May 6 2013 12:00 AM

Spartan Stores grocer moving into former L&L location in Colonial Village

Renovations on the new Valu Land location in the Colonial Village Shopping Center started in mid-April Sam Inglot/City Pulse

Monday, May 6 — A Valu Land grocery store is moving into the former L&L Food Center location in Colonial Village Shopping Center, filling a void that’s been in the area for two-and-a-half years. The store is expected to open July 22.

“This is exactly what the neighborhood wanted,” said Kathie Dunbar, Lansing City Councilwoman and executive director of the South Lansing Community Development Association. The SLCDA and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership did community surveys to see what the residents wanted in the space and put together a recruitment package to get a grocer back in the neighborhood.

Renovations on the roughly 18,000-square foot space began on April 15, said Travis Turnes, job superintendent for Wolverine Building Group, the construction company handling the renovations. He said construction is expected to wrap up before the store’s grand opening, which is slated for July 22.

Valu Land, which is part of the Spartan Stores brand, will be a mid-sized, corporate-run grocery store, Dunbar said. After the L&L closed in 2010, residents still wanted a neighborhood grocery store in the location — west of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard on West Mount Hope Avenue — and Valu Land fits the bill.

Dunbar said Valu Land would be perfect for what neighborhood residents wanted: a mid-sized grocery store with low prices and a basic selection of goods.

“People were saying, ‘We don’t need a ton of selection, we just need good prices,’” Dunbar said. “They didn’t need 5,000 types of spaghetti sauce.”

Several family-owned L&L grocery stores closed in fall 2010 in greater Lansing. On Dec. 14, 2010, the L&L brand went into receivership to Amherst Partners, a merger and acquisitions firm based in Birmingham.

“When you have a neighborhood-based grocer, it either had to be highly specialized to bring in people from outside the neighborhood or it has to be very basic to serve the needs of the people who live around it so they don’t have to go to a superstore,” Dunbar said. “When L&L lost its value, people started making the trek to Meijer and Kroger.”

The building’s owner, Craig Singer, could not be reached for comment.

This is the second L&L site that Valu Land has taken over. Spartan Stores opened another Valu Land in a former L&L location last year at 3800 W. Saginaw St.