DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A $72 million shopping plaza that’s expected to bring 900 jobs is among new retail development in Detroit, which has asked a federal court for bankruptcy protection to clear away billions of dollars in debt.

The Gateway Marketplace officially opens for business at 6 a.m. Thursday when Grand Rapids-based Meijer Inc. unlocks the doors to its supercenter at 8 Mile Road and Woodward Ave., north of the old state fairgrounds, along Detroit’s northern city limits.

Along with the Mejier, Gateway Marketplace will have a Petco, K&G and Marshall’s clothing stores and about a dozen other retailers. A JC Penny had been planned at the site, but the retailer dropped out during the recession.

The Meijer gas station there is already open for business ahead of the official store opening.

At a ground breaking last year,  Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is hailed the Meijer project as an accomplishment in a city where a lack of available shopping, especially for groceries, is a major problem. “This was a dream and a vision that started several years ago,” said Bing. “And I think a lot of people who were naysayers and non-believers thought that this would never become a reality.

The project follows the opening of a Whole Foods store in Midtown. It also comes one week after the city’s state-appointed emergency manager – seeking to erase as much as $20 billion in debt – took Detroit into the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history.

Meantime, a developer this week announced plans to build apartments, town houses and small-scale retail along Detroit’s downtown riverfront. Groundbreaking for that project could come next spring.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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