New Grocery Store Planned for KC ‘Food Desert’

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It's known as one of the most dangerous intersections in the city, but soon the area of 39th Street and Prospect will be home to something that residents in the neighborhood have wanted for a long time - a grocery store.

On Thursday, Aldi announced plans to build a $5 million, 16,000 square foot grocery store at the intersection, where they have been working for two years aquiring 24 properties to develop the site.

"It's extremely important. It feeds a lot of families, and (Aldi's) have great buys in there. So it's awesome," said area resident Shay Hill.

Residents in the nearby Ivanhoe neighborhood say that they currently live in a "food desert," and that trips to the grocery store meant traveling miles away to find fresh produce and meat.

"This store will be a big part in helping it go away at least in Ivanhoe, but many of the inner-city neighborhoods don't have access to food, fresh vegetables and fresh meat," said Margaret May of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council.

Aldi has pledged to hire people from Ivanhoe for some of the 13 jobs the store will create. Officials with the grocery chain say that they hope their investment will spark redevelopment all along Prospect.

"Aldi is very excited about being able to locate a store here, in an area that we believe is underserved," said Aldi attorney Philip Klawuhn. "Aldi has stepped up, wants to provide availability of high quality, and I might say very reasonably priced groceries."

Construction on the store, which is receiving tax-increment financing, is expected to begin this winter, and should be open next summer.

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