GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A yearslong effort to bring a cannabis retailer to Michigan Street in Grand Rapids is one step closer to construction.

On Thursday, the Grand Rapids Planning Commission approved Agri-Med LLC’s newest plan to build a new provisioning center and retail space at 1109 Michigan St. NE, between Diamond and Fuller avenues.

Agri-Med appeared before the planning commission twice before in 2020 and 2021 when it sought project approval for the medical marijuana provisioning center then a recreational marijuana retail space, respectively.

The site was previously home to Tamminga, Al Garage. Architect Juergen Dietrichson with Progressive AE said they originally planned to renovate the existing building on the lot, but contractors determined that wasn’t feasible.

“It was obvious that it really shouldn’t have been standing. It was in tough shape,” he said.

Dietrichson said the new concept will reorient the business so it faces the road, align the height to zoning requirements by making the building two stories instead of a single-story facility, provide more parking and a more logical two-way traffic flow for an otherwise challenging space to work with.

“In many ways this site has become way more efficient and also I think will be much more attractive to the property at large,” he said.

“I think we finally got it right,” Aaron Smith with Agri-Med said. “We’re really excited about this. We think it’s way better for the community.”

The 3,380-square-foot facility will be the first New Standard provisioning center in Grand Rapids. Smith said they plan to commission a local artist to create a mural on the building’s eastern wall.

“We’re really excited. It’s going to be a much bigger project, much more expensive project than we originally planned but I think it’s going to be the best for the area, the neighborhood and the surrounding buildings as well,” Smith said.

Much of the planning commission’s discussion focused on traffic flow and access issues to the business. A lawyer representing Agri-Med said they’re in negotiations with the property owner to the east behind the Family Dollar, but have not yet agreed to an easement for a secondary access point.

Stacie Behler was the lone planning commission member to vote against the request. She told the commission she favored tabling a decision on the project until Agri-Med had an agreed easement with its neighbor.