Mayor Richard Berry held a press conference this afternoon to announce plans for a Downtown grocery. He stood on the property where the store will be built, a 1-acre vacant lot on Silver between 2nd and 3rd Streets.
There’s not yet a national chain or local grocer selected to move in. Instead, the city will put out a request for proposals on Friday. Developers will have 120 days to respond. The mayor said he is confident there will be plenty of proposals.
The city purchased the land in 2000 for $575,000. In 2003, the city removed six underground storage tanks so the property could be certified as free of any contamination. The mayor characterizes the parcel, which is flat and contains nothing but dirt and asphalt, as “a very buildable site.”
“Downtown needs a grocery store,” says Berry. “I’ve been hearing that since I took over as mayor. We’ve been hearing about this for years.”
This will come as welcome news to Downtown’s 10,000 residents and 30,000 workers. Once the lofts are completed across the street from the site, Berry speculates there will be 500 people living there who will make regular use of the grocery store.
There has not been a full-service grocery store in Downtown since the ’30s. The nearest option right now is a Lowe’s on 11th Street and Lomas.