FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A new 4,000 square foot grocery store is coming to the 900 block of East Pontiac Street in a historic building that was once the Vincent Village Outlet Store.
A typical Dollar General store is about 7,500 square feet in size.
The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission Monday approved a property donation from the Mary Cross Tippmann Foundation at 918 E. Pontiac.
The city-backed project will help neighbors in this food desert, about 2.2 miles from the Kroger grocery store on East Pettit Avenue, according to Jonathan Leist, the commission’s deputy director. The neighborhood is not only a food desert, but low-income, low access and low in vehicle access, Leist explained. Construction is to begin at the end of the year although a monetary amount was not discussed.
Commission member Jason Arp voted no and said he thought it was “unusual for local government to be involved in the creation of a grocery store.” However, Leist said there have been successful models in other communities.
Commission president Christopher Guerin said it could be a catalyst for future business growth. Leist said the city is currently working on the Pontiac Street streetscapes and improving pedestrian access.
“This could be a really good thing for the neighborhood,” commission member Greg Leatherman said.