City council plan would bring new grocery store to area in need

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- One Kansas City food desert could soon be a thing of the past.

On the east side of the city near Linwood and Prospect, grocery stores are scarce, leaving many neighbors to turn to fast food.

The city's finance committee approved a lease agreement with Lipari Brothers Wednesday morning.

That means the Linwood shopping center is one step closer to getting a grocery store.

City leaders are hoping to convert the building into a new grocery store. That would give people who live in the area better access to healthy food, improving their quality of life.

Many grocery stores on the east side of the city are spread out, so it can be hard for people who have to walk or take the bus to get fresh food.

The new store could also help revitalize this area, making it thrive again.

"It fills a great void on the east side, but there is risk involved. We understand that. There is risk for the city financially, there is risk for the operator financially," Scott Wagner, Chairman of Finance Committee, said. "I think there is an understanding that it's a manageable risk and we believe that it will be received very well. So the risk, even though it's there, is minimal."

"You want to have a good solid anchor that will bring other retailers to the area. That's our expectation here. Just as it happens in the suburbs or any part of the city, when you have a good anchor for shopping Center it fills out very very quickly. That's our hope. Based on experience that's what we think will happen."

The city council is set to vote on the issue at 3 p.m. Thursday. If approved, construction could begin later this month.

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