LANSING — State Rep. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) introduced House Bill 4207 today, which would direct existing revitalization dollars toward bringing grocery stores to downtowns and commercial corridors in urban areas. 

“Our downtowns and commercial corridors are attracting a variety of people —from young talent to seniors — back to these parts of our communities,” Rep. Schor said. “They expect walkability and amenities, but we are lacking in grocery stores to serve these people. HB 4207 would assist in bringing more grocery stores to these areas.”

House Bill 4207 directs at least 5 percent of already appropriated community revitalization dollars within the Michigan Strategic Fund toward facilitating development of grocery stores within Michigan urban areas. Should grocery store projects not become available, the dollars would revert to other community revitalization programs.

“This bill uses existing dollars to help bring grocery stores to our downtowns and commercial centers, which will help attract more people to live in these areas,” Rep. Schor said. “My constituents have told me that it’s often difficult to buy food near where they live, and it’s also a problem in many other communities throughout the state.”

Lack of grocery stores in urban environments across Michigan has been well documented. The United States Department of Agriculture currently lists several areas within the city of Lansing as “food deserts” where there is no convenient access to healthy, affordable food. HB 4207 would assist in providing necessary grocery options to the commercial corridors within these areas, including the MLK Jr. Boulevard corridor in southwest Lansing, Michigan and Kalamazoo avenues on the eastside, along Grand River Avenue, and the Cedar Street corridor in the Baker/Donora neighborhood.

“Increasing access to healthy food and groceries is a win-win-win for our families, neighborhoods, and communities,” Rep. Schor said. “Grocery stores are a vital component of vibrant communities, and our cities will be stronger when people can live and shop in the same neighborhood.”