For well over a decade now, Louisville’s urban core has undergone some pretty dramatic (re)developments — from the razing of the Cotter & Lang and Clarksdale housing projects, to the emergence of Fourth Street Live, to Waterfront Park — but one thing that has curiously been missing is a full-service grocery store popping up in one of these newly refurbished areas: The kind that any strong neighborhood requires to, you know, feed its residents so they don’t (1) starve or (2) KFC-themselves to death.
Without a modern grocer to meet their daily needs, downtown residents have largely been relegated to convenient store shopping, fast food sustenance and, in some cases, fishing the Ohio, all of which cannot support the kind of strong neighborhood fabric that occurs in well-fed areas like the Highlands, Crescent Hill and most east end nabes.
Now The Courier-Journal reports that, finally, the folks at Park DuValle are finally getting a supermarket:
A developer working with the city is negotiating to bring a 20,000-square-foot Save-A-Lot grocery store to a seven-acre site the city owns along Wilson Avenue, just north of Algonquin Parkway. The grocery would be part of a small retail center, which would include an additional 18,000 square feet of space.
The project would be developed by SAL Louisville, a limited-liability company formed in September by Robert Holmes Jr. of Louisville Real Estate Development Co. and a partner in Milwaukee, whom he declined to name. SAL Louisville would spend $5.5million on the project’s first phase — the grocery store. A majority of the construction money would come from a $3.2million city loan — part of the city’s pool of federal stimulus money.
SAL Louisville would not have to repay the city if it completes construction of the store by 2012 and a full-service grocery opens there. It would have a 75-year lease on the land at $1 a year, but if the property were to sit unoccupied by a grocer for more than five years, the building would revert to the city, said Mayor Jerry Abramson’s spokesman, Chris Poynter.
“We’ve promised the people of Park DuValle a grocery from the beginning,” Poynter said. “We’re very close to delivering that deal.”
The Abramson Administration giving sweetheart real estate deals to national businesses for something that makes sense? Interesting… Although there is still plenty of room for improvement, this is a good sign for a city slowly reclaiming itself.