A North Carolina development company is close to finalizing a deal to build a 17,000-square-foot grocery store in the Fosterville neighborhood that’s been without a supermarket for several years.
Primax Properties, a Charlotte-based real-estate investment firm, wants to build the store on property bounded by West Princeton, Glenwood and West Indianola avenues and Utilis Street. The property is the location of the former Cleveland School and adjacent Fosterville Park on the city’s South Side.
City officials said they have a confidentiality agreement with Primax restricting them from disclosing the name of the grocery store at this point. Rob Neill, the company’s project director, couldn’t be reached by The Vindicator to comment Tuesday or Wednesday.
But the company’s website as well as the website of its sister company, Primax Construction Inc., list Food Lion as one of their major retail clients. Primax Properties owns buildings that are leased to Food Lion.
Food Lion has no grocery stores in Ohio. But the company has more than 1,200 supermarkets in 11 states, including nine stores in southern Pennsylvania.
A decision from Primax to buy the property and then build a grocery store in that neighborhood is expected in 30 to 90 days, said T. Sharon Woodberry, the city’s economic-development director.
“It’s advantageous for the neighborhood to have a grocery store,” she said. “We want there to be an anchor store with groceries. There is very limited retail commercial property there. We hope it will help spur other development once a purchase is finalized.”
The property is owned by the city school district. The district has an agreement to sell the property to the city for $14,000. The city would then sell the property to Primax for that amount if a deal for the grocery store is finalized, Woodberry said.
The city’s planning commission will meet Tuesday to consider a recommendation from the city administration to change the property’s zoning from institutional to general business.
City council is expected to consider legislation Wednesday authorizing the board of control to buy the property from the school district and sell it to Primax, Woodberry said.
“This looks promising,” Mayor Jay Williams said of the potential deal. “It’s exceptionally important to have fresh produce for those in that neighborhood and accessibility to healthy and affordable foods. Having this type of investment improves the quality of life.”
This location is a short distance from a former Sparkle Super Market on Glenwood and Winona avenues that closed about eight to 10 years ago. Also, a Giant Eagle on Market Street and Midlothian Boulevard closed about seven years ago.
The Giant Eagle on Canfield Road in nearby Cornersburg closed in 2008.
The only full-service grocery store within a few miles of Fosterville is Sparkle Super Market on South Meridian Road in Cornersburg, which is undergoing a $600,000 improvement project.