GFS is still expanding in Washtenaw County.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:25 a.m.

You also don't need a membership for GFS, so if you don't have kids but want to entertain every once in a while, you can get good food in large quantities from GFS without having to pay a membership fee.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

GFS has a lot of things that Costco doesn't, such as paper products in lots of colors.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:09 p.m.

Since they are already have a store in town maybe that qualifies GFS for the "Buy Local" campaign. But then again, that would be true of Walmart and a few others, too.


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

I'll check back tomorrow snark for your latest stats. At the rate they are growing they should be bigger than Walmart by then.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

And I see I was using old data. They're about 1/40th of Walmart's size now.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Sorry, typo: GFS is about 1/75th of Walmart's size.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

GFS is a privately-owned Michigan company about 1/750th of Walmart's size.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

This would be fantastic. I hope it happens.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:06 p.m.

And all this time I was waiting for Roma Hall to come back there....

Unusual Suspect

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 10:49 p.m.

Dang, Ned, good one. Pulled that out of the 1960's.

Ned Racine

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:12 p.m.

What about Vescio's (pre-Roma Hall)?


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 3:55 p.m.

It's always good to see a company use vacant existing space instead of building new.

Joseph Welch's Ghost

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

@Halter I think you added an "L".


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

I guess Jenny's won't have to drive so far for their "homemade" pies.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 6:25 p.m.

Justcurious; right on, your comment is a "Classic"


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:24 p.m.

Anybody have any idea about the building that Lake Trust CU was in? The old hollywood video?

Ann English

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

NCTerry, The building that Lake Trust was in, if you're right, replaced a building that once was a Wrigley's grocery store, then was used for Social Services. I remember the original Huron River Area Credit Union being off Federal Boulevard in the 1980s before moving across Stadium Boulevard within sight of Burwood traffic, where it merged with other credit unions twice, changing its name to Huron River Financial and then to Lake Trust after the second merger. I remember reading once that Hollywood Video leased its space from the credit union.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:40 p.m.

I checked the article about the plans for Lake Trust that was linked in the story above and the old bank was a Fidelity Bank. Lake Trust is not in the larger structure that used to house the CVS and the Halloween store. It is a separate structure on the corner. The old Fidelity building was razed and Lake Trust is in a brand new building.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 4:33 p.m.

It was a former financial institution, but I don't recall which company. The old building was demolished and a new structure was built on the same site. The Google Street View picture still shows the old building, but I can't read the sign.

Lizzy Alfs

Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 2:54 p.m.

@Craig it was used temporarily for a Halloween store, but I have not heard anything about a permanent tenant yet.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

Good news. In the spirit of provincialism it is probably relevant to note that GFS is a Michigan based company.

Ann English

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:35 a.m.

I know for sure that Meijer is Michigan based; its headquarters are in Walker, which is very near Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

It has been my experience that folks in SE Michigan, and especially the idealogues in Washtenaw County (a/k/a "the center of the known universe") often need a geography lesson on matters "out-state", . . . also received a couple of tip-o-the-hats from the denizens of Grand Rapids, Minnesota on the state clarity. Pleasure to serve. . .


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

First Paragraph: "Grand Rapids-based food service distributor Gordon Food Service is looking to open its second marketplace store in Washtenaw County, city records indicate." Thanks for the provincialism.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Strong anchor retail in that, ahem, "underutilized" space would be a good change indeed.

Ann English

Tue, Nov 27, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

When there was a CVS there, its entrance was very near Greenback Dollar Store's entrance, so it was easy to walk into one store when you meant to enter the other one. It sounds like the Stadium Boulevard entrance to O'Reilly Parts is going to be widened. Just so long as the delivery trucks can handle that steep driveway. If this new GFS will have a Stadium Boulevard address, then Greenback Dollar Store's address uses Stadium Boulevard, too; I always thought it had a Liberty Road address.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 12:35 p.m.

I can't wait for this! I do not like driving all the way to Carpenter Rd. This will be great!


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

Great. We are regular customers of GFS on Carpenter Rd. It would be nice to have a store in a more convenient location.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:45 a.m.

That would be awesome.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 11:06 a.m.

Awesome! Now let's see how long A2's power elite drag their feet before GFS looks elsewhere and the site says vacant another four years.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

Exactly what are they going to do to "drag their feet"? Enforce building regulations, traffic engineering laws and ordinances? Those thugs! One would think that there are no businesses in A2 if one read only the trolls here at .com. Turns out that businesses are thriving and they keep coming, because all of those "elites" seem to have disposable income.


Mon, Nov 26, 2012 : 1:20 p.m.

Do you think the A2 Elite ever head as far west as Stadium and Liberty? They won't care about this....