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Detroit —Hundreds of shoppers jammed the parking lot for the Thursday grand opening of a new Meijer supercenter built on the grounds of the old Redford High School at Grand River and McNichols.

Among those there for the 7 a.m. grand opening were Redford High alumni who came to see what had become of their old school.

"I'm so glad the building wasn't left abandoned," said Karilyn Seiler, who graduated in 1975. "They saved some of the stonework to put in the store and I think they did a really nice job. My fellow Huskies would be proud."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan got the customers fired up as he yelled, "Doesn't it feel like Detroit is coming back?

"This is the outcome when the mayor and the City Council are not fighting each other. We are working together building up the city."

It is the second supercenter to open in Detroit in a year. Meijer's other Detroit supercenter opened at Eight Mile and Woodward last July.

J.K. Symancyk, president of Meijer, presented checks totaling $50,000 to Fellowship Chapel, Forgotten Harvest, Gompers Elementary and Christ the King Catholic Church.

Symancyk hopes to build a stronger relationship with the community.

"We are so happy to invest in this community," Symancyk said. "We have had so much help from (Motor City) Blight Busters and other businesses in the community. This is a great area with great people and lots of growth opportunities."

The opening of the 190,000-square-foot store will result in more than 270 full- and part-time jobs, company officials said. The store offers more than 600 types of fresh produce, a full service pharmacy, deli and bakery.

Mike Hodges decided to take his son Jayden, 7, to get ice cream and check out the new store.

"Wow, this is beautiful," Hodges said. "I live in Southfield, but I will be coming to this Meijer. Next, they need to bring a Meijer to the east side."

Symancyk said there are no immediate plans for a third Meijer to be built in Detroit, but he hopes to bring more stores to the city.

ksmith3@detnews.com

(313) 222-1855

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