JPMorgan Chase invests $1M in Eastern Market's commercial kitchens
JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Thursday that it is investing $1 million more into Eastern Market Corp. to create new commercial kitchens for food entrepreneurs
As part of the bank's $150 million commitment to Detroit's, the funding will help the market create two new cost-controlled kitchens for small businesses that have outgrown smaller available spaces.
"The problem we've seen in the market is businesses come in, sell 1,000 or 1,500 things per week, and they're good," said Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp. "What happens when Meijer or some other retailer approaches them and wants to purchase 5,000? Where does the company go to meet those rapidly expanding orders?"
Soon it could be Eastern Market's new licensed accelerator kitchens akin to its Feast Detroit kitchens in Inkster. The locations in the former Metro Cold Storage building at 2531 Riopelle and the redevelopment of the former Detroit Water and Sewage Building at 3500 Riopelle each will be about 15,000 square feet with five to seven commercial kitchens with offices. Carmody said a fourth location also is in the works.
Each kitchen will support a growing business, unlike the 9,000-square-foot incubator kitchen in Eastern Market's Shed 5 that small businesses can rent hourly for $12-$15 to prepare, test and sell their creations without the hefty costs of leasing a commercial kitchen. Carmody said companies will be able to rent the new kitchens for $7-$12 per square foot, compared to the $15-$20 market price. Already, he said there are 19 prospects.
Carmody said he expects businesses will move into the spaces in the Metro Cold Storage building next summer. Eastern Market is leasing that space, with JPMorgan's support, for $2 million and the subleasing it to the entrepreneurs.
Fewer details are available on the other location, but the hope is that the small businesses can occupy the space by the end of 2020.
JPMorgan, which has roots in Detroit dating to 1933, previously invested $2.5 million into Eastern Market to help complete renovations on the Shed 5 kitchen. It estimates the additional investment will help to create and maintain 250 jobs, increase the number of profitable vendors by 50 percent and increase small business revenue by 15 percent.
John Carter, the New York-based bank's market president in Michigan, said its $150 million commitment to Detroit is nearly complete and that several more announcements are coming soon.
"Eastern Market is one of Detroit's gems," Carter said. "We're pleased and proud to support it. There's a real need in this burgeoning industry. Detroit's become more of a foodie city. There are so many food entrepreneurs, and we want to help them expand in a commercial kitchen."