Local and federal officials Tuesday broke ground on a new grocery store for the Park DuValle housing development southwest of downtown. The project was funded largely through federal stimulus and housing funds.
The store has been on the city’s wish list for Park DuValle for years, but it’s been delayed due largely to uncertain financing. When the store opens in the summer, it will serve produce to a community that does not have easy access to fresh foods. Housing and Urban Development regional administrator Ed Jennings says that was one reason why the project was chosen by White House officials to receive federal support.
“We didn’t develop this concept, this obviously was around way before the Obama Administration came around. But we’re able to identify and see good projects we can support,” he says.
Jennings says the estimated 200 construction jobs the 4.4 million dollar project will create were also a deciding factor. The store will be operated by the local grocery chain ValuMarket. It is expected to have about 30 employees once it’s built.