Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grocery Coming to Broadway

Market to open in South Boston
Stimulus money aids businessman
By Hannah McBride, Globe Correspondent | May 9, 2010
South Boston will get a new upscale market as part of the city’s $2.6 million in federal stimulus aid to Boston’s small businesses, city and federal officials announced yesterday.

Mayor Thomas M. Menino and Senator John F. Kerry were on hand to announce a $150,000 loan to Victor Leon, owner of Foodie’s Market in the South End, to open a South Boston store at 240 West Broadway, now a hollowed-out warehouse. The new store, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will create 35 staff positions, as well as construction jobs to prepare the store for its opening, scheduled for later this summer.

Leon, who also owns a Foodie’s Market in Duxbury, said he wants the new store to be a local fixture where residents can walk to and meet with neighbors while shopping.

“We’re right in the neighborhood. We’re part of that urban fabric,’’ he said in an interview after the event. “We’ll be that beacon, hopefully, for people to shop and gather.’’

Kerry called the loan part of a greater effort to create jobs for Americans suffering in a lagging economy. “This is a tribute to one American’s dream to own a business,’’ he said.

As Menino stepped onto the podium in the warehouse to address the small crowd, resident Bill Allen called out, “What about parking?’’

Menino said the city was planning a neighborhood meeting where that would be discussed.

Lucy Warsh, Department of Neighborhood Development spokeswoman, said after the event that her department, along with the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Office of Neighborhood Services, plans to meet with community members before the store opens.

“The review process is underway,’’ Warsh said, though no meetings have been scheduled.

Allen, 52, who lives on C Street, a block away from the new store’s location, said afterward that city officials put up new two-hour parking signs along the street, so he and his neighbors will not be able to park there, even with resident stickers. No one was told about plans for the store until the news conference yesterday, he said.

“They’re saying there’s parking here for 35 cars and they’re going to have 35 employees — how is that going to work?’’ he said.

Jeff Cram, 34, who moved to nearby A Street last year, said he was pleased about the new store.

He said he and his wife, who is expecting a baby, sometimes have to go as far as the Whole Foods stores near Beacon Hill or in Cambridge to get groceries.

“This is huge,’’ he said. “We almost didn’t buy here because there wasn’t an accessible grocery store.’

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