The Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Hosted in partnership with the University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Planning‘s URP 390 – Real Estate Design and Development Fundamentals course.

Click here to access the webinar, recorded on Thursday, March 11, 2021

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market (2015 RBA Silver Medalists) is an award winning development that ties philanthropy, market economics, food centered business and economic development together in one structure. A catalyst for neighborhood development, its President and CEO, Mimi Fritz and Ted Spitzer, President of Market Ventures, Inc. who helped realize the vision will be in dialog with Marc Norman, Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan, Taubman School of Architecture and Urban Planning. Anne-Marie Lubenau will share how the project resonated with 2015 Selection Committee, in its enduring sustainability as a civic anchor in Grand Rapids. the This event was offered as part Real Estate Design and Development URP 390.

This public program was recorded on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Click here to access the webinar through the host organization.


Mimi FritzPresident & CEO, 



Ted Spitzer, President, Market Ventures, Inc.
Ted Spitzer is a nationally recognized expert on food markets and alternative local food systems. For over 25 years, he has helped communities throughout the country develop, revitalize, and improve their public markets and surrounding neighborhoods.



Marc Norman, Founder, Ideas and Action
Marc Norman is Director of Real Estate Initiatives, and Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning.



Anne-Marie Lubenau, Director, Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence
Anne-Marie Lubenau, FAIA is an architect, educator, and writer dedicated to increasing understanding of design of the built environment and its impact on our lives. She has more than three decades of experience leading projects and programs that engage people and communities in design to foster more beautiful, inclusive, and resilient cities. Anne-Marie regularly contributes to national and international forums on design and cities including Metropolis Magazine. She is a Design Critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design and serves on the Boston Civic Design Commission and Association of Architecture Organizations board of directors. Anne-Marie holds a BArch from Carnegie Mellon and was a 2012 Harvard Loeb Fellow.



Grand Rapids Downtown Market Case Study (2015 RBA Silver Medalist)

Grand Rapids Downtown Market Context
Grand Rapids Downtown Market (2015 RBA Silver Medalist) in Michigan. Courtesy Mike Buck.
  • Michigan’s Grand Rapids Downtown Market(2015 RBA Silver Medalist) is a year-round farmers market that brings local food production, distribution, marketing, and education to the community. The first LEED Gold certified public market in the country, the market features 24 indoor vendors and a seasonal 52-stall outdoor shed featuring locally grown, produced, and prepared foods. Upper floors house educational classrooms, a commercial kitchen incubator, a rooftop greenhouse, offices and meeting rooms, and event spaces. For more information about Grand Rapids Downtown Market check out the Rudy Bruner Award case study to learn about the project’s urban context and history, leadership and vision, collaborative partnerships, design and development, financing, operations and programming, and impact.