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Posted on Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Knight's Market expansion wins final approval from Ann Arbor City Council

By Ryan J. Stanton


Knight's Market has operated for decades at the northeast corner of Miller Avenue and Spring Street in a cozy neighborhood just west of downtown Ann Arbor. Its owners are now looking to expand.

Ryan J. Stanton |

The expansion of Knight's Market at the northeast corner of Miller Avenue and Spring Street can go forward after the Ann Arbor City Council gave final approval Tuesday night.

The neighborhood grocery store's owners have plans for a 1,200-square-foot addition plus an expansion and reconfiguration of the parking lot.

The Knight family, which has owned the market since 1952, also plans to convert the house adjacent to the market on Spring Street into a commercial kitchen or bakery.

The kitchen would be used to make prepared foods that would be sold out of the market and the Knight family's two restaurants — one in Ann Arbor and one in Jackson.

"We really need bigger space to do what we want to do for both businesses — plus our restaurant in Jackson," said Sherry Bedolla, daughter of business founder Ray Knight.


Knight's Market, left, and the house immediately adjacent to it that could be converted into a bakery, as viewed from the wrap-around parking lot behind the house.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Bedolla left city hall happy with Tuesday's 9-0 vote on both the rezoning and the site plan.

Council Members Marcia Higgins and Carsten Hohnke were absent.

Council members offered rave reviews of Knight's Market and the family behind it, calling the business one of Ann Arbor's iconic institutions.

"This is a solid project with solid people behind it," said Council Member Tony Derezinski, D-2nd Ward, thanking the Knight family for coming forward with it.

"And it's a successful business," he added. "I love to see successful businesses in our community, especially when they help the local neighborhood to have a store right next to them."

Council Member Sandi Smith, D-1st Ward, said rezoning portions of the property from light industrial to commercial helps provide a protection for the surrounding residential neighborhood.

"It's a change for the better any way you want to look at this," agreed Mayor John Hieftje. "Again, let's hope they're there for a very long time. Many of our neighborhoods would like to have a business like Knight's right next door or within the neighborhood."

The project includes installation of a rain garden for stormwater management and removal of a temporary storage trailer next to the market.

Bedolla, who has worked for her father for decades ever since she was 12, now runs the market. She said she looks forward to breaking ground on the expansion soon.

Dick Fry, the architect for the Knight's expansion, said it could be a couple more months before construction starts and then it could last a few months.

Once finished, there are expected to be new awnings, larger windows, landscaping and flower pots and an improved facade with more brick and lighting.

"There were a lot of windows a long time ago, and then there were problems in the '60s, so we took all the windows out and the whole thing looks like a boarded-up warehouse," Bedolla said. "And that's something we're trying to get away from. So last year we put in a new door with brick on the entry side, which is the back of the building, and that's what we want to continue all the way around."

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Deborah Gibson

Thu, Sep 6, 2012 : 5:11 a.m.

The Knights' market and restaurant have contributed to Ann Arbor's sense of community in both big and little ways. You can stop by for missing ingredients before dinner without a hassle, or go out to dinner without a hassle. I understand they might need expanded bakery and kitchen space for their fresh home-made specialties. I don't understand how their bakery and kitchen waste combined with waste from the existing bakery across the street will benefit our "cozy neighborhood". Are the baking hours restricted? It's not that big, right? Only 1200 ft. We will hardly notice the increased traffic of suppliers, vendors, employees and deliveries turning from Miller Ave onto Spring. It will just be a little crowded, that's all. and we're used to that on the West side. And the humid air will hang heavy with yeast aromas. Or maybe the Knights will make more of those awesome brownies. I just don't want negative changes in our little neighborhood.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Congratulations to the Knight clan. Hard work and a sound plan for the future of this Ann Arbor institution is very welcome indeed.

Alan Goldsmith

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 3:18 p.m.

"Council Members Marcia Higgins and Carsten Hohnke were absent." Question: Which Council member or members have the worse attendance records? A spiffy graphic would be very helpful in providing information to the readers and the voters of Ann Arbor. A couple of names continue to pop up nearly every meeting.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 5:46 p.m.

Good luck getting that little nugget of information from this "news" source.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 2:51 p.m.

Great meat!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 1:46 p.m.

Great news! We have lived just up Spring St from Knight's Market since 1973. We have bought a LOT of our groceries there throughout the years. We now see grandchildren working in this family-owned store. The Knights are good, friendly, hard working people who personify the American small business model.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

It'll look wonderful to have windows! Looking forward to the new facility! Congrats!


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 1:35 p.m.



Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

I've heard plenty of praise about this place. One it becomes a construction site, I may be able to spot where it is.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:15 p.m.

Hopefully they'll stay open slightly later...

Linda Peck

Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 12:10 p.m.

This will be a great addition to the existing store and will be of great service to the neighborhood and beyond.


Wed, Sep 5, 2012 : 10:38 a.m.

Congratulations to the Knights and expansion approval. Long time business folks - and great ones at that. Best wishes.