Couple commits to bringing a grocery store downtown

A popular Fort Gratiot Township grocer will be making a move to downtown Port Huron next year. Port Huron residents Steve Fernandez and Michelle Jones closed on the Country Style Market Place last week and plan to move the fresh meat and produce shop to a building they recently acquired at the corner of Huron and Grand River Avenues in Port Huron. The former Woolworth’s building, most recently Emroy’s Furniture, will undergo an over $2 million renovation which will bring back the building’s historic features, according to Fernandez who made the announcement Tuesday on WPHM. “Aesthetically, the outside is going to take a lot of investment,” said Fernandez, who wants to remove the building’s metal facade. “We’re not taking any shortcuts,” he added. Fernandez says the new Downtown Country Style Marketplace could open as soon as fall on next year.

Earlier this year, Port Huron City Council established an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation District for the building which would defer any additional taxes the property owners would need to pay as a result of making said improvements. City Manager James Freed concedes that there may be added demand for parking in the area. “We have a parking initiative that we will be launching in the next couple months,” said Freed. He also pointed to a rebuild of Michigan and Quay Streets which would add more parking spaces along those two streets. Freed has also proposed a downtown marketplace concept for the former Art Van furniture building just a block away. The city manager say some small changes may be made to the concept as a result of the grocery store announcement.

Full audio of Paul Miller’s interview with Steve Fernandez and James Freed: