Sun Fresh grocery opens in east side KCMO neighborhood; City makes good on promise to address food desert
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2018
The $13 million investment the City made to spark redevelopment on the east side is on full display now that Sun Fresh Market is open for business and set to anchor the Linwood Shopping Center for years to come.
Mayor Sly James, 3rd District City Councilmembers Jermaine Reed and Quinton Lucas, who represent the district where the new store sits, joined other elected officials and community leaders on Saturday to officially open the store.
The 40,000 square feet store located at Linwood Boulevard and Prospect Avenue features more than 50,000 products on the shelves.
“In 2012, the redevelopment of the Center had become a priority for the Mayor and City Manager, and I was given the task of ensuring that the City got it done,” said John Wood, Director of Neighborhoods and Housing Services. “My staff and I saw the redevelopment as an opportunity to encourage and attract other development and invest in an area bordering several historically-significant African-American neighborhoods.”
Recognizing the need for a full-service grocery store in this part of town inspired the City to make this project a priority. As a result, the City bought the property in May 2017 for $950,000, raising that money by selling bonds to investors. The cost for the entire redevelopment was roughly $13 million including additional costs like the public art, fixing a nearby water main, soft costs like legal and other fees, furnishings, etc. Future property tax revenue generated by the shopping center will be reinvested to cover redevelopment costs.
The retail stores at the north and south ends of the property will remain intact. Existing retail tenants like Gen X men’s clothing store will remain, while new tenants also have been added. The construction project began with a stated goal to exceed usual minority hiring requirements and that goal was easily met.
The redevelopment of the City’s east side is a steady work-in-progress. Nearly $2.3 billion in private and public money has been invested in projects that are either completed, underway or approved since 2011. Some of the higher profile projects are:
- Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center ($25 million)
- YMCA ($10.3 million)
- East Campus Police Station ($74 million)
- Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center ($17 million)
- 18th and Vine Improvements ($7 million)
- Aldi Grocery ($5 million)
- Northeast Community Center Improvements ($4 million)
For more information, please contact Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department Communications/Community Liaison John Baccala at 816-513-3202.