Steve Shute, Mayor, addresses guests during the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Price Chopper grocery store. Staff photo by Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Consentino’s Price Chopper grocery store was held August 29.
The new facility is expected to open next spring.
During the ceremony, Steve Shute, mayor, said the community is grateful for the contributions Price Chopper has made to Gardner in the years the store has been operating in the city.
“Price Chopper and the Consentino family are wonderful partners, and we look forward to even better days ahead,” he said.
John Consentino, the head of the grocery store operation that owns several Price Chopper stores in the metro, said Gardner holds a special place for him because it was the first place he opened a store.
“We started here in 1997, and it has been a wonderful 20 years. We look forward to the next 20 years,” he said.
“The new store will be a place to get fresh food – ready to eat or ready to cook-,” he said, adding that he hopes to create a welcoming atmosphere where customers will want to come back again.
The store will also have a drive through pharmacy and a coffee shop.
The event groundbreaking was organized by the Gardner-Edgerton Chamber of Commerce.
The new 60,000 sq ft store will anchor the Main Street Market Place shopping plaza and will be partly funded through a $19,390,000 in industrial revenue bonds approved by the council on Jan. 18.
The project includes the redevelopment of the current store into restaurant and retail space. Super Market Developers, Inc, a subsidiary of Associated Wholesale Grocers (AWG), is behind the project.
According to Matthew Wolff, finance director, the IRB bonds will be payable solely out of the rentals and receipts derived from the lease of the project to the company from the city.
The city also passed an ordinance authorizing the creation of a Community Improvement District (CID) and authorized the imposition of a 1 percent CID sales tax to be collected within the district.
Wolf said the developer applied for the CID designation. The CID will have a term of 22 years and is expected to raise up to $12,500,000. According to Wolff, the tax will fund the construction of the new Price Chopper store, the redevelopment of the existing store, two pad sites and existing retail stores.
The council also passed an ordinance approving the redevelopment plan for the project which will enable the developer to use Tax Incremental Financing (TIF).
The city had earlier designated the site a TIF district. According to a feasibility study, the developer has identified more than $6.5 million in TIF eligible costs.